News Releases

(Washington, D.C.)  - Today, Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement on the third anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act. 

“Three  years ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law - a huge victory for the health care security and stability of Washington families. For three years, families and small business owners have benefited from better access and a health care system that no longer works only for those who can afford it. The Affordable Care Act will help put health care decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors, and soon insurance companies will be forced to compete for the business of Washington state families.

“Because of  the Affordable Care Act over 62,000 young adults in Washington have been allowed to keep their health coverage, the Medicare ‘donut hole’ has been closed, giving tens of thousands of Washington seniors increased assistance for prescription drug coverage, and hundreds of thousands of patients will access free preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies.

“I am so proud of all that the Affordable Care Act has done and will continue to do for Washington state.”

Examples of Affordable Care Act Impacts on Washington include:

  • As of December 2011, 62,000 young adults in Washington gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
  • In Washington, people with Medicare saved over $94.9 million on prescription drugs since the law’s enactment.  In 2012 alone, 56,996 individuals in Washington saved over $40.9 million, or an average of $718 per beneficiary.  
  • 1,095,830 women in Washington will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing.
  • 7,681 Washington residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $594,031 in rebates from insurance companies this year, for an average rebate of $185 per family covered by a policy.
  • Washington has received $151,791,012 in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
  • The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Washington, 25 health centers operate 243 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 794,485 people.  Health Center grantees in Washington have received $117,190,756 under the Affordable Care Act to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.
  • $1,050,000 to support the National Health Service Corps, by assisting Washington’s State Loan Repayment Program in repaying educational loans of health care professionals in return for their practice in health professional shortage areas.
  • $1,800,000 to support teaching health centers, creating new residency slots in community health centers.
  • $1,980,000 for the expansion of the Physician Assistant Training Program a five-year initiative to increase the number of physician assistants in the primary care workforce.
  • $2,743,411 for school-based health centers to help clinics expand their capacity to provide more health care services and modernize their facilities.
  • $281,400 for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.
  • $11,624,424 for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs. These programs bring health professionals, social workers, or paraprofessionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn - such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition.

See more information about how health reform is making a difference for the people of Washington.