Congressman Garamendi on Report on How District Residents Hurt by Repeal of Patient’s Bill of Rights
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), who served as California's Insurance Commissioner for eight years, released an updated analysis of how the Patient's Bill of Rights helps 497,000 residents of the 10th Congressional District and how they would be harmed if health care reform is repealed. House Republicans plan to vote tomorrow to repeal the health care reform law.
"Consumers gained a lot of protections in the Patient's Bill of Rights, and they have a lot to lose if House Republicans succeed in repealing health care reform. People in our communities – nearly 500,000 small business owners, seniors, working families, and young adults – would see vital and popular protections taken away," Congressman Garamendi said. "When we should be focused on coming together as a nation to develop smart strategies to create jobs and put our economy on the right track, my Republican colleagues have the wrong priorities at the wrong time."
Garamendi identified some of the pro-consumer provisions in the Patient's Bill of Rights under threat of repeal in an op-ed with Congressman George Miller that appeared in the Contra Costa Times this weekend.
"The same House Republicans who did nothing about skyrocketing health care costs during the years they ruled the House from 1994-2006 now talk about 'repeal and replace,' yet they've offered no alternative proposals," added Garamendi. "Repealing the Patient's Bill of Rights now would replace it with the old unacceptable status quo: the Insurance Industry's Right to Discriminate against you. Their proposal would let insurers deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions or kick you off your coverage when you get sick, and that's wrong, unfair, and immoral."
If the Patient's Bill of Rights were repealed, it would harm residents of the 10th Congressional District by:
• Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 119,000 to 308,000 CA-10 residents, including 9,000 to 43,000 children with pre-existing conditions;
• Rescinding consumer protections for 497,000 CA-10 residents who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance;
• Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 13,100 small businesses and 106,000 families;
• Increasing prescription drug costs for 11,800 seniors who hit the Part D drug "donut hole" and denying new preventative care benefits to 96,000 seniors;
• Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 8,900 early retirees;
• Eliminating new health care coverage options for 3,200 uninsured young adults;
• Increasing the number of people without health insurance by 24,000 individuals; and
• Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $23 million annually.