American Public Health Association
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For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at 202-777-2509 or email us .

APHA Recognizes Six-Month Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

New Set of Life-Saving Benefits Taking Effect Tomorrow as the Next Phase of Health Reform Begins

Washington, D.C., September 22, 2010 – Tomorrow marks the six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, historic legislation designed to fundamentally transform the U.S. health system from a ‘sick care’ system to one that focuses on disease prevention and wellness.

“Last March, the president made history by signing health reform into law and dramatically improving the delivery and financing of health services in the United States after a nearly century-long quest,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, (E), executive director of APHA. “Health reform provides an opportunity to elevate our nation as a top model of health – where everyone has access to quality, affordable care and we can save millions of lives from unnecessary death and suffering through disease prevention.”

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke are the leading cause of premature disability and death and the primary driver of health care costs in our nation. Yet, half of these diseases could be prevented with evidence-based community prevention services included in health reform such as breast and colon cancer screenings and smoking cessation programs.

A new wave of life-saving benefits goes into effect tomorrow, including:

  • a requirement that all health plans must allow children to remain on their parents' plans until age 26;
  • a ban on lifetime benefit limits;
  • a ban on excluding coverage to young people due to a pre-existing condition; and
  • a requirement that all qualified health plans must cover the cost of preventive services rated A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, such as recommended vaccines and preventive care and screenings for women.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at