Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) announced the findings from a report that details the impact of the Republican Patients' Rights Repeal Act on the hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in the 43rd Congressional District of California. The House Republican Leadership is bringing this legislation to the House Floor for a vote this week.
"My number-one priority for the 112th Congress is creating jobs, but instead of focusing on job creation, the Republican leadership is focusing on repealing patients' rights and putting insurance companies back in charge," said Rep. Baca. "If this repeal is successful, over 360,000 residents of my District will lose the new rights that protect them from insurance company abuses and give them more freedom and control over their health care choices."
"Here in the Inland Empire, we simply cannot afford the Republican plan to repeal health care reform," said Rep. Baca. "Under this Act, my constituents would see their out-of-pocket health costs go up, and in many cases would lose coverage all together. And the already over-burdened hospitals in my District would see their costs associated with providing uncompensated care increase by $146 million every year."
The report on California's 43rd Congressional District finds that the Patients' Rights Repeal Act would have significant consequences in the district by:
* Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 109,000 to 305,000 individuals, including 12,000 to 56,000 children, with pre-existing conditions. These individuals include those who are breast cancer survivors and prostate cancer survivors; those living with heart disease; and those with such conditions as asthma and high blood pressure.
* Taking away the ability of 4,600 young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday.
* Taking away the 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs from 5,200 seniors who hit the Medicare Part D "donut hole;' and denying free preventive care services under Medicare to 56,000 seniors.
* Eliminating health care tax credits available for up to 10,000 small businesses.
* Eliminating the ban on insurers dropping people from coverage when they get sick, which protects 40,000 individuals who purchase individual health insurance.
* Eliminating the requirement that health plans that are new or revised begin providing free preventive care, with the elimination resulting in increased out-of-pocket costs for 76,000 individuals.
* Getting rid of the ban on insurers placing lifetime limits on coverage, which is currently benefiting 362,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or in the private insurance market.
"Instead of focusing on creating new jobs and strengthening our economic recovery, Republicans are obsessed with pushing forward a repeal plan that adds more than $1 trillion to our long-term debt and takes away consumer protections for 360,000 residents of my District alone," concluded Rep. Baca. "I am hopeful that moving forward, Republicans will stop playing political games with the well being of American families, and will instead reach out to Democrats to develop bipartisan solutions to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and bring down our long-term deficit."