The cost of health care is having a major impact on Arkansas families and it is taking an enormous toll on our nation's budget and well-being. This reason is why Presidents and lawmakers of both parties have promised to fix this broken system for more than 40 years. It is also the reason I have worked to make health care more affordable, accessible and reliable for Arkansans. The law we passed, while not perfect, is already making health care more affordable, accessible and reliable. It is benefiting children, adults and seniors throughout our state.
Before health care reform, I heard from an individual in Greenwood who couldn't afford life-saving medicine for his heart condition. He is now one of the 36,000 Arkansas seniors who are saving a collective $30 million on prescription drugs through Medicare. I received a letter from a mom in Fayetteville who can now insure her 5-year-old with Down Syndrome, and an email from Brian in Rogers who was able to purchase health care coverage despite having multiple sclerosis. In fact, in Arkansas more than 35,000 young adults have gained health insurance, 574 individuals with pre-existing conditions were able to buy coverage after being denied in the past and 819,000 individuals received preventive services with no deductible or co-pay. The protections upheld today by the Supreme Court will continue to benefit these families, and thousands of other Arkansans who have struggled with the cost of health care in our country.
I am still analyzing today's ruling. While it provides more certainty, it still allows us to work in a bipartisan way to improve our health care system.