The specific question I phoned in about a week ago concerned what Senator Brown intends to do about Obamacare’s “wedding tax.”
What follows, without further commentary, is the complete text of his canned (non)-response (warning: if you can stand it):
Dear Mr. Blumer:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As you know, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the ACA with a majority of the justices, appointed by presidents of both parties, and decided to uphold the individual mandate while also ruling that states could not be compelled to expand their Medicaid programs.
There has been a lot of misinformation about what this law will and will not do, so permit me to touch on a few points.
If you have insurance already, you will see little, if any, impact on your policy. In fact, because private insurers are relieved of some of the costs for treating individuals who don’t have insurance, the premium for a typical family might decline by as much as $1,000 per year.
The law has other benefits for people who currently have insurance. For example:
· Nearly 97,000 of Ohio’s young adults are now able to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 while they finish school or start a career.
· More than 3,300 Ohioans with pre-existing conditions have access to health care through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
· Children with pre-existing conditions — like asthma or diabetes or cancer — can no longer be denied coverage — or dropped from their parents’ insurance.
· More than 2.1 million Ohioans with private insurance gained preventive health services with no cost-sharing.
· More than 4.5 million Ohioans are no longer in danger of hitting a lifetime limit on insurance coverage as the ACA bans companies from placing a monetary limit on care. This means cancer patients, individuals with Parkinson’s or MS, and children with disabilities will not face financial ruin due to medical bills.
· More than 1.2 million seniors on Medicare received free preventive services such as annual wellness exams and cancer screenings in 2011.
· Since the passage of the ACA, Ohio’s seniors in the so-called “donut hole” have saved more than $164 million on their prescription drug costs. Last year, 185,014 Ohio seniors saved nearly $95 million, and those savings will only increase as the “donut hole” is closed completely.
· Up to 147,000 small businesses are eligible for tax credits so that they can attract employees by offering them health coverage.
The new law will also provide tax credits and subsidies to make it easier to afford health coverage and care. More than 16 million Americans will receive assistance buying insurance. As a result, contrary to the claims of some, the ACA will reduce taxes for middle-class families and small businesses by $828 billion. In fact, thanks to the law’s savings, it will reduce the federal deficit and extend the solvency of Medicare.
Like most laws, the ACA is not perfect, and I will continue to work with my colleagues from both parties to make this law better. Americans deserve access to affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage without fear of losing coverage, and those who can pay for their own coverage should do so.
Thank you again for getting in touch with me.
United States Senator