American Lung Association Releases Top Ten Lung Health Benefits from the Affordable Care Act

Washington, D.C. (February 24, 2011)

Editor’s note: The American Lung Association’s slideshow presentation is available online:

The American Lung Association strongly supports the Affordable Care Act and urges members of Congress to stand up for the millions of Americans affected by lung disease.

Changes required by the law are already making a difference to millions of people with lung disease; such as lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); as well as people who are at risk for lung disease, like smokers. The following are ten reasons why it is crucial that the Affordable Care Act remain law.

Top Ten Lung Health Benefits from the Affordable Care Act:

  1. Americans who have pre-existing conditions, like asthma and COPD, can no longer be denied health insurance.
  2. Millions of Americans who couldn’t get health insurance before will now be able to. This means people with asthma and other respiratory conditions will have options for receiving medical treatment other than going to the ER.
  3. Insurance companies are prohibited from taking away coverage when a patient gets sick with a condition like lung cancer.
  4. Pregnant women on Medicaid are required to have coverage of quit smoking treatments and medications.
  5. All new private insurance plans must cover treatments that help smokers quit.
  6. The Prevention and Public Health Fund will provide funding to community-based prevention and public health efforts, including coverage of quit smoking treatments and programs that help people control their asthma.
  7. The Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole” will close – meaning Medicare will no longer stop paying for medications after patients spend a certain dollar amount per year. Previously people with serious lung disease like COPD and lung cancer had significant out of pocket expenses because of this gap in coverage.
  8. People with Medicare are now eligible for an annual, free wellness visit focused on health prevention.
  9. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to limit the amount of money they will spend on a patient during his or her lifetime. Patients with serious diseases like lung cancer sometimes meet these limits and then are denied further coverage for that condition.
  10. Young people under the age of 26 can remain on their parents’ health insurance plan. This is really important for young adults with asthma.

The American Lung Association encourages everyone to let members of Congress know how important the Affordable Care Act is for people with lung disease. Take action here.


About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: