Today every single Republican voted for the "Repeal Obamacare Act," legislation that would overturn President Obama's landmark health care reform law. Congressman Gary Peters, who proudly worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, denounced House Republicans for holding a politically motivated 31st vote to prevent women from accessing preventative health care screenings, allow insurance companies to deny care to children based on pre-existing conditions and raise prescription drug prices on our seniors rather than working on legislation to create American jobs.
"This is the 31st time House Republicans have taken a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than focusing on efforts to create more jobs and help Americans get back to work," said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. "Despite all of the rhetoric from the Tea Party, a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a vote to deny millions of women, children and seniors the ability to see a doctor or pay for care. I was proud to work with President Obama to pass this important health care reform law and I will continue working with him to ensure that it is fully implemented."
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Immediately following the Court's ruling, Republican leadership called a vote to repeal the health care reform law that has already allowed millions of Americans to benefit from critical patient protections, lowered costs for the middle class, allowed more coverage for families and created greater accountability for the insurance industry. The bill that was voted on today is the exact same one that House Republicans passed in January 2011, which the Senate already considered and defeated. Additionally, earlier this week, President Obama stated that he would veto Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
In the 2 ½ years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, here's how it's helped families in Michigan:
Providing new coverage options for young adults
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 3.1 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of December 2011, 94,000 young adults in Michigan gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law. For more details on these numbers, visit here.
Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors
Thanks to the new health care law, 90,917 people with Medicare in Michigan received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. Since the law was enacted, Michigan residents with Medicare have saved a total of $91,431,755 on their prescription drugs. In the first five months of 2012, 23,286 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount has resulted in an average savings of $757 per person, and a total savings of $17,628,271 in Michigan. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay
In 2011, 1,123,354 people with Medicare in Michigan received free preventive services -- such as mammograms and colonoscopies -- or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And in the first five months of 2012, 524,279 people with Medicare received free preventive services. Because of the law, 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,849,000 in Michigan.
Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule
Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing. If they don't, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 113,995 Michigan residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $13,908,262 in rebates from insurance companies this summer. These rebates will average $214 for the 65,000 families in Michigan covered by a policy.
Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases
In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Michigan has received $5 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
Removing lifetime limits on health benefits
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits -- freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. Already, 3,547,000 residents, including 1,315,000 women and 977,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.
Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
As of April 2012, 1,263 previously uninsured residents of Michigan who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law. To learn more about the plan available in Michigan, check here.
Supporting Michigan's work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Michigan has received $10.8 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
* $1 million in Planning Grants: This grant provides Michigan the resources needed to conduct the research and planning necessary to build a better health insurance marketplace and determine how its exchange will be operated and governed. Learn how the funds are being used in Michigan here.
* $9.8 million in Exchange Establishment Grants: These grants are helping States continue their work to implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Learn how the funds are being used in Michigan here.
Preventing illness and promoting health
Since 2010, Michigan has received $22.8 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Michigan, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.
Increasing support for community health centers
The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 189 existing community health centers in Michigan. Health centers in Michigan have received $69.5 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, enable health centers to increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services, and/or support major construction and renovation projects.
Strengthening partnerships with Michigan
The law gives states support for their work to build the health care workforce, crack down on fraud, and support public health. Examples of Affordable Care Act grants to Michigan not outlined above include:
* $530,000 to support the National Health Service Corps, by assisting Michigan in repaying educational loans of health care professionals in return for their practice in health professional shortage areas.
* $1.4 million for the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program, which will help train key health care aides and strengthen the direct care worker workforce.
* $1.8 million for the expansion of the Physician Assistant Training Program (PDF 66 KB), a five-year initiative to increase the number of physician assistants in the primary care workforce.
* $4.4 million for school-based health centers, to help clinics expand and provide more health care services such as screenings to students.
* $620,000 to support outreach to eligible Medicare beneficiaries about their benefits.
* $500,000 to support Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs). ADRCs help seniors, people with disabilities, and their families understand and evaluate their long-term care options, including those available in their community.
* $7.7 million for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs. These programs bring health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child's health, development, and ability to learn - such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition.
* $1 million from the Pregnancy Assistance Fund to provide pregnant and parenting teens and women with a seamless network of supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees and gain access to health care, child care, family housing, and other critical support.