On March 23, 2010 congress passed The Affordable Health Care Act, which was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012, to restore health care as a basic cornerstone of middle class security. Now 34 million more Americans are able to afford insurance for the first time and 95% of persons under age 65 will be covered. Today many of those use the hospital emergency department for medical treatment and the taxpayer (you and I) pick up the tab.
Some of the key provisions are:
Keep Premiums Low - The law requires insurance companies to justify rates. They must spend at least 80% of customer premiums on care versus overhead, marketing and profits. Today rebates are being mailed by companies that exceeded the law.
Ending Abuses - The law prohibits companies for denying coverage to persons with pre-existing conditions, cancelling coverage when one gets ill. It also prevents setting limits on insurance.
Closing “Donut Hole” Medicare “D” - The law has already saved average of over $550 each for about 3 million seniors on their prescription drugs and by year 2020 the “donut hole” will be completely closed saving seniors millions of dollars.
Children On Parents Until Age 26 - Today children can stay on parents plan until age 26 and do not need to be students.
Often today I see on TV, hear on the radio, or read in print some tactics, many untrue, to scare people. Following are some myths followed by facts:
Myth: The Affordable Care Act will raise health care premiums.
Fact: Health care premiums will go down and coverage will go up. Per the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), persons will get more coverage for their money and should see a drop in their out of pocket expenses.
Myth: The president’s plan cuts $500 billion from Medicare.
Fact: Per CBO, the law increases Medicare funding by $113 billion over 10 years. The $500 billion in Medicare savings comes from eliminating excessive subsidies to private insurances companies.
Myth: Seniors will be hurt by health care reform.
Fact: Seniors get more benefits such as closing the prescription drug “donut hole”, discount on brand-name drugs, and many preventive care services available for free.
Myth: The law will severely burden the Medicaid System.
Fact: The law will allow millions of uninsured persons to gain access to health care at low cost. To assist the states the law allows subsides to the states. The law also sets up exchanges which allows competition among insurance companies to lower rates.
Myth: Private plans will be outlawed in 2013 under the law.
Fact: Private plans are not affected and individual policies will continue to be available. The law does not force people to change their insurance or doctor, and there are no death squads.
Justin Szalwinski, Sr.