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Turning the Affordable Care Act into a Reality

Summary: 
HHS Secretary Sebelius gives an update on implementing the Affordable Care Act, including bipartisan meetings, webchats and a new website.

Today I continued my series of bipartisan outreach meetings to engage leaders from inside and outside of government as we implement the Affordable Care Act.  It’s been just over three months since health insurance reform became law, and already Americans are gaining greater control over their health care.  As we work to turn the new law into reality for families, businesses, and individuals across the country, we’ve been getting some great insight from leaders in all sectors, as well as directly from the American people.

HHS Secretary Sebelius met with bipartisan leaders from inside and outside of government to discuss implementing the Affordable Care Act. (L-R: Dr. Mark McClellan, former CMS Administrator and former FDA Commissioner, Nancy Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, Secretary Tommy Thompson, and Senator Tom Daschle.) HHS photo by Chris Smith.

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I was pleased to join my colleague Nancy-Ann DeParle, who is overseeing health care implementation on behalf of the President, in hosting former Senate majority Leader Tom Daschle,  former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, and Dr. Mark McClellan, former CMS Administrator and former FDA Commissioner,  at the Department today.  They offered some great ideas about implementation and outreach, suggestions about strategies to make sure that the Affordable Care Act is successful, and I will continue to draw on their experience in the months ahead.

We know that all Americans have an interest in what is happening in implementing the Affordable Care Act.  Over the past few months, we’ve been meeting with Members of Congress and their staff, insurers, Governors, State Insurance Commissioners, advocates, senior citizens, employers, health care providers and others  to answer questions, provide updates, and gather input and advice.  We’ve also been answering questions directly from the American people through webchats that focus on different parts of the new law. 

Tomorrow, we will launch an unprecedented, easy to use website, HealthCare.gov, where consumers and small business owners will be able to compare health plans and find information on the new law and other important health topics.  Tomorrow is also the day when many Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing health condition will be able to start enrolling in new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans throughout the country.

We encourage you to check out the new website tomorrow and visit it often for the latest updates on how the new law will impact you.

Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of Health and Human Services