41 Million Americans to Benefit from Free Preventive Care by Next Year
Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) applauded the new regulations issued by the Obama Administration to help make prevention affordable by requiring new health plans to cover recommended preventive services at no cost to the patient. The regulations, based off of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, will keep Americans healthier and help save money over the long term by increasing access to preventive care.
"We know that many Americans don't get the preventive care they need because of the cost," said Rep. Baca. "In fact, seven in ten deaths in America result from chronic and often preventable diseases. We must do better, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we will. These regulations mandating free preventive care will keep many Inland residents healthier and save our nation money in the long run."
Because of the historic health reform legislation, Americans who enroll in a new health plan on or after September 23, 2010, will have access to preventive services without being charged a deductible or a copayment. Next year, an estimated 41 million Americans will benefit from these new prevention provisions. And by 2013, an estimated 88 million Americans will benefit from the provisions.
Comprehensive preventive care can save billions of dollars and thousands of lives. There are 69 million workers reporting missed days due to illness each year, which reduces economic output in this country by $260 billion per year. Every dollar spent on immunizations could save $5.30 on direct health care costs. However, the costs of these services are often prohibitive, and Americans currently use preventive services at only half the recommended rate.
Depending on your age and health risks, the types of preventive services that will be available without a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance under these new provisions include:
* Blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests;
* Many cancer screenings;
* Routine vaccines for diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis;
* Flu and pneumonia shots;
* Counseling, screening and vaccines for healthy pregnancies; and
* Regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21.
"With the leadership of President Obama, Democrats in Congress have fought to make quality, affordable health care a right for every American," added Rep. Baca. "Unfortunately, Republicans are threatening to repeal this benefit, which saves money for working families everywhere. Rest assured I will continue to fight so that the American people -- not insurance companies - are in control of their health care decisions."