Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Opinion: US Secretary Of Health On Preventive Healthcare

                         [Secretary Kathleen Sebelius]

By Kathleen Sebelius

Good afternoon,

Many of us know women whose lives have been saved by breast cancer screening. Yet, one in five women over 50 hasn't received a mammogram in the last two years. Nothing is more important to us than the health of our children, but nearly one out of eight children hasn't seen a doctor in the last year.

For too long, our health care system has focused on treating the sick, and not on keeping people healthy. Preventive health care like cancer screenings, cholesterol tests and even flu shots saves lives and reduces health care costs, but too many Americans face a tough choice between paying for preventive care and putting food on the table for their families.

The Affordable Care Act is helping to change that by making it easier to access basic preventive care.

Last week, I joined the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden -- two of our country's top health leaders -- to announce that starting in the fall, all new health insurance plans will be required to cover recommended preventive services with no deductible, copay or coinsurance.

Nearly half of all Americans suffer from chronic disease, and seven out of 10 deaths in our country are due to chronic illness. Many of these illnesses can be prevented. By spending our resources on stopping chronic illness before it starts, we can keep more people healthy and reduce health care costs.

Starting in September, preventive services like blood pressure tests, many cancer screenings, well-baby and well-child visits will be free for millions of Americans. By giving people the tools they need to lead healthier lives, we’ll be putting our country’s health resources where they can have the most impact.

To learn more about Affordable Health Care Act's new rules on preventive care click here:


Access to preventive care is just one of the ways the Affordable Care Act is making America healthier. To find out more about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.