The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more accurate when talking about public health in America. When we catch health problems early and treat them accordingly, we end up saving lives—and money—in the process.
A recent article by Charles Fiegl reports that U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has drafted a strategy focused on preventive health care. It is important that Americans stay healthy as we approach 2014, when tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans will gain health insurance.
It doesn’t even need to be said that women play an integral role in the health care of many others, including their children, their parents, and their families as a whole. And though women make up half of the U.S. population, for years they have not received treatment equal to men in the health care system. Health reform aims to eliminate this unfair treatment.
It has always seemed backward that those who need insurance the most—people who are already sick—are turned down for coverage or forced to pay higher premiums. Thanks to the new health law, insurers will no longer be able to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions by charging them higher premiums or denying them coverage. A recent Families USA report, Worry No More: Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Are Protected by the Health Care Law, shows just how many people across the nation stand to gain from this portion of the health law.
For Medicare beneficiaries, there was a host of good news from the federal government last week.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), premiums for prescription drug coverage will not rise in 2012, more seniors are now receiving preventive care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and beneficiaries who have reached the doughnut hole are receiving a 50% discount on prescription drugs.
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law last March, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been working around the clock to implement its provisions. As part of their efforts, HHS recently announced that the federal government is making a $750 million investment in prevention.
We recently asked you, the members of the Stand Up for Health Care community, to let us know how health reform will affect your lives. The response was overwhelming. And while opponents of reform are relying on tired old rhetoric, we’ve collected stories from people like you whose lives will be better thanks to health reform.
Jean from Minnesota told us,
Having a baby is a wonderful and joyous experience, but it can also be expensive. Very expensive. From the prenatal care, to the birthing costs, to making sure you have all the right tools and gadgets necessary to raise a happy and healthy baby—the costs can add up.
Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decided to adopt all of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) eight recommendations for fully covered preventive services. This step is a huge improvement for women’s health—especially because of two services that are included that focus on maternal care. The first is screening for gestational diabetes, and the second is lactation counseling and equipment.
Q: I supported health care reform and was so elated when it passed, however...Now I hear of cuts in payments to doctors for Medicare. Many doctors refuse Medicare patients already, but with more cuts there will be no medical care for seniors. Supplement plans won't cover anything that Medicare doesn't cover, or doctors that don't take Medicare. Health insurance for seniors is a near impossibility. So does health care reform mean health care on the back of seniors?