Health Care Reform

Health Reform at Six Months

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 23, 2010.

Repeal Would Take Away New Rights and Benefits

American families have acquired new rights and benefits in their health coverage with today’s six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. They’ve gained the right to purchase coverage for a family member under the age of 26, for example, or to purchase coverage for a sick child without worrying about a pre-existing condition exclusion.

In the coming months millions of families will be able to access preventive care without paying a deductible or copayment, and people who are seriously ill no longer need to worry about exhausting their plan’s lifetime benefits. These are tangible improvements to our health insurance system that would not have happened without the Affordable Care Act.

But these new rights and benefits—and other health system improvements included in the new health care law—are threatened by health reform opponents who would repeal the Affordable Care Act and unravel the benefits it provides. This draconian step would leave millions of Americans without the hope of attaining health coverage, and would impose real costs on the health care system and the people who use it. These costs include:

§                 Higher health insurance premiums

§                 128,000 jobs in small businesses

§                 $54 billion in economic activity and 284,000 jobs that would be created in 2015 by new investments in community health centers

§                 Higher out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries who currently hit the “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug benefit

§                 Higher administrative costs for people who buy coverage in the nongroup market

§                 Limited access to health insurance for the 72 million people with chronic conditions

§                 Help with health insurance costs for nearly a quarter of the nonelderly population

Today is a day to celebrate our recent accomplishments—and to appreciate the risks and costs that stepping backward would incur.

Karen Davenport is the Director of Health Policy at American Progress.

More from CAP on health care reform and repeal, click here.