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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:22 PM

The Affordable Care Act Is Getting Results, With Much More to Come

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/03/aca_anniversary.html

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Millions of Americans can now get the health insurance coverage they need thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

The act’s provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 has been particularly important to American families as the economy struggles to get back on its feet. Because of the law 2.5 million additional young adults including 1.3 million minorities—many of them new college graduates—had access to coverage even if they were unable to find a job right away. Notably, this demographic’s coverage gains are wholly attributable to increases in private coverage with no change to Medicaid coverage. Now, 73 percent of young adults have insurance coverage as a result of the dependent provision, and their families benefit from this economic security, too.


Meanwhile, many Americans with a pre-existing medical condition—including asthma, heart disease, previous injuries, and cancer—would not have access to necessary, affordable care without health reform. The health law prohibits insurance companies from charging higher premiums, limiting benefits, or denying coverage to those who need it starting in 2014. But to ensure those with pre-existing conditions can access the care they need immediately, the Affordable Care Act created the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which includes coverage for primary and specialty care, hospital services, and prescription drugs. To date, more than 50,000 Americans have enrolled in PCIP, a nearly 400 percent increase in enrollment since November 2010.

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Health care reform requires insurance plans to cover important preventive services, including critical immunizations, numerous health screenings, and counseling services, with no cost-sharing by women. In 2011 alone more than 85 million people—32.5 million Medicare beneficiaries and 54 million Americans with private insurance—including seniors, women, and persons with disabilities, accessed these critical preventive services for free. Millions of women will take advantage of more comprehensive preventive care beginning in August 2012, including free mammograms, well-woman visits, contraception, and breast-feeding support and counseling.

Seniors and persons with disabilities enrolled in Medicare saw significant savings thanks to the law. The Affordable Care Act works to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.” In 2011 alone, nearly 4 million seniors saved more than $2.1 billion on prescription drugs—an average of $604 per person—and will save even more in the years ahead. The average Medicare patient will save $4,200 from 2011 to 2021 while those with higher prescription drug costs will save as much as $16,000 over the same period.

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Here's an answer to a question on FactCheck.org that debunks a load of lies from a bit of GOP disinformation circulated via emails and on conservative psycho's internet sites. Again, all emphases are my own._Bill USA

Premium Nonsense On Medicare - FactCheck.org

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This widely circulating message is similar to a falsehood-filled screed that went around last year, urging "retribution" against members of Congress in the 2010 midterm elections. This message makes somewhat different accusations — also false — and urges voters to "remember" in November 2012.

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■ It claims that "those of you who are on Medicare" can thank "Obamacare" for increases in the per-person monthly Medicare premium — "to a wonderful $247.00 in 2014." This is also false. The basic premium for Medicare Part B (which covers physician services) was indeed $96.40 in 2009. But the other numbers are all wrong. It was $110.50 last year, for example, and not $104.20 as claimed. And it is $115.40 this year, not $120.20 as claimed.

Actually, only 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are paying the basic rate. [font color="blue"]The rest — 73 percent — are paying less[/font] under a "hold harmless" provision triggered by the lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security this year or last year. Most are still paying $96.40.

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