State of the Union: Building on the Early Success of Health Reform

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<p>Last night's State of the Union address was the first since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. In a <a href="/blog/2011/state-union-building-early-success-health-reform">new blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis responds to the speech, in which the President highlighted some of the benefits that Americans are seeing from this landmark piece of legislation. Among those already being helped: </p>
<li>adults and children with preexisting conditions, who now have improved access to affordable, comprehensive coverage;  </li>
<li>seniors, who have reduced prescription drug costs with the phasing out of the "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D coverage;  </li>
<li>young adults up to age 26, who can stay on or join their parents' health plans; and </li>
<li>small business owners, who can receive a tax credit to cover a portion of health insurance premiums for employees. </li>
<p>President Obama also noted that the law will save the federal budget a quarter of a trillion dollars over 10 years, and will slow the growth in health care costs. </p>
<p>"The changes included in the Affordable Care Act should enable us to enter an era of efficiency in health care that will make our health system truly sustainable," says Davis, pointing to upcoming health care payment and delivery reforms, such as new incentives for hospitals to reduce potentially preventable readmissions.</p>
<p>"Health reforms such as these—if implemented carefully—will help ensure we reduce our national deficit and stabilize the economy, and provide all Americans with affordable health care and financial security." <br /></p>