Missouri’s two democratic Congressional delegates say the rumors surrounding the National Affordable Healthcare Act are overshadowing the importance of the law. St. Louis area Congressman Russ Carnahan and Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver say those opposing the measure should be scrutinized to see what they have to gain.
“The people who are opposing this should be heard with great skepticism,” Cleaver says.
They point to a report by Families USA, a nonprofit group in Washington that advocates for healthcare, which says the new healthcare law will reduce costs for all healthcare consumers.
The group says for those already insured, they’ll have lower premiums and fewer out-of-pocket costs and will be able to get insurance rates through competitive markets, which will drive costs down.
Among other factors the study culls from the gargantuan bill: Families of four with incomes below $90,000 (or three below $75,000) will receive tax subsidies that will result in savings.
“People with health insurance will no longer pay a hidden health tax, that means they won’t be paying for unisured (consumers), which drives up premiums,” a Families USA spokesman says. “People will get help with out-of-pocket costs, and the Affordable Care Act stops insurance companies from enforcing lifetime caps for major illnesses or accidents. There will also be limits on deductibles and copays.”
The group says those who are uninsured will be eligible for new Medicaid benefits because it will be expanded to about $30,000 per year income for families of four; a sliding scale will be extended to those who earn more than that.
The blanket benefit for all, the group says, is that “underlying healthcare costs will be decelerated, and improving coordination of care will become the standard so that wasteful treatments are eliminated.”
Part of that goal is that it promotes preventive care benefits, which keeps diseases from spiraling out of control, and insurance companies will be held more accountable so that more dollars are spent on care, not administration and marketing, Families USA says.
“It also provides funds for states like Missouri so they can review rate increases.”
The report, entitled “The Bottom Line,” says that essentially, households below the $100,000 mark will save an average of $2,070 in benefits. For all houselholds, their average benefit per year will be $1,471. That includes an average of $706 dollars less in premiums.
Congressman Cleaver calls it the most important piece of legislation to care for the public since in passage of Social Security in 1935.
“In my estimation, after moving toward almost a decade in congress, this is the single most significant piece of legislation I’ve voted on,” Cleaver says. “It would be my hope and my dream that in years to come, long after my name has been forgotten as served in the Missouri delegation here in congress, that Missouri families will be benefiting from services they receive from the Affordable Care Act.
Carnahan says the bottom line is that it will be very helpful for families’ and businesses’ bottom line financially, in terms of improving their care and access to car.
“We all know the circumstances that led up to this,” he says. “Over several decades, we saw skyrocketing healthcare costs and it was absolutely not sustainable. The status quo was locked into keeping a lot of the dysfunction in the system, and it was a tough battle but it was important to fight and move forward for families.”
To see the Missouri specific figures, go here: http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/press-releases/2011-press-releases/mo-bottom-line-report-1.html