Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today on the benefits of health insurance reform in advance of the one-year anniversary of the March 23rd signing of the bill. Luján also highlighted the benefits for New Mexico seniors at the Ponce De Leon Senior Community yesterday.
"Last year, Congress took an historic step when we passed health insurance reform that finally holds insurance companies accountable and puts an end to the industry's worst abuses. As we mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, New Mexicans are already beginning to experience the benefits of this law that is improving care, increasing access, and lowering costs. Thanks to health insurance reform, New Mexicans, not health insurance companies, will be in charge of their health care choices.
"No longer will New Mexicans have to worry their children will be denied care because of a pre-existing condition. Hard-working families across our state that have always paid their premiums will not have to live in fear that their insurance coverage will be canceled because they get sick.
"New Mexico seniors have experienced a number of benefits already, with more than 19,000 people receiving $250 rebates to help them when they have fallen in the Medicare prescription drug donut hole. This year, seniors will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name prescriptions drugs when they hit the donut hole, and they have already started receiving free preventive services through Medicare.
"Small businesses have also begun to benefit from $40 billion in tax credits to help them offset the costs of purchasing coverage for their employees. Right here in New Mexico, more than 25,000 small businesses have taken advantage of these tax breaks. Insurance companies are now required to allow parents to keep their children on their insurance plans until age 26, helping 10,000 young adults in the state gain health care coverage.
"While we must continue to improve upon this legislation and make changes where necessary, health insurance reform has already had a positive impact on thousands of New Mexicans and will continue to give people the peace of mind that when they need it most, they will have affordable, quality health care."