News Release

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Austin Price,
CALPIRG
Michael Russo,
U.S.PIRG

Health Care Reform Benefiting Californians

For Immediate Release

Stories from Californians Benefiting from Health Care Reform

Sacramento, CA - Today marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, and although many of the most profound changes start in 2014, hundreds of thousands of Californians are already benefiting:

  • 355,927 Californians under the age of 26 now receive insurance through their parents’ health insurance plan

“My daughter, now 19 years old, is benefiting from health care

reform. Diagnosed with a heart murmur, even though benign, she would

not have been able to get health care on her own; she works in an

industry that does not offer health care benefits to their employees.

With health care reform, I am able to keep her insured on my health

care plan offered by my employer.” 

Lisa Moats, Santa Cruz, CA

  • 6,181,000 Californians’ health insurance companies added new, free preventative care services to their health care plans

I like that many common sense things are free of charge.  These things

are generally preventative health care like childhood vaccinations, flu

shots and birth control/family planning items.  These upfront costs to

the insurance companies will greatly reduce healthcare costs to them

(and the country and society) in the long run.”

Laurie Winslow, Palo Alto, CA

  • 456,500 California small business owners are eligible to take advantage of tax credits.

Our employees are paid living wages or better, including health benefits.

Reform provided us with a $6,500 rebate on our 2010 health insurance

costs. This is of enormous benefit to us. We look forward to the rebate

for 2011 and will use it wisely to support our employees and provide

service to our community.”  

Nancy Macy, Boulder Creek, CA

  • Individuals with pre-existing conditions have new access to coverage with over 8,600 Californians getting coverage in a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will be outlawed completely in 2014.

I have a pre-existing condition, that under former health care regs,

could easily have prevented me from being re-insured by my latest job.

I have cancer, and even though I am now beyond the necessity of expensive treatment, I could never have afforded the follow up medications I have

been prescribed.

Without insurance that does not discriminate against pre-existing

conditions, I could never get the medications I need at a price I could

afford. It would have come down to not getting them at all.” 

Kathleen O’Connell, Berkeley, CA

In addition to these benefits, health reform is also helping reduce costs.  Rate review saved California consumers $127 million in 2011 and new exchanges will give individuals and small businesses more bargaining power.  

“Debate over the ACA continues in the presidential primary contest and will be amplified as the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear challenges to the law starting Monday.

But despite all the bickering in Washington, for real people these changes mean real relief.  And anyone who is serious about the long-term fiscal health of our country, has got to be serious about health care reform.  The ACA is a big step in the right direction,” said Austin Price, Health Care Associate for CALPIRG.

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CALPIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization. For more information, visit http://calpirg.org

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