U.S. Rep. Ron Kind today voted against Republican efforts to increase the debt by $230 billion, repeal critical patient's rights, and give powerful health insurance companies back control of health care decisions.
"At a time when we should be focusing on creating jobs and growing the economy, this repeal effort is a waste of time and irresponsibly increases the deficit by $230 billion," said Rep. Kind. "With the possibility of increased out-of-pocket costs, higher prescription drug prices, and lost coverage, western Wisconsin can't afford repeal either."
If the repeal passes the Senate and is signed into law, critical consumer protections enacted under the Affordable Care Act would be lost. Big insurance companies will again be able to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, cancel coverage when people get sick, raise prescription drug costs, and limit the care people can receive. In western Wisconsin alone,
* 2,100 young adults would lose insurance coverage through their parent's health plans
* 110,000 seniors covered under Medicare would be denied preventive care benefits
* 8,800 seniors on Medicare would see significantly higher prescription drug costs, fall back into the Medicare Part D Donut Hole, and be denied a 50% discount on prescription drugs this year
* 15,700 small businesses and 182,000 families would lose health care tax credits
* Health care providers would not be rewarded for high quality, low cost care; there would be increased waste in the system and the cost of care would continue to rise
"Last fall, a young man in Black River Falls thanked me for supporting health care reform. I asked him why. He told me his brother needed a kidney a year ago, so he gave him one of his. Now, even though he is a healthy young man, insurance companies deny him coverage because he has a "pre-existing condition'. Health care reform ensures he can no longer be denied. We cannot afford to repeal this bill."
Repeal hurts America's middle class by ending tax breaks and assistance to help millions of families and small businesses pay for coverage. It would eliminate millions of American jobs that are expected to be created by reducing employer costs for health coverage. There is already $800 billion in wasteful spending each year that doesn't help the patient -- this number would continue to grow and the price of care would continue to rise. This would hurt the health care providers in western Wisconsin who are working so hard to provide high quality, affordable care and serve as model for the rest of the country. And repeal explodes the federal deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years and by more than $1.2 trillion in the following decade.