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April 1, 2010

Post Presidential Signing: Health Care Reform Legislation and ABA Policy

The _ has been tracking the ebb and flow of health care issues as they appear in various reform proposals.  While the ABA supports access to affordable health care for all Americans, it has not taken a formal position on any particular proposal, including the version that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23.  However, the newly enacted legislation contains several ABA-supported initiatives.

For example, the ABA has policy supporting enactment of the Elder Justice Act (S. 795), the provisions of which are contained in the legislation signed by the president. The Elder Justice Act creates a needed infrastructure and provides essential resources necessary to develop and implement a nationally coordinated strategy in collaboration with the states to combat the widespread problem of elder abuse.

The new act also contains ABA-supported provisions that prohibit discrimination in insurance plans based on health status, including evidence of insurability for conditions resulting from acts of domestic violence.  Additionally, the ABA has been active in its support of – and the new act provides for – parity in substance use disorder benefits, such that these benefits will extend to those covered by all qualified health plans in the same way that they already extend to those covered by employer-sponsored health plans.

For a more complete list of issues and outcome click here.

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