U.S. Rep. Ron Kind today announced that a new analysis shows that hundreds of thousands of people in western Wisconsin are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. The second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act falls on March 23.
"In the two years since the Affordable Care Act has been made law, millions of Wisconsinites have seen lower costs and better coverage," said Rep. Kind. "Seniors, young adults, and families right here in western Wisconsin are benefitting from important insurance protections, free preventive care and stronger Medicare benefits. And our small businesses, that have received tax credits to help them afford coverage for employees, are better able to survive and thrive, especially in a tough economy."
The new analysis shows that the new health care law has already provided:
* 4,200 young adults in the 3rd Congressional District now have health insurance. Health insurers are required to permit parents to retain coverage for their children until their 26th birthday. Because of this provision, 4,200 young adults in western Wisconsin (27,511 young adults statewide) have already gained health care coverage.
* 5,800 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $3.5 million. The new health care law provides a 50 percent discount for brand-name drugs for seniors in the Medicare Part D "donut hole' coverage gap. Because of this provision, 5,800 seniors in western Wisconsin have already received prescription drug discounts worth $3.5 million, an average discount of $610 per senior. 59,345 Medicare recipients statewide saved a total of $37,919,307.
* 86,000 seniors in the district received Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles. The new health care law provides free Medicare coverage of key preventive services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and annual wellness visits. Because of this provision, 86,000 seniors in western Wisconsin (647,617 Medicare recipients statewide) have already received free preventive services.
* 530 small businesses in the district received tax credits to help maintain or expand health care coverage for their employees.
* 140,000 people, including 37,000 children, in western Wisconsin now have health insurance that covers preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles. The law also provides, for those enrolled in new private plans, free coverage of key preventive services. Because of this provision, 140,000 individuals under age 65 in the 3rd Congressional district (1,111,000 statewide, 54 million Americans total) have already received free preventive services, such as mammograms and check-ups.
* 39,000 children with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers. Insurers are prohibited from denying coverage to children for having a "pre-existing" condition. Because of this provision, up to 39,000 children with pre-existing conditions in my district are now protected against insurer denials.
* $3.8 million in public health grants have been given to community health centers, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers in the district to improve the community's health.
"Health care reform was needed for Wisconsin and for our nation," said Kind. "Now is not the time to turn back to the days of more uninsured, higher costs and larger budget deficits. Reform begins to transform our health care system into one that delivers higher quality care at a lower cost, eliminates waste in the system and increases the quality of care for all Americans"