Posted in: Election 2012
GOP continues health care fight despite court ruling, consumer savings
by Félix Pérez
Two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in late June to uphold President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care reform law, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives kept its promise: It passed a bill to repeal the law.
Congressional Republicans — and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has said he will repeal the law “on my first day as president” — make no bones about it. They vow to continue the political fight over the Affordable Care Act despite the Supreme Court ruling and Congress’ vote two years ago to pass the law.
The latest nonpartisan group to weigh in on why the Republican goal is counterproductive is theCongressional Budget Office. Last week, CBO issued a report concluding that repealing the law would add $109 billion to the national deficit over 10 years.
Another complicating factor for the repeal-at-all-costs Republicans is the savings and popular benefits already flowing to American families, individuals and business owners.
Take, for example:
- The 12.8 million people who received premium rebates from their health insurance companies by August 1 due to a provision in the health care law that requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars directly on medical care.
- If the amount insurance companies spend on executive bonuses, marketing, advertising and other administrative activities exceeds 20 percent of total premium dollars, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires the insurance company to refund the difference.
Health insurance companies will issue $1.1 billion to individual policy holders and business owners, or an average rebate of $151 per household.
There is also the help the law provides seniors with prescription drug costs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week that in the first half of 2012, more than 1 million people with Medicare saved a total of $687 million on prescription drugs in the “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $629 in savings this year. The health care law will abolish the “donut hole” altogether by 2020.
Describing the savings, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said:
Millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs thanks to the health care law. Seniors and people with disabilities have already saved close to $4 billion.
At risk should Republicans or Romney succeed in repealing the law . . .
- Reinstatement of the worst insurance company abuses, including denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
- Children’s access to cost-free pediatric care, and
- Protection for young adults that allows them to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26.
Want to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act affects you, your students and your family? Read EdVotes’ fact sheet.
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