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It has been almost four years since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) into law. The Act provided a timeline for implementation of various reforms through the course of many years. Americans nationwide are already starting to enjoy the benefits. The benefits will be even more widespread as more people see the quality of coverage rise and costs decrease.

In 2010, the law illegalized denial of coverage to children based on pre-existing condition, established a method for consumers to appeal any insurance company decision, and created a mandate for free preventive care (such as mammograms and colonoscopies). In addition, and perhaps most important to the College Democrat, the ACA permitted young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.

In 2011, broad-scope improvements for seniors, such as prescription discounts, preventive care, and post-hospital care took effect.

In 2012, quality care became incentivized. In particular, hospitals and physicians are now rewarded for quality of care.

In 2013, the law mandated the expansion of Medicaid. In addition, on October 1, 2013, the insurance marketplace became open to enrollment. If you fail to sign up for open enrollment you may be assessed a fee when you file your income taxes unless you are currently covered.

2014 brings a new era: Pre-existing conditions for everyone will no longer be an issue; the middle class will receive tax credits to make insurance affordable; the marketplace is fully open and offers a new breath of transparency into the industry; medicaid will be expanded to more people who are in need of it.

College Democrats stood with the President when he first introduced his vision during his first campaign for the Presidency and will continue to improve health care for all. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you know someone who doesn’t, be sure to sign up with the marketplace at http://www.healthcare.gov/ and share the link with those who don’t!