Clyburn Statement on Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

Mar 28, 2011 Issues: Health

WASHINGTON, DC—Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the one year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act:

“A year ago today, President Obama signed into law what I called the Civil Rights Act of the 21st Century. The Affordable Care Act ended the abuse of insurance companies and put patients and doctors back in charge of their care. And since the law was enacted a year ago 1.4 million private sector jobs have been created, 243,000 of them in the health care industry. The law reduces the deficit by $210 billion over next 10 years and by more than $1 trillion over next 20 years.

“In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.’ We all know somebody who has experienced it first-hand.

“More than a year ago, before this law was passed, a constituent from Florence, South Carolina was dropped by her insurance carrier because the cancer treatments for her 8-year-old daughter had caused the family to reach their lifetime benefits limit. A middle aged woman called into a radio program to complain that although she had paid premiums her entire adult life, she was dropped by her insurer when she contracted breast cancer.

“That won’t happen anymore unless Republicans succeed in repealing health reform and taking away the rights under this law.”

The Affordable Care Act:

• Extends coverage for young people up to their 26th birthday through parents’ insurance

• Begins to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole for seniors

• Bans all health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick

• Bans children with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage

• Bans lifetime limits on coverage

• Provides free preventive care under new plans

• Provides free preventive care under Medicare for seniors

• Provides health care coverage for early retirees between the age of 55-64

• Increases funding for community health centers

• Provides tax credits for small businesses who provide health care insurance to their employees

• Holds insurance companies accountable for unreasonable rate hikes