Health Care Reform
Defending existing reforms while working towards needed improvements.
The Health Care Reform bills signed into law by President Obama achieved some important and tangible goals:
- If you have a pre-existing condition, you won’t be denied coverage.
- If you get sick, the insurance company won’t be able to drop you.
- Lifetime limits were eliminated.
- Seniors will get 50% discounts on brand-name drugs for Medicare patients and the prescription donut hole will be completely eliminated within 9 years.
- Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums.
- More young people going to school will get coverage through their parent’s plans.
- New insurance plans must improve preventative care.
- New plans must now implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
By 2014, if we can protect this bill from being repealed, insurers won’t be able to impose annual spending caps.
The repeal of health care reform would be an extraordinary step backwards for patients and particularly the families and seniors of South Florida. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the law would add another $210 billion dollars to the deficit.
That doesn’t mean the bills don’t need improvement. There are certain provisions that create bureaucratic issues for businesses, and there are elements that can be improved to make it less cumbersome. I support correcting these and other flaws in the legislation that have placed unnecessary bookkeeping burdens on small businesses. For instance, I supported the revocation of the provision mandating that every business, charity, and local and state government entity submit 1099 forms for business transactions totaling $600 or more in a given year.
Health care costs continue to rise for both individuals and businesses. Continual improvements to the health care reform laws must work to lower these costs substantially.
Overall, while we must continue to improve these laws, we cannot look backwards. We must protect the rights and protections health care reform has provided.