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Public Statements

Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

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* President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act to restore health care as a basic cornerstone of middle-class security in America.

* When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act will end the worst insurance company abuses--including denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or cancelling coverage when someone gets sick.

* The Affordable Care Act makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses and brings much-needed transparency to the insurance industry.

* Because of the new law, 32 million more Americans will be able to afford insurance for the first time. Ninety-five percent of Americans under age 65 will have insurance.

A Victory for Women's Health

Thanks to historic new guidelines in the Affordable Care Act, women will have access to a wide range of preventive health services--well-woman visits, contraception counseling, STI screenings, and more--without a copayment or deductible under new insurance plans.

Young People and Health Reform

3.4 million young adults are now eligible to stay on their parents' health insurance plans up to age 26. In the law's first year, close to a million young adults--traditionally the group most likely to be uninsured--gained insurance.

Preventive Care

Fact: By 2013, an estimated 88 million Americans are expected to have improved preventive care coverage, such as free vaccinations, health tests, and cancer screenings.

Providing Security to Working Families

* Working families are protected from losing their health care or being forced into bankruptcy when someone gets sick or is in an accident. Families have the security of knowing their health insurance will be there when they need it most.

* Insurance companies are now required to justify rate hikes, and consumers have the ability to appeal to an independent third party when insurance companies refuse to cover services or care.

* Starting in 2014, purchasing private insurance in the new state-based health insurance exchanges could give middle-class families up to $2,300 in savings to help them purchase their own private insurance.

* Once fully implemented, the law will slow health care premium growth rates and add $2,000 to the average family's savings by 2019.

* The law is expected to reduce the deficit by $127 billion from 2012 to 2021.

Small Business and Health Reform

More than 4 million small businesses are now eligible for a tax credit to help pay for their health care premiums. The credit will increase to cover 50 percent of premiums in 2014.

Under the Affordable Care Act, help for small businesses--including the new insurance exchanges--will reduce small business health care costs by nearly 9 percent, according to independent estimates.

Medicare

Fact: Nearly 46 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to free health services--including an annual wellness visit and health screenings--to help detect and treat medical conditions early.

Children and Health Reform

Fact: 4.9 million children with pre-existing conditions are now able to get health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to kids with medical conditions.

Women and Health Reform

The Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women, who pay up to 150 percent more for health care services than men.

New health insurance plans will cover women's preventive services such as well-woman visits, mammograms, domestic violence screening, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, access to FDA-approved birth control, and a host of other services without charge.


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