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Today in an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register, the House Minority Leader recycles the same tired, discredited rhetorical arguments about health care reform to try to make his case for eliminating the landmark benefits the President signed into law for American families this week. His op-ed runs the gamut of misleading rhetoric crafted to protect the insurance companies, who have spent tens of millions of dollars fighting reform: he calls health reform a “government takeover,” suggests there will be doctor shortages, and misconstrues analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
Here are the facts: Health care reform ends the worst practices of insurance companies, brings down costs for families and small businesses, and expands coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured. It provides new investments to increase the number of primary care practitioners, including doctors and nurses. It provides tax credits of up to 50 35 percent of employer premium contributions to help small businesses afford coverage for their employees. And the CBO has confirmed that health reform reduces the deficit by more than $100 billion over the first decade, and more than $1 trillion in the decade after that.
Once you peel away the layers of false rhetoric, the bottom line is that the Minority Leader and opponents of reform are fighting to repeal critical benefits for American families and small businesses. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the specific benefits they want to do away with:
Starting this year as a result of health reform, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Health reform outlaws that practice for new health plans as well as grandfathered group plans. Moving forward, no insurance company can deny anyone coverage based on his or her health.
Starting this year, new health care plans and certain current plans will allow young people to remain on their parents’ insurance policy up until their 26th birthday. That means that young adults will enjoy the security of knowing they’re covered as they start their lives and careers.
Under health reform, starting this year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of their premium contributions to help make employee coverage more affordable. Adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool. And starting this year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick or placing lifetime limits on coverage. Under health reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need. The list goes on.
So, the next time you see opponents of reform out talking about repeal, ask yourself: why are they so eager to do away with these benefits? And why are they standing with the insurance companies to protect the status quo?
Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director