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Benefits Of Health Choices Act In 2nd Congressional District Of Wisconsin

August 30, 2009

The shouters and cranks at the health care meetings around the nation have neglected to mention what the merits of the proposed health care reform would mean to the various congressional districts around the nation.  The Committee for Energy and Commerce has prepared, for each house member, a district-level analysis of the impact of the legislation. This analysis includes information on the impact of the legislation on small businesses, seniors in Medicare, health care providers, and the uninsured. It also includes an estimate of the impacts of the surtax that is used to pay for the legislation.

Now you can know the benefits from health care reform for the area where you live by clicking here.

In my area, the 2nd congressional district in Wisconsin, the numbers break down this way. 

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin: up to 17,000 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 4,800 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 950 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $117 million in uncompensated care each year; and 41,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.  

Help for small businesses.

Under the legislation, small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $40,000 qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. There are up to 17,000 small businesses in the district that could qualify for these credits.

  • Help for seniors with drug costs in the Part D donut hole.
  • Each year, 4,800 seniors in the district hit the donut hole and are forced to pay their full drug costs, despite having Part D drug coverage. The legislation would provide them with immediate relief, cutting brand name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and ultimately eliminate the donut hole.

  • Health care and financial security.
  • There were 950 health care-related bankruptcies in the district in 2008, caused primarily by health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.

  • Relieving the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers.
  • In 2008, health care providers in the district provided $117 million worth of uncompensated care, care that was provided to individuals who lacked insurance coverage and were unable to pay their bills. Under the legislation, these costs of uncompensated care would be virtually eliminated.

  • Coverage of the uninsured.
  • There are 63,000 uninsured individuals in the district, 9% of the district. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationwide, 97% of all Americans will have insurance coverage when the bill takes effect. If this benchmark is reached in the district, 41,000 people who currently do not have health insurance will receive coverage.

  • No deficit spending.
  • The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals. This surtax would affect only 3,600 households in the district. The surtax would not affect 99% of taxpayers in the district.

    One Comment
    1. Jackie Durkee permalink
      August 31, 2009 1:24 PM

      I agree that healthcare reform is needed, but I believe it can be done without creating a public health plan and an insurance exchange run by the government. We do not need more bureaucracy. We need less. They will never get buy in from the republicans because the republicans had no say in how it was written. Nobody seems to know who actually wrote it.

      They need to throw it all out and form a committee to come up with a better plan. One composed of an equal amount of democrats and republicans, and representatives in the healthcare and insurance fields (physicians, hospitals, insurance commissioners, insurance companies, employers).

      Jackie

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