While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) focuses on expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, it also contains significant investments and policy changes to support individual and community prevention. The law established a new Prevention and Public Health Fund that funds public health and primary care, and Community Transformation Grants to promote health equity by changing the environments in which we work and live. These grants are administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, monies in the Fund are vulnerable – the Fund has already been the target of several attempts to divert them for other purposes.
The ACA also requires preventive services to be available at no cost by new commercial health insurance policies. This went into effect for Medicare recipients in January 2011 and was incentivized (with full federal funding) for Medi-Cal beginning in 2013.