Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association
“As the Affordable Care Act begins executing several important provisions APHA applauds the President and supportive members of Congress for creating a healthier nation, while urging Americans to take full advantage of the unprecedented health benefits at their fingertips.
“Beginning tomorrow more than 25 million Americans who were previously uninsured will get the gift of better health and longer life, thanks largely to the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid expansion. In addition millions more will benefit from preventive health services that help them avoid sickness, live longer and healthier and do so at lower costs.
“This isn’t just about the number of enrollees; it’s about a commitment to improving our health. For too long our nation has not gotten the value for our health care dollar. But thanks to the ACA longstanding issues of costs, quality and access are finally being addressed. Prevention is now playing a stronger role in our health system from clinical preventive services to population-based programs.
“The ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund made tremendous strides in 2013, from bolstering the infrastructure of our public health system to helping avoid 12,000 infections in health care facilities and helping more than 100,000 former smokers to quit. These gains only scratch the surface of our potential to save lives and money, and demonstrate the benefits of a national public health investment.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now requires our full support to reap its benefits. 2014 is the year to make that happen. Let’s make this our New Year’s Resolution.”
For more about APHA, visit www.apha.org.