It has only been two years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, but
the people of South Florida are already benefitting from lower costs and better
coverage. I want to share with you some recent figures released by the
Department of Health and Human Services on the implementation of health care
reform in our community.
Over 4,700 young adults in Florida’s 19th district have already taken
advantage of the ability to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans while
they look for jobs in a challenging economy. The Affordable Care Act has also
banned insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing
conditions. As a result, over 27,000 children in the communities I represent
have affordable health insurance despite preexisting conditions, from chronic
asthma to congenital heart problems. When reform is fully implemented in 2014,
this important protection will extend to Americans of all ages who suffer from
Reform is also delivering savings to retirees. For seniors who find themselves with huge prescription drug bills due to the dreaded Medicare “donut hole,” the Affordable Care Act is providing 50 percent discounts on brand-name and generic prescription drugs. Already, over 14,000 seniors in Florida’s 19th district have saved over $9.1 million on their medications, and these savings will only increase until the Medicare “donut hole” is fully closed. Finally, all Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible for free check-ups and vital preventative screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
Finally, the Affordable Care Act is strengthening our economy and helping
small businesses afford health plans. I was pleased to learn that nearly 800
small businesses in Florida’s 19th district have received new tax credits to
help provide coverage to employees. As health care reform is implemented, these tax breaks will only grow more generous. Just as important are the Affordable Care Act’s provisions requiring that at least 80 percent of the insurance premiums you pay actually go to your health care, meaning that the days of health insurance companies charging you more in premiums for less in benefits are over. In Florida’s 19th district alone, this law has prevented costs from going up for 170,000 Floridians, and has barred insurance companies from
establishing lifetime coverage limits for 220,000 others.
These numbers speak for themselves. The reforms implemented over the past two years are helping families and seniors throughout South Florida better afford
health care. As the remainder of the Affordable Care Act is put into effect, I
am confident that our community will continue to benefit from policies that put
the health and well-being of the American people first.
Congressman Ted Deutch