Obamacare at 2: Local politicos have differing opinions [Opinion: The Arena]

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Drs. John, Barry, & Mitch

While Sen. McConnell was outlining what he believes is wrong with President Obama’s healthcare law, Louisville’s Third District Congressman, Rep. John Yarmuth, issued a report, What Health Care Reform Means for Louisville, extolling what he believes are the new law’s many virtues.

john-yarmuth.jpgAccording to Rep. Yarmuth, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has already provided benefits to seniors, young adults, small businesses, and many others in the 3rd Congressional District.  According to the congressman: 

• 5,800 young adults in the district now have health insurance.

• 11,900 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $7.2 million, an average discount of $610 per senior.

• 84,000 seniors in the district received Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.

• 32,000 children and 130,000 adults now have health insurance that covers preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.

• 530 small businesses in the district received tax credits to help maintain or expand health care coverage for their employees.

• $1.1 million in public health grants have been given to community health centers, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers in the district to improve the community’s health.

• 9,000 to 40,000 children with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

In addition Yarmuth says, “…the consumer protection provisions of the Affordable Care Act have ended some of the worst abuses of health insurers. These provisions have helped protect 190,000 residents of the district from excessive rate increases by limiting the amount of money that health insurers can spend on administrative expenses and profits and requiring health insurers to post and justify rate increases of 10% or more; they have eliminated the threat of health coverage rescissions for more than 510,000 residents; and they have banned insurance companies from establishing lifetime coverage limits for 270,000 residents.”

Obamacare-300x276.jpgJeffrey H. Anderson, writing in The Weekly Standard, reminds us that when President Obama signed Obamacare into law, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that Obamacare would cost 3 million people their employer-sponsored health insurance by the end of this decade. Seemingly in commemoration of Obamacare’s anniversary, the CBO has now released a new report in which it has increased that tally by another 2 million. So now, 5 million people are projected to lose their employer-sponsored insurance, courtesy of Obamacare, by the end of 2019.

Readers may remember Obama telling the country, during the Obamacare debate, “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that:  if you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it.”  Of course, he didn’t say for how long.

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