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Moving Forward:
10 Ways Health Reform is Helping America

Frontline Stories

  • Dr. Don Nguyen in Ohio takes care of a child whose parents could not buy him insurance after he had a kidney removed.   Now, he has joined the rest of the family in getting insurance! 
  • Dr. Zaneb Beams in Maryland takes care of someone with a lifelong intestinal disease who was about to hit his cap as a teenager and now has a more secure future ahead of him.  
  • Dr. Ann Drum in Alabama has an immune system disorder – lifetime cap would have meant she couldn’t practice medicine anymore.  Now she can.
  • Medical Student Meghana Desale in Maryland says "Our Preventive Medicine Residency got a lot of help. For medical students interested in prevention, the ACA has really elevated the specialty."
  • Dr. Elaine Bradshaw in New Mexico says her colleague is setting up a patient-centered medical home for her primary care patients -- thanks to a grant from health reform.
  • Dr. Alice Chen in California reports that her hospital has increased its focus on primary care and coordinating the care of patients leaving the hospital so they don't get readmitted.

Here are 10 ways health reform is moving forward. Please share this far and wide!

1. Patients are no longer threatened with lifetime caps on coverage.  Families no longer have to make the hard choices of delaying care or facing bankruptcy.

2. Children with pre-existing conditions are no longer being denied coverage.  Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children under the age of 19 because of a pre-existing condition or disability.

3. Young adults are getting covered on their parents’ insurance.  Many medical students in Doctors for America are now covered thanks to this provision.  Over 1.2 million people age 19-26 are eligible! 

4. Medicare fraud prevention is getting ratcheted up!  $350 million was invested in 2010 for enhanced efforts to prevent criminals from defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP – contributing to a record $4 billion recovered in 2010.

5. People and communities are focusing efforts on preventing disease.  $750 million in 2010 and $500 million in 2011 have already gone to programs in tobacco cessation, obesity prevention, care coordination, behavioral health, and more in all 50 states.

6. Seniors (4 million of them!) are getting help with prescription drugs.   Seniors in every state got rebate checks in 2010.  In 2011, they get a 50% discount on brand-name drugs in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap – so they don’t have to cut pills to make them last longer!

7. Hospitals are gearing up to improve quality and safety.  Medicare reimbursement changes in 2012 are getting hospitals around the country to step up efforts to prevent hospital-acquired infections and to keep people from landing back in the hospital within 30 days of going home.

8. Small businesses are getting help covering employees.  Up to 4 million small businesses that employ 16 million people are eligible for 35% tax credits on health insurance premiums right now.  Note: small businesses will not be required to buy insurance under the law.

9. Insurance companies have a new cap on profits.  As of January 1, insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on health care. In the large-group market (big employers), they must spend at least 85% on health care -- so more of our premium dollars go to health instead of corporate vacations and CEO bonuses.

10. We are training thousands more health care providers to take care of the population.  $320 million in grants is already boosting primary care residency programs, training physician assistants, and helping states create innovative plans for their unique health care workforce needs.  


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