White House Says Repeal of Affordable Care Act Would Hurt People

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In States Like Alabama, Health Care Costs Would Rise, Families Would Be Hurt

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Helping ordinary Americans and businesses take advantage of the benefits of America’s new health care law is a top priority for the President and Democrats in Congress, according to a White House press release sent out Thursday with facts for people in states such as Alabama to consider as their own Republican representatives in Congress, governors and state Legislatures fail to help their own citizens by opting out of Obamacare and failing to participate in expanding Medicaid.

“The Affordable Care Act does more than just give millions of uninsured Americans access to health insurance. It helps Americans who already have insurance feel more secure in their coverage, ensuring it’ll be there when they need it,” President Barack Obama says. “This is a pocketbook issue for many middle class families.”

In states such as Alabama, the benefits of the health care law are real, according to the White House, and the repeal plan pushed by Republicans in Congress would undermine or eliminate them across the board, “reversing critical consumer protections and driving up costs for millions of Americans.”

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to the White House, in Alabama alone more than 1 millions individuals on private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as a mammogram, birth control, or an immunization in 2011 and 2012. In the first eleven months of 2013 alone, an additional 506,400 people with Medicare have received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.

Also, the 2 million individuals with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, cancer or diabetes – including up to 267,000 children – will no longer have to worry about being denied coverage or charged higher prices because of their health status or history.

Approximately 897,000 Alabamians have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections, and 643,000 uninsured Alabamians will have new health insurance options through Medicaid or private health plans in the private marketplace.

“As a result of new policies that make sure premium dollars work for the consumer, not just the insurer, in the past year insurance companies have sent rebates averaging $248 per family to approximately 1,500 consumers,” the White House says.

In the first ten months of 2013, 60,100 seniors and people with disabilities have saved on average $876 on prescription medications as the health care law closes Medicare’s so-called “donut hole.” Another 49,000 young adults have gained health insurance because they can now stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

“Individuals no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit on benefits,” the White House says, and starting in January, 1.5 million Alabamians will no longer have to worry about annual limits, either.

Health centers have received $79 million to provide primary care, establish new sites, and renovate existing centers to expand access to quality health care. Alabama has approximately 140 health center sites, which served about 329,000 individuals in 2012.

“Moving forward, the President and Democrats in Congress are committed to improving the health care law and fixing it when the need arises. Every day more uninsured Americans are signing up for plans as the Website gets faster and more people with insurance are benefiting from the law,” the White House says. “Yet instead of working to fix the law, Republicans in Congress have tried and failed to repeal it more than 40 times.”

Repealing the law completely would raise premiums, allow discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, force women to pay for preventive services like mammograms, and eliminate discounts seniors get on prescription drugs, the White House says. “It’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop refighting old political battles over health care, because the real cost of repeal will hit home for many hardworking families in Alabama.”

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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