Monday, July 22, 2013

A quantum of umbrage: What's important to Greg Walden

(Updated below.)

Greg Walden (R OR-5) has his priorities:
Sixteen months before those elections, some Republicans cite no need to offer an alternative. "I don't think it's a matter of what we put on the floor right now," said Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, who heads the party's campaign committee. He added that what is important is "trying to delay Obamacare."

Hey, residents of Oregon's 5th District – 129,000 of whom (16.8%, above the national average) didn't have health insurance in 2011 – here's the kind of thing Greg Walden wants to protect you from:
This fact sheet summarizes new data on the significant benefits of the health care reform law in Rep. Schrader’s district. It also provides the first picture of the impacts of the law in districts redrawn or newly created following the 2010 Census. As a result of the law:

- 8,000 young adults in the district now have health insurance through their parents’ plan.

- More than 9,600 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $11.2 million, an average discount of $520 per person in 2011, $570 in 2012, and $880 thus far in 2013.

- 133,000 seniors in the district are now eligible for Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

- 209,000 individuals in the district – including 46,000 children and 87,000 women – now have health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductible.

- 227,000 individuals in the district are saving money due to ACA provisions that prevent insurance companies from spending more than 20% of their premiums on profits and administrative overhead. Because of these protections, over 4,800 consumers in the district received approximately $1.5 million in insurance company rebates in 2012 and 2011-an average rebate of $206 per family in 2012 and $368 per family in 2011.

- Up to 45,000 children in the district with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

- 244,000 individuals in the district now have insurance that cannot place lifetime limits on their coverage and will not face annual limits on coverage starting in 2014.

- 114,000 individuals in the district who lack health insurance will have access to quality, affordable coverage without fear of discrimination or higher rates because of a preexisting health condition. In addition, the 45,000 individuals who currently purchase private health insurance on the individual or small group market will have access to more secure, higher quality coverage and many will be eligible for financial assistance.
H/t to Pierce, who points out that the GOP plan for health care is to have no plan.

(Update: Of course Walden, who merely wants to delay Obamacare indefinitely -- or until the Republicans control both branches of Congress and the White House, when they can quietly kill it --  has nothing on Utah's Sen. Mike Lee, who's prepared to shut the government down entirely at the first opportunity rather than let Obamacare continue to function as, you know, the law of the land, which it is. But Lee's from Utah. We expect better from Oregonian elected officials.)

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