From Jim Duffett
Executive Director, Campaign for Better Health Care
It has been one year since the historic vote that made the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a federal law, putting America on the path towards a system of quality, affordable health care for all. We have a lot to celebrate as we continue to implement and enforce our consumer protections here in Illinois.
Through the passage of health insurance reform, we have brought some of the most abusive practices of the insurance industry to an end, and instituted new rights and benefits for all. From birth to death, Americans now enjoy health care security and protection in new ways. Already in Illinois:
- 47,200 young adults in Illinois are now eligible to stay on their parentsâ€™ coverage through age 26
- Tens of thousands of small businesses receive tax credits that help them offer their employees coverage
- 7.5 million people in our state no longer need to worry about hitting a lifetime cap on benefits because of the ACA
- 612,000 Illinoisans will not have their insurance coverage rescinded when they get sick and need it most
- 1.8 million seniors are now eligible for free wellness care, and 109,421 of them received help in meeting the costs of their prescription drugs while in the Medicare Part D coverage gap
Despite all the benefits that the new law offers, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it is a good start towards health care security for all Americans. It makes sense that the Illinois General Assembly builds upon the protections and rights of this law as we move ahead to work for a system of quality, affordable health care for all.
Health care is the key to economic security and opportunity for millions of Illinois’ working families, children, seniors, individuals and small businesses.Â Here at the one-year mark, the Campaign for Better Health Care applauds those that voted for the passage of the Affordable Care Act in Washington last year, and we encourage our elected officials in Springfield to move forward with the implementation of the required components of this law so that all Illinoisans can enjoy its benefits.