Health Reform at Six Months
Health Reform at Six Months
Repeal Would Take Away New Rights and Benefits
The Affordable Care Act gave Americans new rights and benefits in their health coverage, writes Karen Davenport. Repeal would remove these gains.
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:
- Repealing Health Reform Would Mean Billions More in Administrative Costs by Sonia Sekhar
- Still Making Things Worse by Karen Davenport and Igor Volsky
- Health Care Reform Is a “Three-Legged Stool”: The Costs of Partially Repealing the Affordable Care Act by Jonathan Gruber
- What Will Happen to Small Business If Health Care Is Repealed
- The Affordable Care Act’s Repeal Would Leave the Doughnut Hole Open by Benjamin Hunt and Karen Davenport
- Interactive Map: Health Reform Helps Millions with Chronic Conditions by Sonia Sekhar
- Unraveling Health Reform Would Leave Millions with Less Affordable Care by Karen Davenport and Sonia Sekhar
- The Importance of Community Health Centers by Ellen-Marie Whelan
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