“What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States, and that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.”

— Mitt Romney, June 28, 2012video source

What EXACTLY is Romney Vowing to Take Away from You and Your Family?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka PPACA, ACA or ObamaCare) forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition. 

All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs.  And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings. 

ObamaCare is already making a difference by:

1) Increasing Access to Affordable Care

Millions of Americans have gained new access to more affordable health coverage and care.

  • Coverage for young adults until age 26: 3.1 million young adults who were uninsured have gained coverage by being able to stay on their parent’s health plan, giving their families peace of mind.
  • Access to free preventive services: 54 million additional Americans now receive coverage through their private health insurance plan for many preventive services without cost sharing such as copays or deductibles. That means that more Americans will receive wellness visits, cancer screenings and other services that will help them get and stay healthy. Women can now get coverage— without cost-sharing—of even more preventive services they need.  Approximately 47 million women now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing for policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012.
  • Coverage for people with pre-existing conditions: 82,000 Americans with pre-existing conditions have gained coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. This temporary program makes health coverage available and more affordable for individuals who are uninsured and have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Investing in primary care: The health care law invests in training and supporting thousands of new primary care doctors and nurses by providing bonus payments, scholarships and loan repayment, and new training opportunities.
  • Community Health Centers: Community Health Centers improve the health of the nation and assure access to quality primary health care services at more than 8,000 service delivery sites around the country. Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have increased the total number of patients served on an annual basis by 2.4 million.

2) Making Care More Affordable

The health care law is bringing down health care costs and making sure health care dollars are spent wisely.

  • 80/20 Rule: The health insurance companies of 76 million Americans now have to meet the 80/20 rule, or Medical Loss Ratio, where they must spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on your health care or improvements to care. If they fail to meet this standard, they must provide a rebate to their customers. Already, the 80/20 rule is helping deliver rebates worth $1.1 billion to nearly 13 million consumers – an average rebate of $151 per household.
  • Reviewing premium increases: For the first time ever in every State, insurance companies must publicly justify any rate increase of 10% or more. And the law gives States new resources to review and block these premium hikes. To date, rate review has helped save an estimated $1 billion for Americans and 42 States have used their rate review grant funds to make the rate review process stronger and more transparent.
  • Small business tax credits: Small businesses have long paid a higher price for health insurance – often 18% more than larger employers. Tax credits for small businesses will benefit an estimated two million workers who get their insurance from an estimated 360,000 small employers who received the credit in 2011. In 2014, small business owners will get more relief with tax credits and affordable insurance choices in the new competitive health insurance marketplace in every State.
  • Supporting early retiree coverage: The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) has provided $5 billion in reinsurance payments to employers so they can continue to provide benefits to their retired workers who are not yet eligible for Medicare. This program has reduced premiums or cost sharing for at least 19 million early retirees, workers, their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.

3) Strengthening Medicare

Nearly 50 million seniors and Americans with disabilities depend on Medicare every day. The health care law makes Medicare stronger and extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years.

  • Reducing prescription drug costs in Medicare: Nearly 5.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Affordable Care Act. These savings include a one-time $250 rebate check to seniors who fell into the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” in 2010, and a 50% discount on brand-name drugs. Seniors in the “donut hole” have saved an average of $768. 
  • Medicare preventive benefits: The Affordable Care Act makes many key preventive services available with no co-pay or deductible to help ensure that seniors don’t have to skip a potentially life-saving cancer screening because they can’t afford it. More than 32.5 million seniors have already received one or more free preventive services, including the new Annual Wellness Visit. During the first seven months of 2012, the health care law has helped nearly 18 million people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them.
  • Saving money for seniors: The average person with Medicare will save approximately $4,200 from 2011 to 2021, while those with high prescription drug costs will save much more – as much as $16,000 over the same period. This is especially good news for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure who must take their medication every day for many years.
  • Fighting fraud and saving taxpayer dollars: The health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Total recoveries over the last three years were $10.7 billion and prosecutions are up too. Learn more about these efforts at StopMedicareFraud.gov.

4) Holding Insurance Companies Accountable

Under the law, patients have more rights and protections – and more security that their coverage will be there for them when they need it. For example:

  • No more pre-existing condition denials for children: The parents of over 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  • No more lifetime dollar limits on coverage: 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime dollar limit on essential health benefits. Annual dollar limits are set at increasingly higher amounts until January 1, 2014 when most plans issued or renewed are banned from having an annual dollar limit on coverage.
  • Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage when you get sick: You no longer need to fear that your insurance company can rescind or take away coverage when they get sick because of an unintentional mistake on an application.
  • No more coverage denials without appeal: Many Americans with private coverage now have the right to appeal an insurance company’s coverage decision and the Affordable Care Act provides you with information and assistance to give you more control over your health care decisions.
  • Helping consumers understand their coverage: The Health Insurance Finder on HealthCare.gov gives you information about the health plan choices in your community. Starting in September 2012, health plans will provide you with clear, consistent and comparable information about their health plan benefits and coverage. The Summary of Benefits and Coverage forms will enable you to easily understand your health coverage and determine the best health insurance options for your family.

5) Laying the Foundation for 2014

Starting in 2014, a new competitive health insurance marketplace will make it easy for you to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if you are eligible for tax credits for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and enroll in a health plan that meets your needs.

  • Building the Health Insurance Marketplace: The Affordable Care Act gives States the resources and power to build and run their own competitive health insurance marketplace, sometimes called an Exchange. Thirty-four States, including the District of Columbia, are on their way, having received at total of nearly $850 million in Exchange Establishment Grants.
  • Ensuring Health Insurance Choices: The Affordable Care Act creates a new type of non-profit health insurer, called a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP). These insurers are run by their members. CO-OPs are meant to offer consumer-friendly, affordable health insurance options to individuals and small businesses. Already 20 non-profits intending to offer coverage in 20 states have been awarded more than $1.5 billion in loans to get up and running.
  • Banning the Worst Insurance Practices: Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will prohibit health insurers from charging more or denying coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions. It will also make charging women more for health insurance a thing of the past.
Get the FACTS at Healthcare.gov

Obama is not proposing that families making up to $250,000 a year keep their tax cuts while families making more than that don’t. He’s proposing that everyfamily keep their tax cuts on their first $250,000 of taxable income (which isnot the same as “income” or “earnings,” by the way).

That includes families with taxable income of $260,000, $1 million, $5 billion, $3 trillion, or whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce make in a year. Everyone would continue to pay a lower tax rate on their first $250,000 of taxable income under Obama’s plan. To report that Obama only wants to maintain tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 is simply false.

Just so we're clear
  • the Republican presidential nominee
  • who has vowed to strike down the Affordable Care Act
  • which will provide healthcare coverage for like everyone in the whole United States, ever
  • once signed into law a version of Obamacare
  • while he was governor of Massachusetts
  • a period which he’d now like the rest of the Republican Party to forget
  • and which the Republican Party apparently has
  • because their brain cells that control that sort of thing —
  • you know, long-term memory —
  • have died in the collective rage-stroke the GOP suffered
  • after today’s SCOTUS ruling
  • (didn’t help that Roberts joined the majority)
  • LOL
Watch on kileyrae.tumblr.com

In 2008 Mitt Romney was asked whether he would use “Romneycare” as a model for national reform:

Voter: “You supported national healthcare in Massachusetts, are you going to the same thing on a national level?”

Mitt Romney: “Absolutely.  I’ve already put a plan out take a look at it. Get on my website, take a look.”

Four years later Romney has a slightly different answer.

Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

An analysis released in 2009 by Harvard Medical School researchers found that 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance. That’s one person every 12 minutes. Other studies have put the figure lower — the Institute of Medicine estimated in 2002 that about 18,000 people die annually because they’re uninsured. Indeed, the consensus among researchers is that you run a greater risk of dying if you’re not insured.

Romney says Americans don’t die for lack of health insurance. Researchers say yes, they do.

We do provide care for people who don’t have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.
—  Mitt Romney • Reversing course on one of the biggest reasons he has previously cited for for signing off on “Romneycare” while during his time as governor of Massachusetts. Romney has pointed to the fiscal responsibility of eliminating the “just go to the ER” mentality, on numerous occasions, when questioned about his choice to sign off on the now semi-controversial measure. He even told Glenn Beck that such a system was tantamount to socialism, though his opinions on that matter have clearly changed. Again. source

A new poll of 838 Massachusetts doctors finds patients are still waiting weeks — in some cases as long as a month and a half — for non-urgent appointments with primary care physicians and certain specialists.

Surveyors for the Massachusetts Medical Society called doctors’ offices in February and March and asked when they could come in for routine care. They requested a new patient appointment with internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians; an appointment for heartburn with gastroenterologists; a heart check-up with cardiologists; an appointment for knee pain with orthopedic surgeons; and a routine exam with obstetrician/gynecologists.

The average wait ranged from 24 days for an appointment with a pediatrician to 48 days to see an internist. The wait for an internist was actually down slightly, from 53 days in a similar 2010 survey, but the waits for family doctors, gastroenterologists, orthopedists, and ob/gyns increased.

So Romneycare is working. Across the board. But perhaps, as Romney implies, there’s something that makes it unsuitable for the rest of the nation.

If that’s so, however, we’re not seeing it yet. Romneycare’s cousin, the Affordable Care Act — or, as it’s more frequently known, Obamacare — isn’t fully in place, and won’t be until 2014 at the earliest. But it has passed. And since it has passed, health-care spending has been dropping. Karen Davis, director of the Commonwealth Fund, writes that the most recent spending projections show a “$275 billion (5.6 percent) reduction for 2020, compared with pre-reform estimates. Moreover, that projection represents a cumulative reduction of $1.7 trillion over the 10 years from 2011 to 2020.”

You might argue that that’s just the recession, but as Davis writes, “the recession doesn’t plausibly explain why projected health spending in 2020 is substantially below estimates made just two years ago.” And why the recession having such an effect on long-term spending under Medicare? The latest data shows we’re on track to spend $750 billion less than the pre-reform projections suggested. The Medicare cuts in the Affordable Care Act account for barely half of that. If these trends hold, the Affordable Care Act will cost far less than anticipated.

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Mitt Romney’s own senior adviser says Romney agrees with Obama that health care law is a penalty, not a tax

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Reminder for Mitt Romney.

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