BOSTON, MA -- Scott Brown wants to refight the health care battle, proposing a reckless repeal that threatens health care coverage for young people and seniors and offers a return to the time when insurance companies could discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions and limit lifetime coverage so people would be without coverage when they need it most.
"If Scott Brown and his Republican hardliners get their way, their reckless repeal of health care reform will hurt people in Massachusetts who finally, because of these reforms, have access to health care," said Mindy Myers, Warren Campaign Manager. "Scott Brown would take health care coverage away from thousands of people in Massachusetts, young and old, and once again, give the insurance companies the right to discriminate and limit coverage. That's wrong."
Under the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama and championed by Senator Ted Kennedy, critical reforms mean that millions of Americans -- and tens of thousands of people in the Commonwealth -- now have better quality health care coverage. The new law:
- Prohibits insurance companies from denying people coverage based on preexisting conditions.
- Prevents insurance companies from continuing to charge women 50% more than men for the same coverage.
- Allows young people to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 -- in Massachusetts that has provided health care coverage for more than 20,000 young adults.
- Will provide tax breaks that will benefit 360,000 small businesses that provide health care to two million workers.
- Bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits, - Already, 2,520,000 Massachusetts residents, including 975,000 women and 633,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
"Elizabeth Warren will work to protect health care coverage. She knows the next challenge is to further reduce the costs of health care now pushing too many families into bankruptcy," said Myers. "Elizabeth has made clear through her work that about half of all families in bankruptcy are there in the aftermath of a serious medical problem, and millions more are under enormous financial pressure when a loved one is ill. Congress should be taking steps to make health care more affordable for middle class families."
Key Facts on Health Reform Follow.
20,294 Young Adults In Massachusetts Gained Coverage Through Provisions Requiring Health Plans To Cover Members' "Children Under Age 26."According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): "Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family's coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 2.5 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of June 2011, 20,294 young adults in Massachusetts gained insurance coverage as a result of the new health care law." [HHS, 3/15/12]
In 2011 the Affordable Care Act Provided More than 60,000 Massachusetts Medicare Recipients In The Donut Hole With "A 50 Percent" Drug Discount, And Was On Track To "Close The Donut Hole" By 2020. According to HHS: "Thanks to the new health care law, 70,524 people with Medicare in Massachusetts received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. In 2011, 62,831 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount resulted in an average savings of $587 per person, and a total savings of $36,897,940 in Massachusetts. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole."[HHS, 3/15/12]
Over 1.3 Million Massachusetts Residents Gained More Affordable Access To "Preventive Services" Due To the Affordable Care Act, Including "Free Preventive Services" For Medicare Recipients. According to HHS: "In 2011, 780,099 people with Medicare in Massachusetts received free preventive services -- such as mammograms and colonoscopies -- or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,324,000 in Massachusetts." [HHS, 3/15/12]
Over 1.7 Million People With Private Insurance In Massachusetts Got Better Value From Their Premium Dollars. According to HHS: "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 1,777,000 Massachusetts residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars."[HHS, 3/15/12]
The Affordable Care Act Required Insurance Companies To "Publicly Justify" Rate Hikes, And Gave Massachusetts Officials The Resources To Enforce. According to HHS: 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. Massachusetts has received $4.4 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases." [HHS, 3/15/12]
The ACA Eliminated Lifetime Limits On Health Benefits, Which Affected "Cancer Patients And Individuals Suffering From Other Chronic Diseases." According to HHS: "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, 2,520,000 residents, including 975,000 women and 633,000 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." [HHS, 3/15/12]
Massachusetts Received $42.7 Million Under The Affordable Care Act For Prevention And Public Health. According to HHS: "Since 2010, Massachusetts has received $42.7 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 Massachusetts, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives." [HHS, 3/15/12]
The Affordable Care Act Increased Funding For Massachusetts's "292 Existing Community Health Centers," With Funding To Improve Access, Expand Reach To More Patients, And Offer More Kinds of Care. According to HHS: "The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 292 existing community health centers in Massachusetts. Health centers in Massachusetts have received $73.3 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 support major construction and renovation projects." [HHS, 3/15/12]
360,000 Small Businesses Will Receive Tax Credit in 2011 under Affordable Care Act. According to the White House: An estimated 360,000 small businesses will receive a tax credit to help them provide health insurance for 2 million workers in 2011. [White House, 2/16/12]