Following is the press release I received from the office of Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick explaining how recent changes in the law affect health care for different groups of people living in Arizona District One:
Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care for District One
In traveling around Greater Arizona and visiting with her constituents, Ann Kirkpatrick heard horror story after horror story about the flaws in our old health care system – folks who never missed a premium denied coverage when they needed it most, seniors forced to choose between putting food on the table or filling their prescriptions, kids with pre-existing conditions unable to get insurance. From the beginning of her first campaign, she pledged to support key reforms that will better serve working families.
She was determined to follow through on that promise. That’s why, after a long process of listening to folks in the district and reviewing the legislation, she voted to pass the new health reform law in March. The legislation makes critical changes that will help Greater Arizonans access quality, affordable care, many of which will start to take effect within the next few months.
Here are just some of the benefits of the new law we will soon see:
For All Greater Arizonans, the Law:
- Bans some of the worst insurance company abuses – including dropping insurance coverage for folks when they get sick, putting lifetime and annual caps on coverage, and denials based on pre-existing
- Holds insurance companies accountable for how they spend the premiums we pay – making sure they keep their promises and put our money towards medical services
- Enables us to keep the insurance plans and doctors we choose and keep medical decisions between us and our family physicians
- Creates new tax credits to help working families afford insurance, part of the largest middle class tax cut for health care in American history
- Improves health care options in our small towns by strengthening the medical professional workforce and infrastructure for rural areas
For District One Seniors, the Law:
- Closes the Medicare Part D “donut hole” so that seniors will be able to afford prescription drugs
- Preserves and does not cut Medicare benefits
- Takes important steps to ensure that Medicare will stay solvent for our children and grandchildren
For the District’s Children, the Law:
- Ends denials of coverage based on pre-existing conditions right away
- Allows them to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until their 26th birthdays
For Local Small Business Owners, the Law:
- Helps them provide health coverage to their employees with new tax credits – part of the largest middle class tax cut for health care in American history
- Reimburses them from some of the cost of covering employees who retire early (may not be small biz)
This conversation is not over, and Ann is dedicated to making reform work for Greater Arizona – she has directed her office to do everything they can to support folks during the transition, and has set up a health care reform advisory board to make sure the voices of those on the frontlines of implementing the new law are heard.
DEBBIE JORDAN is also the National Peace Examiner and the author of The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and Lion’s Pride. Her website is: imaginetheworldatpeace.com. You can find her Peace Blog at: imaginetheworldatpeace.blogspot.com/.
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