The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and was subsequently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012. Since the act took effect, a number of provisions have benefitted Americans with heart disease and stroke. Although no law is perfect, the ACA largely aligns with the association’s six, patient-centered principles for reform. Implementation of the ACA will play an important role in helping the American Heart Association reach its 2020 goals to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The law’s provisions expand access to affordable health insurance coverage, including the preventive care and medicines to reduce an individual’s risk factors as well as the range of services patients need to recover from heart disease or stroke; place a stronger emphasis on community prevention and wellness; and improve the quality of care that patients receive.
Our federal advocacy priorities for the health insurance coverage are:
- Implementation of the ACA’s insurance reforms so that people with pre-existing medical conditions are no longer denied or dropped from coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.
- Work to ensure that the new state-based insurance marketplaces are easy-to-use, consumer friendly one-stop places to shop for adequate health insurance coverage with financial assistance to make premiums affordable.
- Encourage states to expand Medicaid in order to provide low-income Americans with or at risk for cardiovascular disease access to affordable coverage.