In this Issue
105 Million Americans Free from Lifetime Limits on Coverage
On March 5, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that 105 million Americans—including 11.8 million Latinos and 10.4 million African Americans—no longer have to face lifetime dollar limits on health benefits through their insurance coverage. This is just one of the many consumer protections included in health reform. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these individuals are able to get the care they need.
More than 1 Million Minority Young Adults with Coverage
On March 7, HHS released data showing that 1.3 million minority young adults—including roughly 736,000 Latinos, 410,000 blacks, 97,000 Asian Americans, and 29,000 American Indian/Alaska Natives—have secured health coverage as a result of health reform. Thanks to the provision that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, it’s easier for Americans of all backgrounds to get affordable health coverage.
Blunt Amendment Fails in Senate, Women’s Health Firestorm Continues
After the White House accommodated on the rule mandating contraception coverage for religiously affiliated institutions, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a bill that would exempt any employer from providing required health services in coverage plans due to a moral objection. Fortunately, the bill was tabled by a 51-48 vote in the Senate on the first of the month. However, the birth control issue continued making headlines, as offensive comments made by Rush Limbaugh triggered a major backlash against the conservative’s radio program.
HHS Releases Final Regulations for Exchange Establishment
On March 12, the Department of Health and Human Services issued the final regulations and guidelines for the establishment of state exchanges, the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act to increase competition, quality, and consumer choice. While the regulations emphasize flexibility for states, they achieve important consumer protections, such as the requirement that each exchange have at least one voting exchange board member who is a representative of consumer interests and the assurance that Navigators will be available to help consumers sort through the expanded coverage options.
Funding & Fellowship Opportunities
Happy Birthday Affordable Care Act
|Don’t forget to celebrate the many gains made under the Affordable Care Act during its two-year anniversary on March 23. Happy birthday, health reform!
Supreme Court Watch
At the end of the month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Check out Families USA’s Supreme Court Watch and the Stand up for Health Care Supreme Court Central to learn more about the arguments and to see what advocates can do to protect the gains made under health reform.
- 2012 National Health Promotion Summit
April 10-11, 2012
- 2012 Symposium on U.S. Health Care
April 10, 2012
- 9th Annual National Leadership Summit on Health Disparities/CBC Health Braintrust
April 23-24, 2012
- NMPHA and UNM National Health Disparities 2012 Joint Conference: Integration, Innovation, & Inspiration—Creating a Healthy New Mexico
April 26, 2012
- Missouri Health Equity Conference: Healthy Lives, Healthy Communities—Building Health Equity in Missouri, One Community at a Time
April 27, 2012
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