Affordable Health Care
In March 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, groundbreaking legislation that improves health care for seniors, cracks down on the insurance companies, and ensures that millions more Americans can access health coverage.
We don't have to look any further than our own state to see what would happen if we did nothing to reform health care—huge premium increases like those that Anthem has demanded forcing more and more individuals and small businesses to go without coverage.
Here's what the health care reform legislation does:
- Improves health care for 225,000 Maine seniors by closing the donut hole, reducing the price of prescription drugs and covering check ups
- In 2010, Medicare beneficiaries who went into the donut hole received a $250 rebate. After that they will receive a pharmaceutical manufacturers' 50% discount on brand-name drugs, increasing to a 75% discount on brand-name and generic drugs to close the donut hole by 2020.
- The legislation requires free annual checkups and no out of pocket expense for things like cancer and diabetes screening.
- Strengthens Medicare and keeps it solvent
- The legislation will add 12 years to Medicare solvency.
- Cracks down on the worst practices of the insurance industry like discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and cancelling your insurance policies after you get sick.
- Makes it easier for small businesses and working Americans to afford health insurance and helps ensure that no one will go bankrupt because of medical expenses.
- Provides cost sharing assistance to working Americans to help them afford insurance.
- Creates the largest health care tax break in history to make it easier for small businesses and individuals to afford coverage.
- Lets individuals and small businesses buy coverage from an "exchange" so they can buy it the way big employers do.
- Is fully paid for and reduces the deficit by roughly $200 billion in the next 10 years, and by over a trillion dollars in the decade after that.
- Bill is paid for in part by cutting out waste, fraud, and abuse from the health care system and asking wealthy Americans to pay their fare share of the Medicare tax.
More on Affordable Health Care
When I put out a call for people to share their stories of how the Affordable Care Act has helped people in Maine, I received over a thousand responses in just a few days. Here's just a small sample of those powerful stories.
"Under Obamacare, we now pay one-third of our old premium and have a $2,500 deductible. I had my first physical in over 20 years."
- Patrick, small business owner from Winthrop
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today expressed her strong opposition to a Senate-passed reconciliation bill that would repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. The House will vote on the legislation later today and the President has said he would veto it if passed.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that the Portland Community Health Center will receive a federal Affordable Care Act grant to open a new community health center in South Portland. The New Access Point Community Health Center grant—administered by the Department of Health and Human Services—will provide $355,848 for start-up costs and $650,000 annually for the next two years.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said that the U.S. Supreme Court today made the right decision in upholding a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Pingree had asked Obama Administration to reject state's request to roll back Medicaid eligibility
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree welcomed a decision by a Federal Appeals Court that the Obama Administration was right to deny a request by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to drop Medicaid coverage for 19- and 20-year olds.
Says more federal funding needed to confront growing problem in Maine and around the country
Chellie talking with Dr. Peter Rand and Susan Elias of Maine Medical Center Research Institute's Vector-borne Disease Laboratory. Rand is showing Pingree a "tick flag" that is dragged across grass and vegetation to collect ticks for research.