American Lung Association Applauds Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Statement of Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO:

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2010)

The American Lung Association applauds the passage of health care reform.  While by no means perfect, it will provide health insurance for millions more Americans, including those with lung diseases.

The Lung Association strongly believes prevention and wellness are the foundations of effective healthcare reform.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes important provisions through new patient protection measures, including the ban on lifetime dollar limits on policies, coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and policy cancellations when someone gets sick.  

We are particularly pleased that the new law contains prevention initiatives that will help reduce the staggering health and financial toll of tobacco use, including an expansion of coverage of smoking cessation and other services proven to prevent disease, without cost-sharing by the patient, by group health plans and insurers. While disappointed that the legislation did not extend tobacco cessation coverage to all Medicaid recipients, we believe the legislation will improve health and prevent chronic diseases, such as lung disease, which affects more than 35.4 million Americans, and is the third leading cause of death.

With this new comprehensive health care legislation, the American Lung Association remains committed to working towards a health care system that will substantially improve the lives of all Americans.  We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, the states and our partners in the private and public health care system in the months ahead as we embark on this next phase of U.S. health care reform.

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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: www.Lung.org.