On the eve of the 112th Congress being sworn in, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today responded to threats by some members of the new Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
"A vote to repeal health care reform is a vote to repeal coverage for 1.3 million seniors in New Jersey for annual check-ups, preventive care and prescription drugs. To repeal health care reform is to repeal protection from lifetime insurance coverage limits for 5.3 million New Jersey residents," said Pascrell, who served on the House Ways and Means Committee to write key provisions of the legislation. "After decades of inaction, we are finally on a path to making sure that Americans can affordably get the health care they need by keeping insurance companies accountable to their customers. We cannot return to being the kind of society that blithely accepts the size of a person's wallet determining the kind of health care someone receives."
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services release data outlining the effects of repealing the health reform legislation on New Jersey:
* 27,800 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plans, sometimes just after they finish school and as they are looking for a job. Families across New Jersey would lose the peace of mind the Affordable Care Act provides by making sure that young adults can stay on their parents plan to age 26 if they do not have coverage of their own.
* Nearly 5.3 million residents of New Jersey with private insurance coverage would suddenly find themselves vulnerable again to having lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care.
* Insurance companies would once again be allowed cut off someone's coverage unexpectedly when they are in an accident or become sick because of a simple mistake on an application. This would leave 326,000 people in New Jersey at risk of losing their insurance at the moment they need it most, as one of the worst abuses of the insurance industry would become legal again.
* 326,000 residents of New Jersey would not know if they are receiving value for their health insurance premium dollars, as insurers in state would no longer be required to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on health care rather than CEO salaries, bonuses, and corporate profits.
* New insurance plans would no longer be required to cover recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots, without cost sharing, nor would they have to guarantee enrollees the right to choose any available primary care provider in the network or see an OB-GYN without a referral.
* Nearly 1.3 million seniors in New Jersey who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
* Medicare would no longer pay for an annual check-up visit, so nearly 1.3 million seniors in New Jersey who have Medicare coverage would have to pay extra if they want to stay healthy by getting check-ups regularly.
* 103,905 on Medicare Would See Significantly Higher Prescription Drug Costs: In New Jersey, 103,905 Medicare beneficiaries received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate to help pay for prescription drugs in the "doughnut hole" coverage gap in 2010. Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the "doughnut hole" in 2011 will be eligible for 50 percent discounts on covered brand name prescription drugs. Without the law, the burden of high prescription drug costs would hurt millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.