From the beginning, there was little doubt that one of the Affordable Care Act's most important provisions would end up in the Supreme Court. That section of the law, known as the "minimum coverage provision," or "individual mandate," would require most American citizens and legal residents to purchase a minimum level of health insurance coverage from a private insurer or pay a tax penalty.
We are very pleased with today's Supreme Court ruling. After months of uncertainty, Coloradans now have the security of knowing they will have access to quality, affordable health care.
Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there was a staggering gap between Americans who had access to affordable health care and those who did not. The act's reforms are bridging that gap and will help to secure health care coverage for all Americans.
A recent poll shows that a slim majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act in general, but other surveys show that support grows dramatically when people learn about specific provisions of the law.
Opinions may not change overnight, but the fact is, more and more seniors are benefiting from the law. Figures released today show that thousands of seniors and disabled Americans are improving their health thanks to expanded preventive care services and saving money on prescription drug prices because of a shrinking "donut hole."
Consumers and businesses nationwide will receive an estimated $1.3 billion in rebates in August from health insurance companies that spent more on administration, overhead and profits than allowed under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In Colorado, individuals and businesses will receive almost $26 million. Insurance companies will send rebates to 511,684 enrollees, for an average of $54.58 for each enrollee in the individual market, $82.62 in the small-group market and $47.84 in the large-group market.
Recently, two Colorado congressmen wrote newspaper columns with nearly identical talking points that raised alarms about the future of Medicare and attacked a provision in the Affordable Care Act designed to reduce costs.
Rep. Scott Tipton, in an April 2 My Side commentary in the Post Independent, "How I'm fighting for seniors in Washington," touted a "bold" budget plan approved by House Republicans as the blueprint for preserving "Medicare and other critical safety nets for seniors."
A report issued Tuesday by healthcare advocacy group Families USA illustrates how the Ryan budget, passed recently in the U.S. House on a mostly partisan vote, could cost Colorado up to $36 billion over the next decade.
According to the report, Colorado would bleed billions in Medicaid, Medicare and other federal healthcare spending over the next ten years if the budget were adopted.
The prospect of the U.S. Supreme Court throwing out the new health care law after it hears the case this month has Colorado Republicans planning alternatives - and Democrats keeping silent.
The stakes are high: Without the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or any other major changes in health care, the average annual family health premium could hit $22,000 in the next seven years, according to an economic study called "The Future of Colorado Health Care."