Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2013
—The American Public Health Association welcomed tomorrow’s launch of the Health Insurance Marketplace in every U.S. state as another vital step toward achieving a safer, healthier nation. Set forth by the Affordable Care Act, all Americans using the marketplace will be guaranteed access to health care and a range of preventive services including cancer screenings, vaccinations, care for managing chronic diseases, and mental health and substance use services.
“This is a defining moment in the transformation of our U.S. health system,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans will finally have greater access to affordable, quality care and preventive health services. The marketplace gives preventive care to Americans who never had it before, especially the 44,000 who die prematurely every year because they lack health insurance.”
Under marketplace and Medicaid expansion provisions, 25 million uninsured Americans will gain health coverage within 10 years and even more will lower their health costs. This expansion of coverage joins key ACA-related prevention provisions such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund already working to improve the health of Americans through proven community-based preventive health services and strengthening of the public health work force and infrastructure.
“At long last, our health system can begin to save both lives and money,” Benjamin said. “We already know that our nation spends 75 percent of its health care dollars on preventable diseases. By bringing more people into the system, the marketplace will protect more people than ever before from avoidable health problems.
“With the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the Affordable Care Act took its first step toward slowing growing rates of health costs and chronic disease,” Benjamin said. “The marketplace is proof positive that our health system is working to champion the health of all people and all communities.”
U.S. citizens who are currently uninsured, or who purchase coverage on their own, can gain health insurance by going to Healthcare.gov, or Cuidadodesalud.gov for Spanish speakers.
For more about APHA, visit www.apha.org.