At Two-Years Old, The Affordable Care Act Has Helped Millions, But Many People Are Unaware of Its Benefits

Conference call highlights the many ways the ACA has helped Illinois and other American families

 (CHICAGO -- MARCH 19, 2012) The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been undeniably responsible for making a difference for the lives of millions in the two short years since it was signed into law. On the occasion of its anniversary on March 23rd, there is a lot to celebrate.

The Affordable Care Act has:

  • Because of the provision allowing parents to keep their children under  age 26 on their family’s coverage, ensured that 2.5 million young adults nationwide (102,659 in IL as of June 2011) are covered by insurance
  • Made sure that people with pre-existing conditions (a group that has traditionally been denied insurance by private companies) now have affordable options for insurance
  • Begun to close the prescription drug “donut hole”, thereby making prescription drugs affordable for seniors on Medicare. In 2011, 144,226 Illinois seniors received a 50 percent discount on their prescriptions, resulting in a total savings of $96,216,548 in Illinois
  • Made it possible in 2011 for 54 million Americans with private health insurance to receive preventive care without a co-pay and for 1,353,031 people in Illinois with Medicare to receive free preventive care, including mammograms and colonoscopies

“The Affordable Care Act has been of significant benefit to too many people for it not to be recognized,” said Margaret Stapleton, Director, Community Justice; Attorney-advocate, Health Care Justice, Shriver Center. “The system isn’t perfect but it already is much better for many millions because of the ACA. Unfortunately, there is an information gap and too many people are unaware of the advantages that health reform already has garnered, so they don’t take part. The ACA anniversary conference call will be used to educate on the reforms already in place and more coming on line by 2014.”

Speakers Include:

  • Kathy Chan, Associate Director; Director of Policy and Advocacy, Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition
  • Barbara Otto, CEO; Director, HDA Counseling, Health and Disability Advocates
  • Caitlin Padula, Attorney-advocate, Health Care Justice, Shriver Center
  • Margaret Stapleton, Director, Community Justice; Attorney-advocate, Health Care Justice, Shriver Center

When: Friday, March 23rd, 10 a.m.

Call-in number: 218.862.1300, Code 947593

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