As we approach the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s landmark health reform, we’re engaging our supporters to talk about how health reform has already changed lives for the better. Our efforts to make sure Americans know what the law is doing for them today – and what it will do in the future – include mail, outreach in the field and online.
In the two years since the President signed his health reforms into law, millions of Americans have already experienced firsthand its important benefits and the economic security it provides.
· 2.8 million Michiganders have benefited from new rules providing access to preventive care – like mammograms, colon cancer screenings, and immunizations – with no out of pocket costs, which will improve their health and quality of life while also reducing health costs.
· 6 million Michiganders are protected from insurance companies being able to raise rates without transparency or explanation, cancel a family’s insurance coverage because of trivial paperwork mistakes, or put lifetime caps on the amount of care a patient could receive if she was diagnosed with a serious condition.
· 556,000 Michigan children have pre-existing conditions, and the ACA makes sure that no insurance company can ever again deny coverage to these children because of their health.
· 58,000young adults in Michigan are now covered through their parents’ plans through the age of 26.
· The health care law protects and strengthens Medicare. 1.7 million Michigan seniors now benefit from a stronger Medicare program. The solvency of the program has been extended by eight years, and new prescription drug discounts have saved 84,000 Michigan seniors an average of $580.
· Soon, 3 million Michigan women and girls will be protected against discrimination, such as higher premiums just because they are women.
Medicare is now stronger for seniors, and women can now get life-saving mammograms at no extra cost. Children won’t lose their coverage just because they were born with pre-existing conditions like asthma – and American families are seeing how reform is saving lives and saving money.
Since we passed reform almost two years ago, Americans have seen its positive impact:
• 86 million Americans now can get free preventive care. That means they can get live-saving cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, and women can have their contraception covered without paying a co-pay or deductible. They’re living healthier lives while saving money at the same time.
• 180 million are now protected against the worst insurance abuses, like denying health care to the sick, gender discrimination, excessive premium increases, and lifetime caps on the amount of care a patient can receive.
• An additional 2.5 million young adults are now have insurance. That’s because President Obama’s health reform made sure they could stay on parents’ plans as they enter the workforce, until they turn 26.
• 47 million Americans now benefit from a stronger Medicare program. The solvency of the program has been extended by eight years, and new prescription drug discounts have saved 3.6 million people with Medicare an average of $600.
That’s just the beginning. As the law continues to phase in over the coming months, so will more of its benefits. New reforms will lower costs and raise the
quality of care. Seniors will see their Medicare coverage continue to improve, and see the doughnut hole completely close.
And in two years, every single American, regardless of their circumstances – whether they want to change jobs, start a business or retire early, or even if they lose their job – they’ll have access to affordable, quality health insurance. Presidents have been trying to make that happen for 70 years. President Obama got it done.
Myths and Facts on Health Reform
Health insurance reform will use my tax dollars to fund abortions.
No. The health insurance reform legislation maintains the status quo of no federal funding for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered. A federal judge recently wrote “the express language of the [Affordable Care Act] does not provide for taxpayer funded abortion. That is a fact and it is clear on its face.”
Businesses will suffer under health reform.
Health insurance reform lowers costs for American businesses – especially small businesses – who are struggling to remain profitable and competitive under the status quo. The independent Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the bill would lower health insurance premiums for the same insurance plan by up to 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for large businesses, and estimates indicate that reform could save businesses $2,000 per person in health costs.
This bill does nothing to bring down the cost of health care.
Not true. The health policy experts and economists who have looked at this legislation have said we are pursuing every possible mechanism to reduce health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office found that health insurance reform will reduce the deficit by $210 billion in this decade and by more than $1 trillion over the following 10 years. And a family of four would save as much as $2,300 on their premiums in 2014 compared to what they would have paid without reform.
Health reform will lead to a government takeover of health care.
False – one independent group even called this myth the “lie of the year.” The Affordable Care Act puts people, not health insurance companies or government, in charge of health care. The new law strengthens the existing employer-based health insurance market while making the market fair for consumers by implementing landmark consumer protections. Families and individuals that don’t have access to affordable coverage can receive tax credits to help them purchase coverage in the private health insurance market. There is no government-sponsored, public, or “single payer” plan in the law.
Employers will stop offering insurance to their workers in 2014 when the law is implemented.
Independent analyses conducted by the RAND Corporation, Urban Institute, the Congressional Budget Office and Mercer, have found that employers will continue to offer health coverage to their workers. Economists agree that employers offer health insurance to help attract and retain the most talented employees and employers will continue to seek out top talent. Further, when health reform was enacted in Massachusetts more than five years ago, the percent of businesses offering insurance in Massachusetts increased.
The Affordable Care Act‘s individual responsibility requirement is unconstitutional.
Legal experts and federal judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans agree that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.
• If you’re one of the 85% of Americans who already have health insurance, this part of the health care law will have no effect on you at all.
• When people who don’t have insurance and can afford it end up getting emergency room care because they get sick or injured, it winds up being paid through higher taxes and health care costs for the rest of us. Today, families with insurance pay a “hidden tax” of about $1,000 a year to help cover the costs of people who don’t have insurance.
• So the law asks every American who can actually afford to buy insurance, and still chooses not to get it, to take responsibility for their own health care, and do their fair share.
• It’s like auto insurance—that many states now require—or require “uninsured motorists” to pay a fee. Most of us agree that’s fair.
• To help them and nearly every other American afford the cost of insurance, there will be new tax credits to make insurance more affordable.
Contrast with Republican Positions
Every Republican candidate for president has said they would repeal the Affordable Care Act with no clear plans to replace it, returning us to the days when insurance companies had free reign. Under their leadership, insurance companies would be able to refuse to cover people with preexisting conditions, increase rates with no transparency or accountability, or cancel people’s coverage when they got sick. And instead of working to strengthen Medicare, Republican candidates endorsed Congressional Republicans’ proposal to privatize Medicare. The proposal would take away the guaranteed benefits that seniors have earned and replace Medicare with a voucher program that would force seniors to negotiate with insurance companies over their health care coverage.