March 23, 2012, marks the second anniversary of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In response, Rebecca L. Gould, Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed issued this statement:
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was an historic step forward in addressing the inequalities and inefficiencies in our health care system. Over the last two years, tens of thousands of Nebraskans have begun to benefit from the health reform law. Our children can no longer be denied coverage just because they have been sick in the past or have a chronic illness. Over 300,000 Nebraskans with private insurance now have access to preventative care without cost-sharing. Tens of thousands of Nebraska’s seniors have received help paying for their prescriptions, putting over $15 million back in their pockets and back in Nebraska. And young adults without job-based coverage can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, which has helped over 15,000 Nebraskans. In addition, the state has received over $18 million in grants for prevention efforts, workforce development, and implementation planning.
The Affordable Care Act will benefit even more Nebraskans in 2014 as additional consumer protections are put into place and new health insurance marketplaces make accessing health insurance easier and more affordable.
In its first two years, the Affordable Care Act has already made a positive difference in people’s lives. While much of the focus has been on the opposition to the law and the upcoming arguments in the Supreme Court, the ACA has been fulfilling its promise of increasing access to needed health care. We are confident that the ACA will be upheld. But regardless of the outcome, the focus should and must remain on addressing the barriers to health care for all Nebraskans.”