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|Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Begins November 15th
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The Affordable Care Act (OBAMACARE)
is working in Colorado!
Nearly every person in Colorado has benefited
from the Affordable Care Act.
125,402 individuals selected a Marketplace plan under the Colorado Health Care Exchange
Of the 125,402 Coloradans who selected a plan:
Colorado has received $178,931,023 in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of its Marketplace.
Colorado Medicaid Expansion – 314,436 Coloradans have gained Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage since the beginning of the Health Insurance Marketplace’s first open enrollment period in October, 2013.
Mental Health – 1,115,058 Coloradans gained access to mental health coverage.
New coverage options for young adults – 50,000 young adults under 26 years old in Colorado gained health care coverage under their family health care plan.
Ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions 2,250,003 non-elderly Coloradans have some type of pre-existing health condition, including 291,351 children.
Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule – Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care, rather than administrative costs like salaries or marketing, or they have to provide you a refund. This means that 52,277 Coloradans with private insurance coverage benefited from $2,721,701 in refunds from insurance companies, for an average refund of $93 per family because of the Affordable Care Act.
Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases – Colorado has received $8,580,311 under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases. Since implementing the law, the fraction of requests for insurance premium increases of 10 percent or more has dropped dramatically, from 75 percent to 14 percent nationally. To date, the rate review program has helped save Americans an estimated $1 billion.
Removing lifetime limits on health benefits – 1,902,000 people in Colorado, including 696,000 women and 521,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
Better Health Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay 520,000 individuals in Colorado receive expanded preventive services without cost-sharing.
Increasing support for community health centers -THealth Center grantees in Colorado have received $174,696,911 under the health care law to offer a broader array of primary care services, extend their hours of operations, hire more providers, and renovate or build new clinical spaces.
Of the $174,696,911 awarded to Colorado, $3,502,201 was awarded to Colorado health centers to help enroll uninsured Americans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
In Colorado, 17 health centers operate 189 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 498,828 Coloradans, including 253,272 Latinos and 38,792 African Americans.
Investing in the primary care workforce As of September 30, 2013, there were 199 Corps clinicians providing primary care services in Colorado, compared to 91 in 2008.
Through Fiscal Year 2013, Colorado has received $28,365,728 in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the health care law.
A Stronger Medicare Program
In Colorado, people with Medicare have saved nearly $117,704,258 on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act. In 2013 alone, 43,232 individuals in Colorado saved over $36,535,317, or an average of $845 per beneficiary. In 2014, people with Medicare in the “donut hole” received a 53 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and a 28 percent discount on generic drugs.
In Colorado, 463,456 individuals with Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2013.
The Medicare Trustees projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare’s hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2030, four years beyond what was projected in last year’s report. Just a few years ago, the Medicare Trust Fund was projected to run out of money by 2017.
The health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Over the last five years, the administration’s fraud enforcement efforts have recovered $19.2 billion from fraudsters. For every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse activities in the last three years the administration has returned $8.10.
A recent report by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston shows that since 2001 American households have suffered a loss of $48,000 per tax payer due to falling personal incomes and the report points to the Bush tax cuts as the primary cause. Johnston calculated these losses by comparing average incomes in U.S. tax returns from 2000 tax returns to every year through 2012.
The total income loss for Americans is $6.6 trillion from 2001, when the tax cuts first took effect, through 2012, according to Johnston.
What could we do with $6.6 trillion? Johnston says we could pay off all student loan debt ($1.26 trillion), all automobile loans ($892 billion) and all of our credit card debt ($827 billion), and after paying all that debt and paying our taxes we would have more than $2.4 trillion left for savings, investments or spending.
George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus in 2000 and wasted no time trashing the budget and the U.S. economy, bringing on the biggest economic recession since the great depression. Bush promised that his tax cuts would bring prosperity and wealth but they pushed us in the opposite direction. Johnston says that happened because we quit investing in America. He says that growth in personal wealth only happens when we invest in the “Common Wealth”. The reduction in corporate and personal tax rates combined with the reduction in capital gains tax rates also motivated corporations to take out profits as dividends rather than investing in equipment or staff expansion. Higher corporate tax rates provide an incentive for corporations to invest in more tax deductible technology, equipment and people as a way to minimize their taxes.
Tax increases can actually boost the economy according to Johnston. He sites California as an example, where tax increases are helping to produce job growth at a rate that is about 50% faster than the rest of the U.S.
Learn more about this important report by checking these references: