FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
CONTACT: MARA LEE
Applauds New Health Care Reform Benefits and Coverage of Critical Preventive Health Services
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) joined First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at an event at the George Washington University Hospital to announce new preventive health care coverage made available through the historic health care legislation enacted earlier this year, the Affordable Care Act.
“I am pleased to join the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary Sebelius today to announce further protections made available through the recently enacted health care reform bill,” Congresswoman Matsui said at the event. “The provisions announced today will make preventive care affordable to millions of Americans—an estimated 41 million Americans will reap the benefits of free preventive care services within the next year—and save billions of dollars and thousands of lives as a result.”
The First Lady recognized Rep. Matsui’s leadership on the health care bill, who with her colleague Rep. Louis Capps (D-Santa Barbara) and others helped to champion the inclusion of preventive measures into health reform. “I want to recognize Congresswoman Lois Capps and Congresswoman Doris Matsui, who worked so hard to help make health care reform a reality,” Michelle Obama said. “Thank you for being here.”
“Four months ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law,” continued Obama. “After decades of trying, this landmark bill finally puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will give families the control they need over their health care… And it also focuses on prevention. Because we know that the best way to keep our families healthy and cut health care costs is to keep people from getting sick in the first place. That’s why today, we’re taking an unprecedented step towards implementing a provision that requires all new private health insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical screenings, treatment for high blood pressure, childhood immunizations, and measuring BMI. And these services would come without a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.”
Under the new rules, insurance plans can no longer charge copayments or other fees for a slate of preventive services. This regulation will take effect on September 23rd of this year, and applies to plans that are new after that, meaning that people will need to update their existing coverage after that date to benefit from the change. Preventive services that will qualify include breast and colon cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, cholesterol and blood pressure tests, tobacco cessation, and tetanus shots. For children, the change will apply to pediatrician visits, vision and hearing screening, developmental assessments, immunizations and screening for obesity.
“Many of the services some of us may take for granted, such as yearly cancer screenings or routine vaccines, are unavailable to millions of Americans due to the burden of cost,” Matsui said. “And every day, lives are lost to illnesses that could have been prevented had they been caught sooner. In a country as advanced as America, this is simply unacceptable. I applaud these new provisions and look forward to seeing people from my hometown of Sacramento and all across the country reap the benefits of free preventive care services in the years to come.”
More details can be found at the new health care resource website designed to help Americans learn how the new law can help them and their families: www.healthcare.gov.
A specific list of preventive services covered can be found by clicking HERE.
And to see pictures of today’s event, please visit the Congresswoman’s Facebook page, available by clicking HERE .