FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Six Months after Health Reform, New Law Offers Promise and Potential, But Leaders Say Effective Implementation is Key

Applause & Optimism are Well-Deserved, But Must be Coupled with Commitment to Ensure that Reform Helps Those Who Rely on our Health Care System the Most

WASHINGTON, DC — September 23, 2010 — Six months ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and today, patients and families are beginning to reap rewards. The Campaign for Better Care is working to ensure that everyone will have comprehensive, coordinated, high quality health care.

"For the older Americans with multiple health problems who rely on the system most, improving coordination and quality of care is especially critical. At long last, the new law puts that within reach. Soon, essential preventive care like blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screening will be free, and the building blocks will be in place to improve care coordination, reduce harmful medication interactions, prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, and improve communication among doctors and patients," said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, which leads the Campaign for Better Care. "That is what patients, especially older adults and the families who care for them, need most. I’m optimistic that we are finally on the road to creating a health care system that works for our most vulnerable patients."

Among the benefits from the Affordable Care Act so far: the new law is helping to close the donut hole for Medicare beneficiaries, creating new patient protections, making it possible for people to get better information and compare health insurance plans online, and laying the groundwork for new approaches that will improve coordination and help people get better care.

"We are especially hopeful about the increase in access to coverage for low-income families and its potential to reduce disparities. The new patient protections in the Affordable Care Act will finally mean families can get the care they need, when they need it, without fear of being denied because of their age or a pre-existing condition," said Emily Spitzer, Executive Director of the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), a Campaign for Better Care partner. "It’s about time."

"When you ask consumers if their doctors are able to spend enough time with them or whether they talk to each other, too often the answer is 'no,'" said Rob Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, which is running six state Campaign for Better Care operations. "The new law puts a premium on preventive care and takes steps to help providers spend more time with patients. As these important changes go into effect, we’re building a movement to demand the better quality, better coordinated care everyone deserves."

The Campaign for Better Care is led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, Community Catalyst and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP). It is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.