Congressman Gene Green, who helped draft the Affordable Care Act while serving on the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, acknowledged the success of the law since being signed in 2010.
Rep. Green stated, "I have always been a big supporter of increased access to affordable and quality healthcare, and am proud that the Affordable Care Act is now in its third year of saving lives and money for taxpayers. Although Houston has some of the best hospitals in the world, the area where I grew up and now represent has one of the lowest rates of adequate health insurance for adults in the entire nation. This law has helped remedy this for communities like ours across the entire U.S. and that's a great accomplishment."
Health reform continues to make a difference for Texans. This week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released updated statistics on the benefits already gained from the law's implementation:
* As of December 2011, 357,000 young adults in Texas gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
* In 2011 and 2012, 5,198,000 Texans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing. For policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012, women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need, which will benefit approximately 3,412,175 women in Texas.
* In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million people with Medicare benefited from Medicare's coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing. In Texas, 1,795,711 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2012.
* 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 do not adhere to this 80/20 rule, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 1,516,721 Texas residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $166,975,840 in rebates from insurance companies this year.
* 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. Texas has received $1,000,000 under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
* 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, 7,536,000 people in Texas, including 2,771,000 women and 2,094,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
* As of August 2012, 9,592 previously uninsured residents of Texas 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.
* The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Texas, 69 health centers operate 396 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 975,509 people. Health Center grantees in Texas have received $224,639,256 under the Affordable Care Act to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.
More information on these and other provisions can be found at www.healthcare.gov/law/information-for-you/tx.html.