- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2013

Health officials on Monday said President Obama’s health care law deserves credit for making 71 million Americans with private health insurance eligible to receive at least one free service, such as a flu shot or mammogram, in 2011 and 2012.

The Department of Health and Human Services also said about 34 million Americans in Medicare and Medicare Advantage received annual checkups or other services with no out-of-pocket costs because of provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

While House Republicans attempt to repeal the president’s signature law in budget talks, the Obama administration rolled out the report on free services as they celebrate the third anniversary of the law’s passage.

HHS had published a list of preventive services that had to be covered without a co-pay as of Sept. 23, 2010, ranging from blood pressure screening for all adults to screening for type 2 diabetes, HIV and cholesterol problems among high-risk patients.

HHS said the law, often referred to as “Obamacare,” is also keeping consumers’ costs in check because it has eliminated lifetime dollar caps on health benefits and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to patients with preexisting conditions.

“Preventing illnesses before they become serious and more costly to treat helps Americans of all ages stay healthier,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “No longer do Americans have to choose between paying for preventive care and groceries.”

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