The House Republican budget stacks the deck against the Middle Class, one cut at a time, cutting vital programs, lowering taxes for millionaires, and raising taxes for middle-class families.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, the 78% of Nevadans who have insurance have more choices and stronger coverage than ever before. And for the 22% of Nevadans who don’t have insurance, or Nevada families and small businesses who buy their coverage but aren’t happy with it, a new day is just around the corner.
Soon, the new online Health Insurance Marketplace will provide families and small businesses who currently don’t have insurance, or are looking for a better deal, a new way to find health coverage that fits their needs and their budgets.
Open enrollment in the Marketplace starts Oct 1, with coverage starting as soon as Jan 1, 2014. But Nevada families and small business can visit HealthCare.gov right now to find the information they need prepare for open enrollment.
Key Features of the health care law are already providing better options, better value, better health and a stronger Medicare program for the people of Nevada:
Beginning Oct 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easy for Nevadans to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and enroll in health coverage.
By the Numbers: Uninsured Nevadans who are eligible for coverage through the Marketplace.
438,826 (93%) of Nevada’s uninsured and eligible population may qualify for lower costs on coverage in the Marketplace, including through Medicaid.
Nevada has received $74,754,285 in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of its Health Insurance Marketplace.
Under the health care law, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Thanks to this provision, over 3 million young people who would otherwise have been uninsured have gained coverage nationwide, including 33,000 young adults in Nevada.
As many as 1,157,045 non-elderly Nevadans have some type of pre-existing health condition, including 162,452 children. Today, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition, like asthma or diabetes, under the health care law. And beginning in 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing condition. The health care law also established a temporary health insurance program for individuals who were denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition. 1,373 Nevadans with pre-existing conditions have gained coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan since the program began.
Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care, or provide you a refund. This means that 88,491 Nevada residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $3,977,544 in refunds from insurance companies this year, for an average refund of $75 per family covered by a policy.
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. Nevada has received $4,959,972 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, 937,000 people in Nevada, including 329,000 women and 269,000 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.
The health care law requires many insurance plans to provide coverage without cost sharing to enrollees for a variety of preventive health services, such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits, and flu shots for all children and adults.
In 2011 and 2012, 71 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 615,000 in Nevada. And for policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012, women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need. Approximately 47 million women, including 391,181 in Nevada will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing.
The health care law increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Nevada, 2 health centers operate 30 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 57,987 people. Health Center grantees in Nevada have received $8,264,743 under the health care law to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.
Community Health Centers in all 50 states have also received a total of $150 million in federal grants to help enroll uninsured Americans in the Health Insurance Marketplace, including $451,674 awarded to Nevada health centers. With these funds, Nevada health centers expect to hire 9 additional workers, who will assist 10,600 Nevadans with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage.
As a result of historic investments through the health care law and the Recovery Act, the numbers of clinicians in the National Health Service Corps are at all-time highs with nearly 10,000 Corps clinicians providing care to more than 10.4 million people who live in rural, urban, and frontier communities. The National Health Service Corps repays educational loans and provides scholarships to primary care physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, behavioral health providers, and other primary care providers who practice in areas of the country that have too few health care professionals to serve the people who live there. As of September 30, 2012, there were 36 Corps clinicians providing primary care services in Nevada, compared to 12 in 2008.
As of March 2012, Nevada had received $7,500,000 in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the health care law. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Nevada, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.
In Nevada, people with Medicare saved nearly $41 million on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act. In 2012 alone, 22,122 individuals in Nevada saved over $14 million, or an average of $611 per beneficiary. In 2012, people with Medicare in the “donut hole” received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent discount on generic drugs. And thanks to the health care law, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs will continue to increase over time until the coverage gap is closed. Nationally, over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on drugs since the law’s enactment.
With no deductibles or co-pays, cost is no longer a barrier for seniors and people with disabilities who want to stay healthy by detecting and treating health problems early. In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million people benefited from Medicare’s coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing. In Nevada, 166,815 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2012.
The health care law extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years. From 2010 to 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at 1.7 percent annually, substantially more slowly than the per capita rate of growth in the economy. And the health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Over the last four years, the administration’s fraud enforcement efforts have recovered $14.9 billion from fraudsters. For every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse activities in the last three years the administration has returned $7.90.
Obamacare is making health care work better for all of us, even if you already have insurance. It puts the health of your family first—ensuring access to free preventive care and protecting consumers from insurance company abuses.
|71 Million Kids & Adults With Private Insurance Have Received No-Cost Preventive Care.
“HHS estimates that, as a result of the ACA, 71 million children and adults with private insurance, and 34 million Medicare beneficiaries have received no-cost preventive care. Enhanced federal matching funds in Medicaid are available to states providing all USPSTF-recommended preventive benefits without cost-sharing, but, to date, few states have made the changes required to gain the higher match rate.” “Health Reform-The Affordable Care Act Three Years Post-Enactment,” Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2013.
|Discrimination By Insurance Companies For Children With Pre-Existing Conditions Was Banned.
“Coverage exclusions for children with pre-existing conditions were prohibited as of September 23, 2010. Insurers are no longer permitted to deny coverage to children due to their health status, or exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Protections for adults will take effect in 2014. In addition, lifetime limits on coverage in private insurance have been eliminated and annual limits are being phased out.” “Health Reform-The Affordable Care Act Three Years Post-Enactment,” Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2013.
|Consumers Received $1.1 Billion in Rebates From Their Insurance Companies.
“Insurance companies that don’t spend at least 80 percent of its customers’ premium dollars on health care are required to provide rebates to policy holders. In 2012, the first year this rule was implemented, 12.8 million consumers received $1.1 billion in rebates.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
|3.1 Million More Young Adults Have Health Insurance Through Their Parent’s Plan.
“Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
|Seniors Have Saved More Than $6.1 Billion on Their Prescription Drugs Since 2010.
“Seniors who hit the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, often called the ‘donut hole’ now receive 50 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs. The new health reform law will provide additional savings each year until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
This morning, David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to President Obama, sent the message below to individuals on the White House email list about the House Republican Budget. If you didn’t get the email, be sure to sign up.
Every day, you and your family make choices about how you spend your money and what investments you make. Leaders in Congress do the same thing when they draw up their budgets for the country. And if you spend some time with their plans, you learn what they value, you see the type of country they want America to be.
So when Congressman Paul Ryan put out a new budget for the House Republicans this week, we spent some time with it. We took a careful look and did the math.
Here’s what we learned.
Republicans in Washington want to give millionaires and billionaires an average tax break of at least $150,000. They want to pay for those tax cuts by slashing programs that create jobs and protect our children, our seniors, and the veterans who have fought for the country. They want to end Medicare as we know it. And they want to undercut our economic strength by rolling back key investments in education, research, and our nation’s roads and bridges.
President Obama believes we need to live within our means and that’s why he put forward a balanced plan that reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion. But the plan put forward by the GOP fails that test of balance.
To show you what we mean, we’ve put together an infographic that breaks out the kinds of priorities we’d have to give up for the $150,000 tax break that Republicans want to give to the nation’s millionaires and billionaires.
The more people who share it, the more folks will understand what’s at stake and how we can do better for the middle class.
Senior Advisor to the President