U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) today issued the following statement after Senate Republicans' latest assault on the health care reforms passed during the 111th Congress:
"Instead of working on bipartisan solutions to create jobs and grow our economy, today our attention was once again distracted by Republicans' symbolic attempt at repealing a law already at work improving people's lives. Repealing health care reform would have put almost half of all Americans under 65 at risk of being denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition. College students would be kicked off their parents' insurance. Seniors would have to pay more for their prescription drugs with the Medicare donut hole reopened. Repealing this bill would add $230 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years and leave 32 million Americans without health insurance. Now is not the time to re-fight old political battles. Now is the time to come together to create jobs and continue growing our economy."
Nearly 10,000 Delaware seniors would have fallen back into the Medicare "donut hole' and be forced to pay higher prescription drug prices had Republicans had been successful in their repeal attempt. Repeal would have cost those seniors nearly $85 million over the next ten years.
Had Senator McConnell's repeal amendment been passed and the "donut hole" been reopened:
* In Kent County, 1,600 seniors would once again pay higher prescription drug prices.
* In New Castle County, 5,054 seniors would once again pay higher prescription drug prices.
* In Sussex County, 2,781 seniors would once again pay higher prescription drug prices.
The Republican repeal amendment would have also punished the approximately 82 percent of Delaware small businesses that qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which was designed to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations afford the cost of providing health insurance to their employees. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees and average wages of less than $50,000 can receive a credit of up to 25 percent on the health insurance they provide to their workers -- increasing to 50 percent in 2014.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by the Senate in December 2009, before Senator Coons had been elected to the Senate.