Today is the six month anniversary of the new health reform law – the Affordable Care Act. The law is already having a real and meaningful impact in providing Americans with better coverage and lower costs. Today is also the day that the new law’s critical patient protections – the Patient’s Bill of Rights – takes effect, and the President met with Americans from all over the country yesterday who are already benefiting from these protections. Earlier this week, North Carolina Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that it would voluntarily provide more than $155 million in rebates to consumers as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Just today, we learned that WellPoint will return $20 million to consumers in Colorado as a result of the new law’s efforts to control unreasonable premium increases.
However, just as we’ve started to hold insurance companies accountable, a new Congressional Republican agenda wants to put them back in charge.
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act has real consequences for the American people and small businesses. The House Republican agenda claims to protect people with preexisting conditions, but it repeals the new law’s ban on discriminating against uninsured Americans, including children, who have a preexisting condition. It will raise taxes by more than $40 billion on up to 4 million small businesses that provide health benefits to their employees. It will result in premium increases by eliminating the billions of dollars in cost savings measures, and will increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion dollars. It will mean that seniors will pay more for their prescription drugs, and their new free preventive Medicare benefits will be cut. And, it will mean that millions of Americans will have to give up their new Patient’s Bill of Rights protections, from the 21 year old now getting covered on his or her parents' plan to the woman getting the preventive care she needs to prevent breast cancer and the individual who has lost his right to appeal an insurance companies’ decision to an independent 3rd party.
As the President said yesterday, “I want to see them come and talk to Gail or talk to Dawn or talk to any of you who now have more security as a consequence of this act, and I want them to look you in the eye and say, sorry, Gail, you can’t buy health insurance; or, sorry, little Wes, he’s going to be excluded when it comes to an eye operation that he might have to get in the future.”
There’s a long list of Americans featured in our 50 states/50 stories project who will suffer if the Congressional Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act becomes a reality. Read their stories by clicking here. And good luck explaining to them that repealing a law that they are now benefiting from and putting insurance companies back in charge is the right thing to do.
Small Business Owners Who Will Pay Higher Taxes Under the Republican Plan
Lisa Kaye Reynolds Sharp, Fayetteville, AR
Thomas Roberts, Eliot, ME
Jim Houser, Portland, OR
Betsy Burton, Salt Lake City, UT
Janine Marie Vaughn, Spokane, WA
Seniors Who Will Pay More for Their Prescription Drugs Under the Republican Plan
Augustina Rodriguez, Winchester, CA
Helen Gunter, Marydel, DE
Paul Horne, Indianapolis, IN
Lynette Mahacek, Waverly, IA
Patricia Liberti, Salem, MA
Norma Byrne, Vineland, New Jersey
Rick Tinkler, Owasso, OK
Sandra Horvath, Burlington, VT
Young Adults Who Will Lose the Chance to Join Their Parents' Plan Under the Republican Plan
Morgan Banning, Lawrence, KS
Aron Yehuda, Baltimore, MD
The Doyle Family, Minneapolis, MN
The Wechsler Family, St. Louis, MO
Emily Schlicting, Omaha, NE
The Goldblatt Family, Fort Montgomery, NY
Joshua Lapps, Nazareth, PA
The Morgan Family, Charleston, SC
Kayla Ann Holmstrom, Brookings, SD
Rynn Dupes, Knoxville, TN