US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin, Coauthor of the Affordable Care Act, Marks Fourth Anniversary by Urging Iowans to Enroll Before March 31

Friday, March 21, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of the authors of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today commemorated the anniversary of the law’s enactment by urging Iowans to enroll in quality, comprehensive health insurance coverage for 2014 before March 31.

Already, more than five million Americans—including more than 15,000 Iowans—have signed up for health care plans through the Marketplaces. Earlier this week, Harkin released a public service announcement to help spread the word in Iowa about enrolling for health coverage through the ACA.  Listen to Harkin’s public service announcement by clicking here.

“Four years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, families in Iowa and across the country are seeing the benefits of the health reform law. For the first time, virtually all Americans are guaranteed strong consumer protections and access to health coverage, regardless of a preexisting condition. In addition, because of the ACA, covered individuals receive preventive care, including vital services for women, without co-pays or deductibles, as well as coverage of essential health benefits like hospitalization, prescription drugs, and mental health services.

“Above all, the Affordable Care Act is about the promise of the health and financial security that insurance coverage brings. But in order to gain quality, comprehensive coverage for this year, individuals must sign up for coverage by March 31—just over one week away. Iowans can review their options available through our state’s Marketplace—and sign up—by visiting Healthcare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596.”

Harkin, as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA.  He authored the prevention and wellness measures that are part of the law—including the provision that requires health insurance companies to cover recommended preventive screenings with no copays or deductibles—and created the Public Health and Prevention Fund (PHPF). These initiatives help rein in costs across the full health care spectrum and create incentives to prevent chronic disease.  Harkin also serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), which allocates funding for implementation of the health reform law.

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