Here’s a by-the-numbers rundown of how the Democrats’ health care legislation has affected Americans so far—and what the GOP is threatening to take away with Wednesday’s scheduled vote on a repeal bill:
Four million Medicare beneficiaries are expected to receive a $250 rebate check for their 2010 prescription drug costs since the “donut hole” that exempted some seniors from drug discounts was closed on January 1, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
More than four million small businesses are eligible to receive a tax credit for purchasing employee health insurance in 2010, according to a July 2010 study by Families USA and Small Business Majority (both are pro-reform advocacy groups). About 1.2 million small businesses are eligible to receive the maximum 35 percent tax credit.
About 2 million uninsured children with preexisting conditions cannot be denied coverage under the current law. By 2014, everyone with a preexisting condition (as many as 129 million Americans) would receive the same insurance protections.
Nearly 2.4 million young adults can now receive coverage through their parents’ health plans, under a provision that extends coverage to dependents up to age 26, according to the Obama administration. That number includes 1.8 million young adults who weren’t insured previously, as well as some 600,000 who had to buy insurance on their own.
This year, about 10,700 people will keep their insurance coverage due to a provision in the bill that prohibits an industry practice known as “rescission,” which entailed stripping people of their coverage when payouts grew too costly.
Pre-reform, about 18,600 to 20,400 people hit a lifetime limit in insurance coverage each year and were denied coverage for claims above this ceiling. The reform bill prohibits insurers from setting these coverage caps.
Finally, repealing the legislation would also increase the deficit by an estimated $230 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
All the belly aching about this bill and how it “steals our freedom” irritates me greatly. As much as I hate this bill and the fact that it didn’t go nearly as far as it needed to, these measures aren’t something you should shake a stick at. They represent real people who might for once be able to avoid going into bankruptcy as a result of medical bills.
This is the Republican plan circa 1993 for goodness sakes! Seriously, this lying thing gets old.