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Franken, McCollum and Ellison help celebrate health care law anniversary Friday at state Capitol

The first anniversary of the new health care law — the Affordable Care Act — will be noted at the state Capitol Friday morning, when Sen. Al Franken and U.S. Reps Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison appear with Minnesotans who've benefited from changes in the law.

The 10 a.m. event in Room 181 of the Capitol also will include:

  • State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger
  • Robianne Schultz of Perham, a cancer survivor
  • Alyssa Arntsen, Duluth, mother of two children with Type I diabetes
  • Lisa Chavelier, Mahtomedi, carrier of a cancer-causing genetic condition
  • Annie Elmer, AIDS survivor.

Also attending will be representatives of a newly formed Minnesota Patient Advocacy Coalition, made up of more than a dozen health and patient groups representing the elderly, the disabled, patients, survivors and caregivers whose lives have been affected by diseases or chronic conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

“For far too long, far too many people have been forced to make the difficult choice between saving their lives and their life savings,” said Robianne Schultz, a cancer patient and member of the Patient Advocacy Coalition. “The Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, includes significant patient protections that need to be fully implemented.”

Supporter of the act cite these key provisions, which:

  • Prohibit discrimination against children and adults with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Extend dependent coverage until age 26.
  • Forbid rescission of insurance coverage.
  • Prohibit lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
  • Prohibit restrictive annual limits on coverage.
  • Guarantee coverage for preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Close the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole.

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