Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court upheld the landmark Affordable Care Act. The high court ruling means working and middle class people in Hawaii can now count on secure and stable health coverage. If you have a pre-existing condition, you'll be able to get health care; if you become seriously ill, there will be no annual limits on your care; if you're a woman, you won't be charged higher premiums; and if you don't have insurance, you will be able to buy affordable coverage.
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law two years ago, it has made a difference in the lives of Hawaii's families and seniors.
Nearly 25,000 people on Medicare have saved over $14.5 million in prescription drug costs.
More than 200,000 people helped control long-term health costs by gaining preventive health service coverage.
Parents have been able to keep an estimated 6,000 young adults in Hawaii on their plans until age 26.
When the provision first took effect to let young adults stay on their parents' plan, I shared the story of Kailua woman who immediately added her 21 year-old son and 24 year-old daughter to her work-sponsored insurance plan.
The Affordable Care Act allowed this Kailua mom to provide medical coverage for both of her children and save $400 a month, money she used to take care of household needs, including paying down past medical debt. Two years later, the woman's daughter has her own job with medical coverage and has happily started a family. The woman's son graduated from college this past spring with a business degree and will continued to be covered by his mother's medical plan while he pursues his career goals.
The people of Hawaii have benefited from the Affordable Care Act in a variety of other ways, including:
$7.1 million invested in prevention and public health.
$1 million for school-based health centers to expand clinics and provide students with health services.
$6.1 million for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs to connect at-risk families with needed resources.
More than $15 million to plan and establish the Hawaii Health Connector, where people will be able to select the best health plan for their family.
$28.7 million to help medically underserved families at Hawaii's community health centers, including the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Waimanalo Health Center, the Hilo Bay Clinic, West Hawaii Community Health Center, Hana Community Health Center, and Malama I Ke Ola Health Center on Maui.
While yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in support of the Affordable Care Act is good news for our families in Hawaii, I will continue to work to make sure everyone has access to quality health care.
For more information on how the Affordable Care Act is helping Hawaii, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/hi.html.
If you'd like to contact me, please visit my website www.hirono.house.gov to send an email, call my District Office at (808) 541-1986 or send me a tweet at @maziehirono. The direct (free) numbers to call my office from the neighbor islands are:
Hawaii Island -- 935-3756
Kauai & Niihau -- 245-1951
Lanai -- 565-7199
Maui -- 242-1818
Mazie K. Hirono
Member of Congress
2nd District of Hawaii