Putting the focus on patients instead of politics, the newly formed Minnesota Patient Advocacy Coalition will hold a press conference this morning to mark the one year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The coalition, consisting of more than a dozen health and patient groups representing the elderly, the disabled, patients, survivors and caregivers whose lives have been impacted by diseases or chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis, is dedicated to giving patients a stronger voice in the capitol and improving access to affordable health care for all Minnesotans.
“For far too long, far too many people have been forced to make the difficult choice between saving their lives and their life savings,” said Robianne Schultz, a cancer patient and member of the Patient Advocacy Coalition. “The Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, includes significant patient protections that need to be fully implemented.”
Patient stories from across the state will be highlighted at the event with patient contact information made available at the press conference. The following patients will share their stories of how they have benefited from the Affordable Care Act:Robianne Schultz, Perham, MN, cancer survivor; Alyssa Arntsen, Duluth, MN, mother of two children with Type I diabetes; Lisa Chavelier, Mahtomedi, MN, carrier of a cancer-causing genetic condition; Annie Elmer, Cottage Grove, MN, HIV positive patient; Kelli Carlson, Woodbury, MN, psoriatic arthritis patient
Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger, M.D., will give a brief overview of Affordable Care Act implementation in Minnesota. Also appearing will be U.S. Senator Al Franken, U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum and U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison
Key Patient Provisions of Affordable Care Act include: Prohibit discrimination against children and adults with pre-existing medical conditions; Dependent coverage extended until age 26; No rescission of insurance coverage; Prohibit lifetime limits on insurance coverage; Prohibit restrictive annual limits on coverage; Guarantee coverage for preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs; Close the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole.