The Affordable Care Act: Real Help for Real Rural People

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Since then numerous provisions have been implemented that impact health insurance coverage and provide new, affordable health care benefits for millions of Americans.
Moreover, many of these provisions are particularly applicable to rural people because of the demographics and unique economic circumstances of rural areas, as a new Center for Rural Affairs’ report entitled The Affordable Care Act: Real Help for Real Rural People (, demonstrates.

Where possible, this report estimates how many rural residents and families have used or benefited from Affordable Care Act provisions. These rural participation estimates are unique to this report, extrapolating rural participation from general public participation data and, thereby, demonstrating the importance of these provisions to America’s rural communities.

Preventive health care for Medicare recipients (32.5 million seniors helped, 6.8 million rural seniors) or the privately insured (54 million people helped, 8.9 million rural), lifting lifetime limits (105 million helped, 17.3 million rural), and insuring children with pre-existing conditions (17 million helped, 3 million rural) are just a few of the Affordable Care Act provisions that are making a real difference in the lives of real people.

As the Affordable Care Act begins its third year it is crucial to reflect on what the law actually does to make health care more accessible and affordable, especially for millions of rural Americans who have faced stern challenges in finding and accessing quality, affordable health care coverage in years past.

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