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A Supremely Important Decision


Each and every one of us will need to access health care at some point in our lives and the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ensures that the progress being made toward protecting patients, improving quality care, and emphasizing prevention will continue.

As we look forward, it is important to recognize how the law is already making significant strides in helping millions of Americans access and afford the care they need, including:

• 61,000 patients with serious medical conditions, like heart disease and stroke, who have been able to access health care coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs) established under the law.

• 86 million Americans who received at least one free preventive service last year, including cholesterol and blood pressure screening, nutrition counseling, and tobacco-cessation counseling (or counseling to quit smoking).

• 3.6 million Medicare beneficiaries who saved a total of $2.1 billion in 2011 on prescription drugs as the ‘donut hole’ closes.

• 3.1 million young adults who now have health care coverage because they are able to stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26.

And in 2014, 122 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will finally have peace of mind that they cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on their condition.

Additionally, the law has helped prioritize the fight against our nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers with the launch of the Million Hearts campaign. This initiative has brought together key government agencies, companies, and nonprofits, including the AHA/ASA, to work toward the goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years.

In the months and years ahead, the AHA/ASA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress, the Administration, the states, our fellow public health partners, and advocates like you to work toward quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

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