March 22, 2011

CARDIN PRAISES BENEFITS OF HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW ONE YEAR AFTER ENACTMENT

The Affordable Care Act will cut the number of Marylanders living without health insurance in half by 2020

Washington, DC -  In celebration of the one year anniversary of  enactment of the Affordable Care Act,  U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, spoke on  the floor of the United States Senate tohighlight some of the benefits that have helped Marylanders and other Americans. Videos of Senator Cardin's remarks on health care reform are available here.

"One year ago, a majority in Congress took the decisive step to guarantee affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans. No issue is more important for bringing down our federal deficits and controlling the seemingly out-of-control cost of health care today. Thanks to passage of health care reform, seniors, families, small businesses and individuals are now being protected from the abusive practices of health insurance companies that have put profits over patients for too long. 

"Much has happened to improve health care in America since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. If you are a senior in Medicare you have reason to celebrate because you now can see your primary doctor every year for a wellness exam that is now covered. If you're one of the 3.2 million seniors who falls within the prescription drug coverage gap - the so-called donut hole - you have a reason to celebrate because this year you will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs within the donut hole. If you are a family celebrating your child's graduation from college, you also can celebrate that he or she now can be covered by your insurance plan until age 26. If you are a small business owner who can now afford to provide health coverage for your employees because of the new tax credit in the Affordable Care Act , you and your employees have reason to celebrate this anniversary."     [Videos of Senator Cardin's remarks on the one-year anniversary of health care reform are available here.]

"Health care reform has had an immediate impact on real families, small businesses and seniors in Maryland."  Some of the most immediate benefits of health care reform, which includes provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, include the following:

 

  • The Affordable Care Act will cut the number of Marylanders living without health insurance in half by 2020.

 

  • The health care reform law provides $40 billion of tax credits to up to 4 million small businesses, including up to 76,794 in Maryland to help offset the costs of purchasing coverage for their employees and makes premiums more affordable.

 

  • Maryland's health care sector is projected to grow by more than 20 percent by 2018, when it will employ a projected 264,000 people in the state.

 

  • 32,000 kids in Maryland will be protected by an Affordable Care Act provision that bans insurers from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.

 

  • The Affordable Care Act bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits, which protects the 3.7 million Maryland residents who have private insurance plans.