STATEMENT FROM CONGRESSMAN RUBÉN HINOJOSA ON THE SUPREME COURT UPHOLDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
To read the full ruling: click here
Washington—Today, Following the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) issued the following statement:
"I am extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has decisively ruled that the Affordable Care act is constitutional. This is a huge victory for the American people and a testament to the hard work by the Obama administration and those in Congress who worked so hard to pass the law. The fight is not over, and I will continue to work to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable and comprehensive health care. As more provisions of the act go into effect over the next few years, American families will see more benefits and have greater access."
With this decision, Americans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act is already paying dividends for millions of Americans – with more to come:
• Children can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
• Seniors are paying less for prescription drugs.
• Students and young adults can stay on their parents’ plans.
• Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition.
In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people, and ensured health care would be a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.
Today’s ruling helps secure a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American.
The Department of Health and Human Services released updated state-by-state information on the Affordable Care Act that highlight the benefits of the law.
Here is a link to the state of Texas: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/tx.html
History of the ACA and numbers that prove this law is helping Americans across the country:
The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, has provided Americans with many advantages, especially for those in need of medical treatment and assistance. I voted to support the Affordable Care Act and I will tell you why and what it means to you.
When it comes to stronger consumer rights and protection, the act puts into effect a new Patient's Bill of Rights, which encompasses a wide range of securities, always keeping the American citizen in mind. Before, insurance companies were able to deny a child because of a pre-existing medical condition. Now, they can no longer deny nor limit benefits to children under 19, and within a couple of years, it will be extended to Americans of all ages. This applies to job-related health plans as well as individual insurance policies. Furthermore, a young adult may be eligible to remain under their parent's health plan until they are 26 years old.
Not only did Americans worry about the wellbeing of their children, but as we know, not everyone has the money to dish out for a decent insurance policy. Money has been and always will be an issue for economically struggling families in America. That is why the Affordable Care Act ensures that policy-holders get the most out of their premium dollar. The act values the quality of healthcare by limiting the amount of premium dollar your insurer can spend on things besides providing healthcare and improving its quality for you and your family. Insurers must spend at least 80% of premiums to provide individuals with quality healthcare. For extra protection, health insurance companies are required to report yearly to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on premium dollars spent on healthcare services and quality improvement.
In addition, prior to the act, healthcare plans were able to establish lifetime limits, which restricted the amount of how much they would pay for covered benefits. All expenses beyond that were left entirely to the insured, but with the act in effect, lifetime limits are prohibited, relieving many Americans of financial stress. A common theme and priority in the business aspect is solely to maximize profits, leading to absurd spikes in rates as well. However, under the act, with the assistance of a Rate Review program, insurance companies cannot raise rates beyond 10% without justification.
Under the act, Americans have better access to healthcare. Insurers are now required to cover many suggested preventive services but not limited to:
- Blood Pressure screening for all adults
- Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
- Breast Cancer mammography
- Cervical Cancer screening for sexually active women
- Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months
- Alcohol/ Drug use assessments for adolescents
Americans are now able to receive even the most basic, though necessary, of services. With consumer rights and protections, affordability, and better coverage, the Affordable Care Act ensures that people receive the healthcare they need. When evaluating the Affordable Care Act, you must not only look at it piecewise, but also as a whole. Many positive statistics alone appropriately speak for its effectiveness and ultimate favorability for the American people.
It has been less than two and a half years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law but Americans are already seeing lower costs and better coverage:
- In 2011, 32.5 million seniors received one or more free preventive services. So far in 2012, 14 million seniors have already received these services.
- 54 million Americans in private plans have received one or more free preventive services.
- 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage.
- Up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers.
- 6.6 million young adults up to age 26 have taken advantage of the law to obtain health insurance through their parents’ plan.
- 5.1 million seniors in the ‘donut hole’ have saved $3.2 billion on their prescription drugs, an average of $635 per senior.
- In 2011, 2.3 million seniors had a free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare. So far in 2012, 1.1 million seniors have already had this free visit.
- In 2011, 360,000 small employers used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help them afford health insurance for 2 million workers.
Let these figures not only support the Affordable Care Act, but also serve as a precursor for more to come.