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Press Release: Repeal Vote is an Empty Promise

Lincoln, NE — Bold Nebraska, a non-partisan advocacy organization, fully supports the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill signed into law last year. 

“Hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans are benefiting from the law today, and as more provisions go into effect our broken health care system will be fixed, resulting in better delivery of care, lower costs and lives saved,” reminded Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director.  “The repeal vote is an empty promise filled with rhetoric.”

Nebraska’s children, seniors and small business owners already are benefiting from the law that bans insurance companies from discriminating against sick children and sick adults, even before its biggest improvements go into effect in the coming years. But repealing the law as some in Congress want means these benefits will disappear and health care costs for every Nebraskan will just continue soaring, right alongside our rising federal debt.

Additionally, Nebraska’s state government and private companies in our state like ConAgra have also already benefited from the law saving millions with the Early Retiree program implemented under the law.

“Nebraskans do not want insurance companies in control of our health care,” said Dr. Amanda McKinney, Bold Nebraska Board Member.  “The law ensures doctors and individuals are in control and that we are moving towards a system where all Nebraskans are covered and can get affordable health care now.”

Repealing health care isn’t about making good on a campaign promise as suggested on the floor of Congress yesterday. It’s about making good on a threat: worse health care, higher costs across the board, Nebraska’s children, families and small businesses doing with less.

Bold Nebraska intern Emily Schlichting, who is also featured on the White House’s website with her story, explains, “I have a pre-existing condition and high medical costs.  Without the health care law, I am at risk for not having insurance or going into bankruptcy due to the costs related to my health issues.  The law has changed my life and I cannot afford for it to be repealed.”

The recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that a whopping 62% of those polled either want to leave the law as it is (19%) or change it so it does more to change the health care system (43%).

What will each of our Members “repeal” vote mean to Nebraskans?

If Representative Adrian Smith (NE-3) votes to repeal health reform, this means for the citizens in his district:

  • Health care tax credits will be eliminated for up to 16,800 small businesses and 161,000 families.
  • The costs of early retiree coverage for up to 3,400 early retirees will increase.
  • The number of Nebraskans in the 3rd Congressional District without health insurance will increase by 28,000 individuals.

If Representative Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) votes to repeal health reform, this means, this means for the citizens in his district:

  • Consumer protections for 422,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance will be rescinded.
  • Prescription drug costs will increase for 10,600 seniors who hit the Part D drug “donut hole” and denying new preventive care benefits to 91,000 seniors. 
  • Hospitals costs of providing uncompensated care will increase by $54 million annually.

If Representative Lee Terry (NE-2) votes to repeal health reform, this means, this means for the citizens in his district:

  • Insurance companies can deny coverage to 103,000 to 274,000 individuals.
  • Insurance companies can deny coverage to 9,000 to 39,000 children, with pre-existing conditions.
  • New health care coverage options for 2,100 uninsured young adults will be eliminated.

Sources and More Information:

Overview of repeal costs for Nebraska: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/repealcosts/ne.html

List of the 30 companies who have already benefited from the Early Retiree program of the law: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/retirement/states/ne.html

Video of Emily’s story on the White House website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010/10/14/emily-schlicting-nebraska

Associated Press-GfK Poll: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ib4b8GeUQ6tzawgX4Ptp7DASeybg?docId=c488987cd8104d8699718920f8dfcfdb

NE-3 facts: http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/health_2011/NE3.Smith.pdf

NE-1 facts: http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/health_2011/NE1.Fortenberry.pdf

NE-2 facts: http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/health_2011/NE2.Terry.pdf

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