Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Rep. Eshoo Votes Against Repeal of Healthcare Reform
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) voted against H.R. 2, the Republican bill to repeal healthcare reform, decrying the elimination of hard-won patient protections and the particular strain on seniors and the deficit. The bill passed the House by a vote of 245-189.
“Last year, I voted to give millions of Americans the same healthcare options as I receive as a Member of Congress. Today, Republicans voted to take away those options and return our country to insurance companies setting the rules and patients having non alternatives,” Rep. Eshoo said. “Repeal would immediately strip the majority of my constituents of essential protections, removing the ban on lifetime caps, raising taxes on small business, and increasing prescription drug costs for seniors. It would also add $230 billion directly to the deficit over the next ten years and more than a trillion dollars over twenty years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.”
The following would be the consequences for the people of California’s 14th Congressional District:
• Repealing the ban on insurers placing a lifetime cap on coverage would affect 461,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or the private insurance market and currently benefit from the new law.
• Repealing the insurance reform on ‘recissions’—dropping patients who become ill—would affect up to 291,000 individuals, including 36,000 children, with pre-existing conditions. These individuals include those who are breast cancer survivors and prostate cancer survivors, those living with heart disease, and those with chronic conditions such as asthma and high blood pressure.
• Repealing the insurance reform of allowing children to remain on their parents’ insurance until their 26th birthday would affect 2,800 young adults in the 14th Congressional District.
• Repealing the Medicare benefit would affect 9,500 seniors in the 14th Congressional District who hit the Part D drug “donut hole,” and it would deny new preventative care benefits to 83,000 seniors.
• Repeal of the law would eliminate health care tax credits available for up to 15,400 small businesses in the 14th Congressional District.
• Repeal would eliminate the ban on insurers dropping people from coverage when they get sick, which protects 17,000 individuals who purchase individual health insurance in the 14th Congressional District.
• Repeal would increase the costs of coverage for up to 8,200 early retirees in the 14th Congressional District.
On January 6th Rep. Eshoo introduced an amendment to preserve the ban on lifetime caps despite the planned repeal by Republicans. More than half of all existing private health insurance policies have a lifetime cap buried in the fine print and once a patient hits the cap, they’re immediately dropped from their plan, regardless of their medical situation. The Rules Committee voted to prevent consideration of Rep. Eshoo’s amendment.