A new year, a new fight. Days before they are even set to officially assume control of the House, House Republicans announced yesterday their plans to vote on a repeal of the new federal health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), on January 12.
This attempted repeal will be the first significant legislative action by House Republicans in the 112th Congress, and sets the stage for the looming battle to come. Deviating somewhat from their preferred nomenclature, the title chosen for the bill – “The Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” – sets the tone for this new round of attacks.
The brevity of the 2-page bill does not allow for any explanations on just what makes the ACA a “job-killer.” Nonetheless, it is expected to pass easily in the Republican-controlled House. It is, however, set to face a significant hurdle in the Democratic-controlled Senate where leaders have vowed to block any repeal efforts.
So, just what exactly is at stake? Here are just a few of the current benefits afforded by the ACA:
- A 50% discount on brand-name drugs for Seniors in the Medicare donut-hole (and removal of the donut-hole altogether in 2020).
A 35% tax credit for small businesses who offer health insurance to their employees. In 2014, these tax credits will go up to 50%.
Dependant coverage for young adults until the age of 26.
The low-cost NY Bridge Plan for uninsured people with a pre-existing condition.
New quality standards for health plans & consumer protections.
Free consumer assistance programs to ensure that people are able to get and use the quality care that they deserve.
These are things worth fighting for, not against! Clearly there are still many out there who do not understand the new law or who have been miseducated by the conservative media. It is important for those of us who do understand it to do our part to set the record straight. Check out HCFANY’s publications page to learn the facts on the ACA, and help us spread the knowledge!