On 1-Year Anniversary of GOP Attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act, Maloney Hails Reform Law’s Impact
New York, NY – One year ago today, House Republicans passed a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act, the package of health care reforms signed by President Obama in March 2010. While the House Republican repeal effort went nowhere, today U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) warned New Yorkers about the coverage they would have lost and the increased costs they would have incurred had the Republican effort been successful.
“The improved coverage and lower costs provided by the Affordable Care Act have already improved the lives of thousands of New Yorkers,” Maloney said. “If the Republicans had been able to repeal the health care reform bill, insurance companies would once again be allowed to kick children under the age of 26 off of their parents’ health care policies, insurers would be free to reject coverage for kids under age 19 who have preexisting conditions, small businesses would have lost valuable tax credits - of up to 35 percent of employer premiums - to help provide coverage for their employees, and insurers could have reinstated lifetime limits on coverage – provisions that, in the past, have forced families into bankruptcy when a serious illness has struck.
“The Patient’s Bill of Rights, which was included in the Affordable Care Act, is helping improve coverage and lower costs for individuals and their families. These new protections and benefits are crucial to improving the lives of millions of Americans. I strongly opposed Congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal these reforms and I am relieved that this misguided repeal effort went nowhere – and will remain dead on arrival, so long as President Obama is in the White House,” Maloney added.
Under the Patient’s Bill of Rights, if you are one of the 165 million Americans with private insurance, you are now receiving the following protections:
• You can no longer be arbitrarily dropped from coverage by your insurance company simply because you get sick;
• Your insurance company can no longer place a lifetime limit on your coverage;
• Your insurance company can no longer place low annual limits on your coverage;
• If you are under age 65 and in a new plan, you are now receiving free key preventive services; and
• Your insurance company must spend at least 80 percent of premiums covering medical services - rather than CEO pay, profits, and administrative costs - and if your insurer fails to meet the 80 percent test, it must give you a rebate, beginning this year.
In addition to the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Affordable Care Act also provided new Medicare benefits for America’s seniors. These new Medicare benefits include the following:
• Seniors are now receiving a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs when they are in the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ coverage gap. Nearly 2.7 million seniors have already received the discount.
• Seniors are now receiving free key preventive health services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and a free Annual Wellness Visit, under Medicare. More than 24 million seniors have already received one or more free preventive services.