Rep. Maloney: After 5 years, Obamacare helping millions of New Yorkers

Mar 24, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today hailed a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which shows that the Affordable Care Act has helped more than a million New Yorkers gain access to affordable health coverage, and saved those who already had insurance millions of dollars in reduced costs.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than a million additional New Yorkers now have health coverage, and millions more are protected from the worst abuses of health insurance companies,” said Maloney. “There’s no question that the Affordable Care Act is moving us in the right direction: the number of uninsured is down, quality is up, costs are rising more slowly, and things are only going to get better. Repealing Obamacare now would cause millions of Americans to lose their insurance, increase prescription costs for seniors, create chaos in the health insurance marketplace, and hurt our economy. It’s time to set aside this senseless rhetoric and focus instead on how we can make the ACA work even better for more families.” 

Five years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it is clear that the Affordable Care Act is working:

  • Improving Coverage: Nationwide, since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, 16.4 million previously uninsured Americans have secured affordable, quality health coverage.
  • Improving Affordability: Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, health care prices have risen at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years. Thanks to exceptionally slow growth in per-person costs throughout our health care system, national health expenditures grew at the slowest rate on record from 2010 through 2013.
  • Improving Quality: The Affordable Care Act has helped improve the quality of health care, contributing to 50,000 fewer patient deaths in hospitals due to avoidable harms, like an infection or medication error.

Today, a new report was released by HHS that shows all the different ways in which the people in the New York are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act.  Following are some of the key findings in that report:

  • Drop in uninsured rate in New York under the ACA.  Due to the ACA, the uninsured rate in New York has fallen from 12.6 percent in 2013 to 10.1 percent in 2014.
  • Marketplace coverage of individuals in New York.  For 2015, 408,841 consumers are enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace in New York. 74 percent of those enrolled qualified for a tax credit that will help them afford their coverage.
  • Medicaid/CHIP coverage for additional individuals in New York.  As of January 2015, 569,023 individuals in New York have gained Medicaid or CHIP coverage since the beginning of ACA enrollment in October 2013. 
  • Savings in premiums for individuals in New York.   The ACA contains provisions that prevent insurers from spending more than 20% of their premiums on profits and administrative overhead.  Because of these protections, 617,465 individuals in New York with private insurance coverage have benefited from $12,147,281 in refunds from insurance companies.
  • Elimination of lifetime limits on coverage for individuals in New York.  Since September 2010, the health care law has prohibited insurers from placing a lifetime limit on coverage.  As a result, in New York, 6,432,000 people, including 2,529,000 women and 1,609,000 children, are now free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions in New York.   Since January 2014, the health care law has prohibited insurers from denying coverage to individuals for having a pre-existing health condition.  Because of this provision, up to 8,616,234 individuals in New York with pre-existing conditions are being protected from denial of coverage.    
  • Expanded access to free preventive services for individuals in private plans in New York.  Since September 2010, the health care law has provided, for those enrolled in most private plans, expanded access to free preventive services.  As a result, 4,695,000 individuals in private plans in New York now have health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.
  • Lower drug costs for seniors in New York. The health care law is providing major savings in drug costs for seniors in the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ because the law closes the ‘donut hole’ over 10 years.  Because of this provision, since the enactment of the ACA, seniors in New York have saved a total of $1,150,173,343 on their prescription drugs. 
  • Free preventive services for seniors in New York.  Under the ACA, beginning in 2011, Medicare now provides free coverage of key preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.  In 2014 alone, because of this provision, 2,387,588 seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare in New York used one or more free preventive services.