Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) chastised the House Republicans for holding another politically charged vote on the Affordable Care Act - now up to 39 votes against the law - despite reports that New Yorkers will see a 50% reduction in premiums next year when the law takes effect. In addition, small businesses which offer health insurance benefits through the exchanges are likely to also experience lower rates.
"While my colleagues play politics - again - and hold a vote to delay the individual mandate for another year, New York State insurance regulators are announcing most rates will slice in half the premiums New Yorkers will have to pay next year. Instead of following New York's lead, my Republican colleagues continue to pander to their Tea Party members and in the process are failing the taxpayers of their districts. I am certain the people of the Bronx and Westchester County have ideas in mind for the hundreds of dollars they won't have to pay for health care in 2014. Health care in New York is becoming more affordable - the primary goal of the Affordable Care Act - and it would be even more successful if we were not continuing these pointless votes, and were instead working together to make the law even more effective," said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
After the Obama Administration announced it would delay the employer mandate by a year - acquiescing to concerns from the business community, but in reality affecting very few businesses - the House Republicans jumped at another chance to oppose the law. The attempt to delay the individual mandate would leave over 13 million Americans uninsured.
"The delayed employer mandate manages to effect only about 10,000 businesses and about one percent of workers. Comparing the two is comparing night and day. Instead of a reduction of rates such as anticipated for New Yorkers, the delay would lead to raised premiums in 2014. It makes no sense other than to make Tea Partiers feel good about casting a vote," added Rep. Engel.
As a result of the health care law, the following is true about the 16th District of New York - parts of the Bronx and Westchester County:
* 5,000 young adults now have health insurance through their parents' plan.
* More than 8,400 seniors received prescription drug discounts worth $12.6 million, an average discount of $690 per person in 2011, $750 in 2012, and $620 thus far in 2013.
* 108,000 seniors are now eligible for Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.
* 195,000 individuals- including 45,000 children and 82,000 women - now have health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.
* 207,000 individuals are saving money due to ACA provisions that prevent insurance companies from spending more than 20% of their premiums on profits and administrative overhead. Because of these protections, over 38,200 consumers received approximately $4.5 million in insurance company rebates in 2012 and 2011 - an average rebate of $92 per family in 2012 and $138 per family in 2011.
* 239,000 individuals now have insurance that cannot place lifetime limits on their coverage and will not face annual limits on coverage starting in 2014.
* 77,000 individuals who lack health insurance will have access to quality, affordable coverage without fear of discrimination or higher rates because of a preexisting health condition. In addition, the 29,000 individuals who currently purchase private health insurance on the individual or small group market will have access to more secure, higher quality coverage and many will be eligible for financial assistance.
Read this original document at: http://engel.house.gov/latest-news1/rep-engel-new-york-health-premiums-to-be-halved-in-2014-but-gop-still-fights-affordable-care-act/