HHS Secretary Sebelius Talks Health Care Law with Mayors
By Crystal Swann
January 30, 2012
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the special guest of the Children, Health and Human Services Standing Committee for an hour long discussion on the implementation process of the new health care law due to go into effect in 2014. Committee Chair Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and Vice Chair Washington (DC) Mayor Vincent Gray welcomed the Secretary as she waded through the intricacies of the affordable care act and interacted with members of the committee.
In a presentation entitled, The Affordable Care Act and You, Sebelius outlined the need for the act as well as it would benefit the individuals and cities by highlighting first the problem. "Fifty million Americans were uninsured and tens of millions more had coverage that didn't cover critical treatments and preventive care. And many of us who had insurance didn't understand the basics of our plan and were afraid we could lose it if our employer dropped coverage or we switched jobs or retired," stated Sebelius.
In the most abusive situations, skyrocketing premium costs and no accountability by private insurers to a comprehensive coverage package, American families were left either with no insurance coverage and subject to abusive practices by companies who dropped clients when the costs became to high. However, "the health care law builds on what works in our health care system. And it fixes what's broken by making improvements in four key areas. It protects you from the worst insurance company abuses. It makes health care more affordable. It gives you better access to care. And it strengthens Medicare," stated Sebelius.
The Affordable Care Act is perhaps one of the most significant ways cities can improve health care in their cities while simultaneously cutting the city's health care costs according to Sebelius. The new law extends health care coverage to 34 million previously uninsured Americans and "no one will benefit more than cities" from this historic legislation said Sebelius.
At the conclusion of her presentation, Sebelius answered questions and engaged in a discussion with the mayors present. More information about the affordable care act is available on the website www.healthcare.gov.