SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) Millions of Californians have already benefited from the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, according to a report released on Thursday from Health Access—a consumer non-profit group.

Anthony Wright, the executive director for Health Access, said the Affordable Care Act—which just celebrated its third anniversary of Congress’ passage—has been a real “game changer” in California.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“We think this is as important to California’s future, as transformative as the railroad or the establishment of the University of California. This is moment of transformational change,” said Wright.

Even though Obamacare won’t be fully implemented until next year, the report states that many people like Spike Dolomite Ward, who was diagnosed last year with stage III breast cancer without insurance, have received life-saving care.

“I called, they took me through some very simple steps of what it would take for me to apply for coverage and within a couple of weeks, I was receiving treatment,” Dolomite said.

“I went from being the unluckiest person in the world to the luckiest all in the same day, and the quality of my care has been outstanding.”

The report stated that it has also helped over 400,000 young adults in California who can continue coverage through their parents’ insurance until they are 26 and the. In addition, over 21,000 who had been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions could also receive care.

Wright, however, said the challenge is not over and urge lawmakers to quickly prepare for the full implementation in January 2014.

“There’s a lot more work to do. We do feel significant urgency on putting in place the legislation, the regulations and the system,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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