Posted on January 20, 2012 by scjustice
One Year Later:
What if Congress Had Repealed the Affordable Care Act?
For too long, too many hard working Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies with few protections for patients or providers. Nearly two years ago, President Obama signed health reform – the Affordable Care Act – into law. The law gives hard working families the security they deserve, makes insurance more affordable, ends the worst insurance company abuses and makes preventive care free for millions of Americans and everyone enrolled in Medicare.
One year ago yesterday, on January 19, 2011, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the law, and take us back to the days when insurance companies had the power to decide what care residents of the United States could receive – allowing them to once again deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, cancel coverage when people get sick, and place lifetime or low annual dollar limits on the amount of care people can get, even if they need it. What’s more, without the law, insurance companies could overcharge for insurance just to boost their profits.
Here are some of the statistics about what would have happened if Congressional Republicans had succeeded in repealing the Affordable Care Act:
- 2.5 Million More Uninsured Young Adults. – 2.5 million young adults have been able to stay on their parent’s health insurance thanks to health reform.
- 2.65 Million Seniors Pay $1.5 Billion More for Prescription Drugs. The Affordable Care Act provides a 50 percent discount on covered brand name prescription drugs for seniors and people with disabilities who hit the donut hole. This discount has saved 2.65 million seniors more than $1.5 billion through October 2011.
- 24.2 Million Seniors Pay More for Preventive Care. The Affordable Care Act makes preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies free for everyone with Medicare. Through November 2011, 24.2 million seniors have received free preventive services.
- 45,000 Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions Remain Uninsured. As of November 2011, the Affordable Care Act’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan has provided insurance to 45,000 Americans who have been locked out of the insurance marketplace because of a pre-existing condition.
- Insurance Companies Free to Cap Care for 102 Million Americans. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot drop your care when you get sick, or place a lifetime limit on your care. Today, the 102 million Americans whose health plan included lifetime dollar limits have seen their coverage expanded.
- Insurance Companies Free to Drop Coverage for up to 15 Million Americans. The Affordable Care Act finally put an end to one of the most abusive practices of the insurance industry: retroactively canceling coverage for a sick patient based on an unintentional mistake in their paperwork. Before the health care law was signed, most of the 15 million people purchasing coverage in the individual market were vulnerable to this policy. Rescission often leaves people suddenly responsible for past expenses and with no coverage to pay for needed care.
- 41 Million Pay More for Preventive Care. Approximately 41 million Americans are now enrolled in health insurance plans that must provide preventive services without cost sharing thanks to health reform. (more…)
Filed under: Affordable Care Act, doughnut hole, Medicaid, Medicare, presciption drugs | Tagged: accountability, anniversary, cap, Congress, donut hole, insurance companies, Obamacare, Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, pre-existing conditions, preventative health care, repeal, Republicans, rescission | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 8, 2011 by scjustice
GOPers Who Were For It Before They Were Against It
By Juan Williams
12/05/11 05:15 AM ET
What do Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, have in common?
Long before President Obama, both supported an idea they now pretend to spurn — the idea of requiring people to buy health insurance.
As recently as 2009, Romney publicly supported, the “individual mandate” for buying health insurance. And as recently as last month one of Gingrich’s websites still endorsed the “mandate” for all Americans earning more than $50,000 annually.
Romney and Gingrich are not alone in their history of supporting the idea of a government requirement that everyone buy health insurance. As governor of Utah in 2007, Jon Huntsman endorsed a healthcare reform plan from the United Way of Salt Lake City that called for a mandate.
“I think if you’re going to get it done and get it done right, the mandate has to be part of it in some way, shape or form,” he said at the time.
Gingrich, Romney and Huntsman are wide open to charges of political hypocrisy.
They apparently feel the need to fake their outrage over the individual mandate to win the GOP nomination. In an age of outrageous political posturing — telling lies and daring anyone to call you on it — this is the strongest indicator of the current lack of leadership and honest political debate about major national problems.
And it is not even good politics. (more…)
Filed under: Affordable Care Act, Medicaid | Tagged: GOP, health insurance, Heritage Foundation, hypocrisy, individual mandate, Iowa, John Huntsman, Mitt Romney, New Hamp, Newt Gingrich, Obama, Republicans, Tea Party | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 16, 2011 by scjustice
S.C.’s top health official, Anthony Keck, and Gov. Nikki Haley, not fans of the 2010 health law, are likely to decide to let the federal government run the state’s exchange. (Haley photo by MaryAustinPhoto via Flickr)
Nov 15, 2011
South Carolina’s top health official will recommend this week that the state decline creating its own health insurance exchange, one of the central tenets of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Instead, the state should let the federal government build the insurance marketplace in the state for now, Anthony Keck, the director of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, said in an interview. That recommendation is expected to go to a committee appointed by the governor to study the issue on Friday.
South Carolina, a state dominated by health-law-averse Republicans who got a Tea Party boost in last year’s election, has been heading down this road for months. But the recommendation is the latest step in formalizing objections to the exchange — and it frames the move as pragmatism, even as the state hands over power to the federal government.
The No. 1 reason for the wait-and-see approach? The stakes are so low. If a state does nothing, Washington is required to step in and build an exchange by 2014. That thinking — as well as a list of technical and logistical problems — is swaying decision-makers in other states too, industry analysts say.
State officials say the 2014 deadline is too tight given that rules for the exchanges are not complete, which is one incentive to defer to Washington. Plus, if South Carolina officials don’t like the federally run exchange, they can always circle back and start their own later under rules issued by the federal health department in July.
“What is the first mover advantage for states to rush ahead and implement this, given all the uncertainty?” Keck asked. “States have the safety valve of being able to take it over when they want to.”
“Sometimes, the smartest thing when you’re doing something new like this is to wait,” he said. (more…)
Filed under: Affordable Care Act, Medicaid | Tagged: 2014, Bennett Blodgett, exchange, Gilda Cobb-Hunter, health care, Health Care Reform, health insurance, Health Planning Committee, Leavitt Partners, Nikki Haley, Republicans, South Carolina, Tea Party, Tony Keck | Leave a Comment »