Celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

March 27, 2012

Contact: Liliana Rañon, lranon@lulac.org
202-833-6130 ext.109 (O)

Dear LULAC members,

To mark the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, LULAC is reinforcing its efforts by encouraging all of our members, in addition to our health advocates, to take action and help with implementation efforts of the President’s health care reform bill.

The law was enacted 2 years ago, on March 23, 2010 – Every day during anniversary week, a specific population that has directly benefited from the ACA was highlighted. More information has been outlined by the White House below. In addition, the Supreme Court is currently holding hearings on the constitutionality of specific provisions of the ACA until Wednesday March 28th. We hope you can participate either by attending one of the press conferences at the steps of the SC or by passing this information on to your networks.

Supreme Court Hearings:
From March 26th through March 28th – the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision, the expansion of Medicaid, the tax anti-injunction act and severability. Every day while the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) is hearing oral arguments, the health care community will hold a press conference on the steps of the SC at 8:30am to highlight the real stories of Americans that have been positively impacted by the ACA. After the press conference, health advocates are welcomed to stay to show their support for the ACA until 12pm.

Major implementations so far
Learn More about Health Reform – visit www.healthcare.gov

  • How is the Affordable Care Act helping you? We want to hear your story. Share it here
  • Health care reform gives seniors new preventive benefits, prescription drug discounts and more options for long-term care. Learn More
  • Small business owners who provide health insurance for their employees can receive tax credits. Learn More
  • Young adults can get coverage through their parent's plan until the age of 26. Learn More
  • People with pre-existing conditions can get health insurance. Learn More
  • Health care reform is helping doctors offer better care to their patients. Learn More
  • The Affordable Care Act prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on most benefits you receive, and restricts annual dollar limits. Learn More
Seniors
President Obama's health reform law strengthens Medicare for seniors in a few ways. It gives them access to preventive services, with no co-pay or deductibles, as well as a free annual wellness visit. Nearly 32.5 million people have already received a free preventive service. And, the Affordable Care Act is making it easier for seniors to pay for the medications they need, by providing a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs for seniors once they hit the prescription coverage gap known as the "donut hole." By 2020, that donut hole will be closed completely.

Women
Latina women, as primary care givers, tend to play a large role in maintaining the health of their families. However, they face additional and specific disparities in health care and nutrition and they, themselves, often neglect their own health and focus on taking care of others. Women must be educated on the importance of health care and routine preventative screenings. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers will be required to cover certain preventative services. With proper preventative care, health problems that are affecting women can be identified earlier and managed more effectively

Young Adults/kids
Minority children are also less likely than non-Hispanic White children to have a usual source of care. The ACA lowers costs and provides greater choices to meet the needs of children by expanding insurance opportunities.

Lower costs through rate review and the new medical loss ratio/Small Business Tax Credit. Fewer Latino owned small businesses are taking advantage of the tax credits to help insure their employees – special efforts must be made to reach this population.

Pre-existing conditions
One in six non-elderly Latinos has a condition that, without health reform, could lead to a denial of coverage. The ACA prevents discrimination on the part of health insurance providers against anyone with pre-existing conditions.

The implementation of the health care reform bill will be an ongoing multi-year process. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing guidance and regulations for interpreting the law and steps to be taken to comply with it. LULAC is helping to ensure that Latinos are able to benefit from the new law and that we continue to build upon this foundation to advance health equity.

Additional resources:
Health Care for American Now: www.healthcareforamericanow.org/
Know Your Care: www.protectyourcare.org/press/
Alliance for Health Reform: www.allhealth.org
Families USA: www.familiesusa.org/
Health Care and the High Court: An Advocate’s Guide to Florida, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. From Families USA • March 2012: www.familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/Health-Care-and-the-High-Court.pdf

Thank you,
The LULAC Health Policy Team

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