First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discuss the new preventive health care coverage made available under the Affordable Care Act at an event at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. July 14, 2010.
When you hear about the new health reform law these days, too much talk is focused on the political.
What I've found is that most Americans just want to know how this new law helps their families stay healthy -- and how it reduces their costs.
The first thing I tell people who ask about the Affordable Care Act is that, for moms like me, it makes our lives easier. It gives families control over their own care. And it gives us the comfort of knowing that our insurance will be there when we need it most -- especially if we get sick. Then I tell them that it gets better, but there's a lot to know. To help, this administration has set up HealthCare.gov, where folks can see customized information about how care will improve for their families.
So much of what makes this law great is its emphasis on preventive care -- right now, too many people aren't getting the check-ups or the screenings they need to stay healthy. Twelve percent of kids haven't seen a doctor in the past year. And 59 million adults -- and 11 million children -- depend on an insurance plan that does not cover basic immunizations.
Health reform is changing that. Under this new law, all new private plans will provide basic preventive services -- things like childhood immunizations and checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical screenings, and treatment for high blood pressure -- absolutely free of charge. No copay. No deductible. No co-insurance needed.
And, on HealthCare.gov, you can not only learn what preventive steps will help keep your family healthy, but also what insurance coverage options are available based on your needs.
A focus on prevention will help us to combat diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure -- chronic illnesses that right now lead to seven of ten deaths in the United States and 75 percent of our national health care costs.
And it will help us tackle an issue that is dear to my heart -- childhood obesity. As some of you know one of my top priorities as First Lady is the Let's Move! campaign, where we have made it our goal to put a stop to the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so children who are born today grow up at a healthy weight.
Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families, and the new health reform law can help. That's why I'm writing today -- to make sure you and Americans across the country know how their health plans are getting better day by day under reform.
Please visit HealthCare.gov and find out more about your care: