Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded President Barack Obama for signing the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Senator Feinstein attended today’s White House signing ceremony.
"With the stroke of a pen today, President Obama assured that no American will ever again be dropped by their health insurance company once they get sick, and no American will ever be denied health coverage because they have a pre-existing condition," said Senator Feinstein. "Effective immediately, this historic legislation will:
- Establish a $5 billion pool to help buy health insurance for people who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions;
- Provide tax credits to millions of small businesses to help pay the cost of health insurance for their employees;
- Allow young people to stay on their parents' insurance policies until the age of 26; and
- Importantly, this bill will fix the Medicare 'donut hole' and ensure that seniors on Medicare get the help they need to cover the cost of prescriptions.
This bill is not perfect, but it's an excellent start. This reform will deliver immediate positive results for 32 million Americans who currently lack health insurance and will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The passage of this legislation is a major victory for the American people, who can now say with pride that they live in a nation where healthcare is considered a right, and not a privilege.
I regret the fact that my proposed Health Insurance Rate Authority amendment will not be in the bill, due to a ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian. But with rate hikes of up to 39 percent scheduled to hit the pocketbooks of Anthem Blue Cross policyholders in California on May 1, I can say with certainty that I will do everything I can to make sure health insurance companies cannot reap excessive profits by jacking up premiums on policyholders between now and when the new health insurance exchanges go online in 2014."
Full Text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148)
Full Text of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (P.L. 111-152)
Below are some facts about how Health Insurance Reform will benefit California:
A Stronger Health Care System for the 36.8 Million Residents of California
- Up to 7.3 million residents who are uninsured and 2.7 million residents who have individual market insurance will gain access to affordable coverage.
- Up to 3.8 million residents will qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.
- 4.5 million seniors will receive free preventive services and 794,000 seniors will have their drug costs in the Medicare Part D “donut hole” covered over time.
- Up to 392,000 small businesses will be eligible for tax credits for premiums.
Premium Tax Credits to Expand Private Insurance Coverage in California
- Reform will provide $61.8 billion in premium tax credits and cost-sharing tax credits for residents in California from 2014 to 2019 to purchase private health insurance. This is $2.3 billion greater than under the Senate-passed bill.
- Health insurance reform will lower premiums in the nongroup market by 14 to 20 percent for the same benefits – premium savings of $1,450 to $2,080 for a family in California.
Increased Medicaid support
- The Federal government will fully fund the coverage expansion for the first three years of the policy, and continue substantial support, paying for 90 percent of costs after 2020, compared to California’s current Federal Medical Assistance Percentage of 50 percent.
- In total, California could receive $44.5 billion dollars in federal funds for Medicaid as a result of the expansion from 2014 to 2019, $2.9 billion more than under the Senate-passed bill.