Six Months In: The "Patient Protection and Affordability Act"
September 23rd, 2010
Today, September 23, 2010, marks six months since President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a historic comprehensive federal health care reform law.
A new report by Health Access California documents the new patient protections in place for California consumers as a result of the new federal health law. The report includes those new consumer protections and option that are coming into effect as a result of the six-month mark since the federal law's enactment on September 23rd, and from California-specific implementation efforts, including potential pending state legislation now on the Governor's desk.
For a copy of this six-month status report on the implementation of health reform in California, go to the Health Access website.
Several patient protections and other elements of that federal law begin to take effect on September 23. The six-month mark also provides an opportunity to review how California consumers are beginning to benefit, what new patient protections are in place or coming soon, and how California is proceeding with efforts to implement and improve upon the new federal law.
Over the next ten years, the new Affordable Care Act will put in place policies to provide new consumer protections and new oversight and rules for insurers; make coverage affordable for individuals, families, and small businesses; and encourage efforts to tame the costs of health care, with benefits for both our economy and our federal deficit.
Some provisions began immediately, many others take effect on September 23, and additional benefits will become available through 2014, when the bulk of reforms are instituted.
Californians are already beginning to feel the effects of reform, including getting additional consumer protections from the most abusive insurance company practices; feeling more secure about their current coverage; and receiving financial assistance to afford coverage for early retirees, seniors, and small businesses. Patients with pre-existing conditions--including children and adults--will have more option and access to coverage starting this month.
The report also details the dozen-plus bills recently passed by the California State Legislature and pending on the Governor's desk that would both bring state law into compliance with PPACA, and in some cases extend consumer protections and benefits beyond federal requirements. In addition to reflecting the unique needs of the state and the support for more robust reform, certain elements may serve as models for other states beginning the process of implementing PPACA.