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The Affordable Care Act and Women’s Health: White House Roundtable
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments over the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s sweeping and controversial health care reform law, the White House hosted a roundtable discussion on the law’s impact on women and families. WebMD and 10 female-focused websites and bloggers were invited to join the discussion with Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy, Jeanne Lambrew.
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and is rolling out over the course of four years. Its biggest impact, extending health insurance to approximately 30 million people, doesn’t kick in until 2014.
DeParle said that the biggest criticism of the law that contains the most misinformation is “that it does nothing to control costs.” As an example, she said that Medicare spending per beneficiary is about the lowest it has ever been. Lambrew added that the White House plans to release information Thursday indicating that premium growth has slowed for health insurance.
Another criticism DeParle addressed was the individual mandate, the part of the law that requires everyone to purchase health insurance. The mandate’s legality will be debated during next week’s Supreme Court hearings. “A lot of people think that the so-called individual mandate is a huge new imposition on their liberty based on what they’ve heard from some, when, in fact, for many, most, I suppose, Americans, nothing is going to change,” DeParle said. “They’ll just check a box that says ‘Yes, I have insurance.’” The government will help cover the cost of insurance for those who can’t afford it.