Two Years Later
Friday, 23 March 2012
Today marks the second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, historic legislation that made, and continues to make, great strides in fixing our country’s broken health care system.
Since there have been a lot of myths about what the health care law actually does, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the many benefits we’re already seeing in Sacramento.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 430 of our local small businesses have received tax credits to help pay for health coverage for their employees. $57.6 million in public health grants have been given to our local community health centers, hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers to improve our community’s health and create new jobs.
No longer are thousands of children in Sacramento denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and 7,400 young adults in Sacramento now have insurance as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act. 150,000 people in Sacramento have been protected from excessive insurance rate increases because of the law, while 400,000 residents have been protected from their insurers dropping their coverage when they get sick.
Since 2010, 5,000 Sacramento seniors have received drug discounts worth $1.9 million, saving, on average, $390 each. And, 57,000 local seniors on Medicare have received preventative services, without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles. The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that Medicare enrollees will save nearly $4,200 each by 2021, and that people with high drug costs could save as much as $16,000 in that time.
The health care law is helping our friends, families, and neighbors get the care they need and deserve.
People like Paula, a 23 year-old cancer survivor, who, when the Affordable Care Act passed, was 21 and in the midst of treatment for a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Averaging $60,000 per chemotherapy treatment, along with prescriptions, monthly blood tests, and transfusions, Paula, in her early 20’s, quickly reached her lifetime benefits cap. But, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Paula remained covered, and was able to continue treatment.
Paula is one of the lucky ones. She was able to benefit from this law, before it was too late. And the health care law will continue to help Paula, because, beginning in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny her care based on this pre-existing condition.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act next week. It is my hope that the law is upheld, so that all of the benefits we are already seeing can continue, and we can see even more as the law is fully enacted. The Affordable Care Act is helping us out of a broken health care system, and we should not go back there again.
I hope that if you or someone you know is benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, you will let my office know so that we can continue to show why this law is so important for so many Americans.