Washington, D.C., Mar. 23, 2014 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010:
“As we mark this anniversary of the ACA, it’s important to think about how far we’ve come in the last four years. Before the health reform law, the sickest patients who needed coverage the most were the ones with the least chance of receiving it – at an affordable price. Thanks to the ACA, that’s no longer the case.
Five million Americans have signed up for private insurance coverage since October 1, 2013. For the seven million Americans with cardiovascular disease who have minimal or no insurance, the new marketplaces offer them the opportunity to shop for, compare and buy the insurance they desperately need. In most case, many can also qualify for financial help to make the coverage even more affordable.
This anniversary also reminds us of another reform milestone that has greatly benefitted heart and stroke patients. As of January 1, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage or charge higher premiums to patients with pre-existing conditions. For the 129 million Americans living with these conditions, this has been a lifesaving improvement.
Despite these advances, transforming our health care system under the new law will face many challenges. The association is committed to ensuring heart and stroke patients have affordable and high quality health care. On this fourth anniversary, it’s crucial for us to keep moving forward with the reforms this law provides. The American Heart Association encourages anyone who is uninsured or underinsured, especially those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease, to check out your options under the new marketplaces and enroll by the March 31 deadline.”