AFSC celebrates the United States’ historic new healthcare reform law. After a difficult year-long debate, the Senate passed a healthcare bill on December 24 and the House on March 21. On March 23, President Obama signed the legislation, H.R. 4872, into law.

The law increases economic justice and human security and will save an estimated 35,000 lives a year. The law will increase access to coverage for 32 million uninsured people and reduce healthcare disparities, a cause and result of economic injustice.

In advocating for this legislation, AFSC and other faith groups called for “a society where every person is afforded health, wholeness and human dignity” (see the full statement at FaithfulReform.org). 

While the law does not include all of our priorities, it is a major step towards AFSC’s goal of universal health care in the United States.

People will begin seeing some benefits immediately and others within six months. The remaining changes will phase in over four years.
 
AFSC encourages you to educate yourself and others about what this law means for your family and the nation.

Distortions and fear-mongering, as well as honest differences of opinion, have led to high degree of polarization. By helping people understand what is in the law, AFSC hopes to reduce that.

Our work is not done with the passage of this historic legislation. We must be vigilant in watching that health-insurance industry regulations and affordability provisions are enforced. And we must seek opportunities to build on this foundation.