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Issue Position: The Health Care Affordability and Patient Protection Act

Location: Unknown

The federal health care law is designed to curb abuses by insurance companies, increase consumer choice and bring down costs by requiring for-profit health insurance companies to compete with non-profit insurers on a level playing field.

Colorado residents and small businesses will see many benefits from health care reform. Key provisions effective in 2010 are:

Small businesses can receive tax credits to help provide health insurance to employees
Youth can stay on parents' plans to age 26
Insurance companies are banned from canceling policies when you get sick or cancelling lifetime limits.
Insurance companies are banned from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
Seniors can receive a $250 rebate to close the "do-nut hole" gap in prescription drug coverage
Community Health Centers have received increased funding to expand access to the uninsured.
Long-term, health reform will save families and businesses hundreds of millions by injecting true market competition for the first time into health care.

In 2014, for-profit and non-profit insurance companies will be required to compete head-to-head on a minimum benefits package. So all Americans will be able to truly comparison shop for health insurance as they can shop for refrigerators or car insurance.
Starting in 2011, insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85% of their premium dollars on medical services or else provide rebates to their policy holders. Today, some for-profit companies skim up to 40% of premiums as profit by denying health claims!
The exchange will provide subsidies up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level ($88,200 for a family of four.) Studies show families are healthier and the system pays less to treat people in the doctor's office rather than the Emergency Room.
Experts say there is more than enough money in the system to pay for universal healthcare in the US. In our current system, we pay the largest amount of funds on hospital care, including the ER, and the least on prevention. This is upside down from the rest of the developed world. One third of our healthcare dollars are spent on paperwork, not care to people.
In Colorado, we expanded healthcare coverage to 100,000 people through innovative legislation in partnership with the Colorado Hospital Association. I will continue to work to ensure that Coloradans are protected from insurance abuses and have access to quality healthcare.

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