Categorized | Health

Akaka touts health care improvements


March 23 marks the two-year anniversary of the passage of the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka issued the following statement Thursday:

“In just its first two years, the Affordable Care Act has created major improvements in health care delivery across the United States and increased access to health care for millions of Americans, including our children, young adults, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases.

“Health care reform has given families the security of knowing that they will still be covered even if they find themselves unemployed or change jobs. It has slowed increasing costs and improved the quality and availability of services.

“Last year alone, over 54 million men, women, and children received new preventative coverage without cost sharing, and another 34.5 million gained free access to it through Medicare. These preventative services include critical women’s health services such as mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception.

“More than 32 million senior citizens now have access to additional health services through Medicare, 2.5 million young people under age 26 have gained coverage on their parents’ plans, and 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime limits on health plan coverage.

“In Hawaii, health care reform led to millions of dollars in savings for both the state and individuals. Hawaii residents with Medicare coverage saved over $6.8 million on prescription drugs last year alone.

“Since 2010, the state has received $15.4 million for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges; $7.8 million to improve public health; and $4 million to fight unreasonable premium increases.

“In addition, Hawaii community health centers, which provide health care to the underserved and underinsured communities throughout the state, have received $16.8 million.

“As these figures demonstrate, the status of and access to health care in Hawaii and across the United States has improved dramatically since passage of the Affordable Care Act.

“It is important that we build on this progress and continue to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to the most effective health care available.”

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