U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) today marked the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which reformed the way Americans access insurance coverage for health care. Signed into law one year ago today, it expands health insurance access to millions of Americans, makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, and aims to lower the cost of insurance for most Americans over the next several years.
"The Affordable Care Act was a major step in expanding access to affordable health care for all Americans," Senator Coons said. "It is already helping individuals with pre-existing conditions in Delaware and across the country obtain health coverage, enabling parents to cover their college-age children and making it easier for employers to cover retirees not yet eligible for Medicare. Though not perfect, the Affordable Care Act will be remembered as a breakthrough in making affordable, quality health care more attainable for all Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve it and to continue to expand access to care."
Today, 137,000 Delawareans who benefit from Medicare no longer have to pay out of pocket for preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies. More than 13,900 small businesses in Delaware are eligible for the $40 billion in tax credits the Affordable Care Act created to help them offset the costs of purchasing insurance coverage for their employees. The law also banned lifetime limits on health benefits, which protects the 532,000 Delawareans covered under private insurance plans.
Additionally, a typo or simple mistake on an application will no longer enable insurance companies to drop consumers when they get sick and need health care the most. The law also provides increased funding for Delaware's 13 Community Health Centers, creates a health insurance "exchange," and allows for a crackdown against insurance companies that engage in unreasonable premium increases.
"It's important to remember that the Affordable Care Act is estimated to create as many as 400,000 jobs a year," Senator Coons said. "Health insurance reform is a central part of not only our economic recovery but of our long-term economic growth."