Health Care League Action Team
This League Action Team has a dual focus: preserving the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and its many important provisions nationwide; and closing the health care gap in NC.
Today, access to affordable health care is under threat nationwide as Congress debates whether to repeal, replace, or repair the ACA. Passed in 2010, the ACA reformed important aspects of the private health insurance market and provided Americans with affordable coverage by offering (to those without employer-provided insurance) subsidies to reduce premium and copay costs, based on a sliding income scale, and by extending Medicaid coverage to those earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level.
With the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision that expanding Medicaid was optional, a health care coverage gap was created in states like NC that chose not to expand Medicaid. This gap includes people who aren’t eligible for Medicaid and yet whose incomes are too low to qualify for ACA subsidies. These 300,000-500,000 North Carolinians still lack access to affordable health care. Most are the working poor: their employers don’t offer benefits; they are self-employed; or they work several part-time jobs and don’t qualify for benefits at any of their jobs.
BENEFITS OF PRESERVING THE ACA
- Premiums for men and women are the same
- Pre-existing conditions no longer can deny people coverage
- Mental and physical health covered the same
- Wide range of preventive care and screenings without copays or meeting deductibles
- Young adults to age 26 can be covered on parent’s policy
- No more lifetime caps on insurance coverage
- Annual caps on individual’s and families’ health care costs
- Medicare’s prescription drug “donut hole” phased out by 2020
- Limits on insurance companies’ spending on marketing and executive compensation (refunds to policy holders if limits exceeded)
BENEFITS OF CLOSING THE GAP IN NC
Four-year estimates include:
- 43,000 new jobs for our state
- $21 Billion in new business activity
- An increase of $1.7 billion in new state revenue
- Health coverage for 300,000-500,000 now in the gap
- Alleviating hospital costs from uncompensated care
- Healthier children because of healthier parents