The Affordable Care Act was supposed to improve our nation’s health insurance system by giving people more choices, more coverage and affordable care. Below are some recent stories on this issue I’ve received from people in the 12th District. I sincerely appreciate hearing from each and every constituent who takes the time to contact me.
One of the most common concerns about the health care law that I hear from constituents is that their coverage has gotten worse since the law’s passage in 2010.
This was the case for one constituent who worked for 35 years at a company that was known for having good health insurance for its employees. Previously, her medication was always covered by her insurance, but since the health care law took effect, the out-of-pocket yearly cost of the medication is now $66,000. She can no longer afford it.
In another instance, one small business owner had been insured for over 20 years. During each of the last five years, her premiums had increased an average of 20 percent every year. Last month, she was notified that her plan is no longer available past July. When looking at healthcare.gov for a new plan, she found only two options which were worse than what she had before the health care law went into effect. Both plans had higher premiums, higher deductibles and less coverage. Contrary to President Obama’s promise to keep her preferred doctor, neither plan would cover her current doctors.
I will share one more story about a young man with a sudden and serious disease. He had a “Gold” plan through the exchange before he knew he was sick. He now owes over $62,000 for medicine, surgeries and other treatments for his illness. Because of loopholes in the law, his plan’s out-of-pocket limits don’t apply to his treatment. He and his wife are now forced to make heartbreaking decisions to get him the care he needs.
Health insurance is personal and the patient’s needs should be at the center of it. That is why Congress is currently working with the new Administration to replace the Affordable Care Act with a patient-centered system that will provide Americans with more choices, lower costs and greater control.
Member of Congress