Lowering the Cost of Health Care
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed health care reform legislation into law. The new health care reform law will immediately start lowering the cost of health care to make coverage more affordable for families and ensure small businesses no longer have to choose between health care and hiring.
Reforming health care is about instilling common-sense rules of the road to hold insurance companies accountable. The new law immediately puts an end to their abusive practices like arbitrarily hiking premiums, denying people coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and dropping patients from their plans when they get sick.
The new health care reform law will lower the cost of health care and give the power back to the American consumer. It preserves choice and creates competition in the insurance market. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you change jobs, you can keep your coverage.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that the law is fiscally responsible and will reduce the deficit by $138 billion in this decade and by $1.2 trillion in 20 years. This law helps us build a foundation for long-term growth by tackling the unsustainable cost of health care and providing much-needed financial relief for families and businesses.
Click here for a Frequently Asked Questions document about the health care reform law.
Another resource available to you is healthcare.gov. This first-of-its-kind website makes it easier to find health care coverage and clearly explains how the Affordable Care Act will benefit you, your family, or your business.
Making Health Care Affordable for Small Businesses
The skyrocketing cost of health care is forcing small businesses to choose between health care and hiring. The new health care reform law provides much-needed financial relief to small business owners by offering them tax credits when they purchase coverage for their employees. It also provides new options for small businesses to purchase affordable health insurance that are not available to them now. Small businesses are the engine of job growth in this country and in this economy we need them to use their dollars to fuel payrolls--not out-of control premiums.
Improving Medicare for Seniors
Health care improves Medicare coverage for seniors by making preventive care free and ensures access to Medicare prescriptions by beginning to close the donut hole this year. Seniors who reach the donut hole this year will receive a $250 rebate. The new law will ensure that the Medicare trust fund will be around so seniors can count on their benefits for years to come.
Fair Deal for Washington State
I fought to make sure the House health care reform bill included a fair deal for Washington state. Specifically, I pushed to protect access to health care for Washington state patients by ensuring that Washington state is rewarded, not penalized, for providing high-quality, low-cost patient care. The final House bill included language to fix the long-standing Medicare reimbursement problems that have hurt access to health care in Washington state.
Protecting Access to Tricare on Whidbey Island
I successfully worked to help change a federal regulation that will assist Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville in continuing to treat military personnel, military retirees and their families. The rule change will require TRICARE -- the military's medical benefit program -- to increase federal reimbursement payments for medical services to a level similar to that of Medicare. The new rule means that Whidbey General and other Critical Access Hospitals, which receive reimbursements for military care at a lower rate, will be able to provide continued access to care.