Uncategorized — March 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act and THANK YOU, Democrats!


Breaking: sky still up, world still here

Two years ago today, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Despite much huffery and puffery from the GOP and every tea partier in the land, the sky has not fallen and, miraculously, the world has not come to an end.

My Congressman, Tim Walberg, “The Original Tea Partier”, sent out a nastygram to his constituents this morning titled “President`s Health Care Law Fails On Promises”.

Today marks the second anniversary of the President’s health care law. However, very few people are celebrating because it has failed to live up to its promises and slowed the economic progress of our country. Americans know that it will only lead to higher costs, fewer jobs and cripple Medicare for millions of seniors who depend on it. That’s why I remain committed to repealing the law entirely and will continue to champion common-sense, patient-centered health care reforms like expanded flexibility of Health Savings Accounts, association health plans, and allowing the purchase of health coverage across state lines.

Of course, this is all lies. It has done nothing to slow our economic progress, it has not cost us jobs and Medicare is actually preserved beyond what it would be if Walberg and Romney and their pals had their way. It’s already starting to prevent egregious rate hikes by for-profit insurance companies and, as more of the ACA’s provisions kick in, costs trends will begin to reverse.

Compare the results to what will happen if the ACA is repealed:

Click for larger version (pdf)

This is from a much more comprehensive overview document from David Cuttler, a professor of Economics at Harvard University which you can read HERE (pdf). There’s some great information in there comparing the ACA to what the Republicans would do. It’s not pretty, for sure.

The White House released a report of its own today called
“Affordable Care Act: The New Health Care Law at Two Years” (pdf) that gives a great overview of what the ACA has already accomplished.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:

  • 2.5 million more young adults have health insurance on their parent’s plan.
  • 5.1 million people with Medicare saved an average of $635 on the cost of their prescription drugs. And everyone on Medicare can get preventive services like mammograms for free.
  • Insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on health care and not overhead and cannot raise your premiums by 10 percent or more with no accountability.
  • It is illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition. And in 2014, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be illegal.

Today, Sandra Kiff at the Washington Post writes about the impact of the ACA on moving toward more results-oriented care (vs. volume-oriented care):

The Affordable Care Act is mostly known for its mandate to expand health insurance to 30 million more Americans within a decade. That’s the side of the legislation Democrats touted last week, when the law hit its two-year anniversary. It’s also the point that has roused the most ire from opponents. Insurance expansion is at the heart of legal challenges the Supreme Court will take up on Monday, which argue that forcing people to buy insurance coverage is unconstitutional.But much of the law’s 905 pages are dedicated to an effort that’s arguably more ambitious: an overhaul of America’s business model for medicine. It includes 45 changes to how doctors deliver health care — and how patients pay for it. These reforms, if successful, will move the country’s health system away from one that pays for volume and toward one that pays for value. The White House wants to see providers behave more like Baptist Health Systems, rewarding health care that is both less costly and more effective.

While Republicans and anti-government types will spend the day deriding “Obamacare” and all the evils it portends, Democrats are heralding its successes and the progressive, positive change that the ACA represents. As LOLGOP said this morning, the Affordable Care Act is “a fight for women” as much as anything else.

This was and is an incredible victory for all Americans, especially women. It took an incredible act of bravery for this President and the Democrats in Congress to fight for it. And it’s at stake in the 2012 election.So as Republicans celebrate the idea of taking health care away from millions of Americans, it’s up to us to remind women what we will lose if we do not fight for the Affordable Care Act.

That, and so much more. A BFD indeed.

Adding…there are a collection of great videos showing the positive impact the Affordable Care Act is having on average Americans. You can see them HERE. My good friends at the wonderful Burnt Orange Report have a collection HERE, as well.