The Affordable Care Act turns two


It has been two years since President Obama put pen to paper and signed the Affordable Care Act into law. As a physician, I can attest to the profound impact of the law.

  • Under the health care law, insurance companies can no longer cancel a patient’s health care coverage when they are diagnosed with a serious illness. Because of the Affordable Care Act, never again will I sit with a young woman who has just been informed her insurance coverage was dropped because of a trivial paperwork mistake.
  • For our seniors, the health care law is taking steps to close the doughnut hole, where Medicare part D in the past has failed to cover the costs of lifesaving prescription medications.
  • Young people can now stay on their parents' insurance plan until age 26 while they transition into full time employment or post-graduate education.
  • As a physician, I am excited about the rollout of Accountable Care Organizations: groups of doctors that will be paid to both keep patients well and save the system money.
  • The Affordable Care Act will keep Medicare solvent for another eight years.
  • Another major issue is the use of gender as a factor in setting insurance rates. Women can be charged up to 50 percent more than men for the same health coverage, and oftentimes insurance women purchase does not cover maternity care. The Affordable Care Act will end this unfair practice.
  • By 2014 the Affordable Insurance Exchanges will allow individuals to shop for insurance in new marketplaces where insurers compete on price and quality.

The new law is worth fighting for. Get involved, stay informed, and talk to your friends and neighbors about how the Affordable Care Act can help them.