President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, helping make sure that millions of Americans can finally have health insurance. Since then, Republicans have voted to repeal part or all of Obamacare 33 times.
That’s 33 attempts to scrap health reform without offering a single idea on how to replace the law and still make coverage affordable and more secure. As a leader of the GOP, Mitt Romney has promised to “kill” Obamacare on day one, if elected.
To remind Romney and Republicans of what’s at stake, here are 33 reasons why repealing Obamacare would be bad news for the middle class:
- Seniors in the Medicare “doughnut hole” are saving an average of $600 each on prescription drugs.
- Many small businesses that provide health insurance are eligible for tax credits that can currently reduce their health care costs by as much as 35 percent, and will increase to 50 percent in 2014.
- Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to the up to 17 million kids with pre-existing conditions like Jackson Coffman.
- Stacey Lihn and 105 million Americans—including almost 60 percent of people with insurance from their employer—saw a lifetime cap on their coverage lifted.
- More than 5 million people with Medicare have saved money on their prescription drugs.
- Starting in 2014, being a woman will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition.
- The law extends the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years.
- Hospitals have new resources to prevent infections and unnecessary readmissions, which could save $35 billion, and more importantly, 60,000 lives.
- Insurance companies have to spend 80 percent of our premiums dollars on actual care, and if they don’t, Americans get a rebate check. This rule will provide nearly 12.8 million Americans with more than $1 billion in rebates this year.
- 3.1 million young people like Emily Schlichting who would otherwise be uninsured have coverage under their parents’ plan.
- The law is the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.
- Insurance companies are finally banned from cancelling coverage based on paperwork mistakes.
- Seniors with Medicare can now get a free, annual checkup with their doctor.
- The National Health Service Corps is now placing more doctors in nurses in communities that need more health care professionals.
- More than 67,000 people—many with life-threatening illnesses—have coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
- Doctors and nurses can better coordinate the care they provide.
- Soon, if you don’t get coverage at work, you’ll be able to shop in a new Affordable Insurance Exchange.
- If you like the health coverage you have, you can keep it.
- The law cracks down on Medicare fraud.
- If your insurance company tries to deny coverage for treatment you need, you have the right to appeal their decision.
- Insurance plans have to cover preventive care for women like mammograms, and soon well-woman visits, without any copays or deductibles.
- People with disabilities have better options to get home and community-based care.
- Medicare provided more than 6 million free mammograms in 2011 because of Obamacare.
- Insurance companies that want to hike up rates have to explain their actions to independent experts.
- The Prevention and Public Health Fund is helping states and communities invest in preventing disease before it starts.
- The law funds new School Based Health Centers to keep students healthy.
- Hundreds of new Community Health Center facilities are being built and renovated because of Obamacare.
- Insurance companies have to let you choose a primary care doctor from within the network, and let you see an OB/GYN without a referral.
- Regular pediatricians visits and immunizations for your kids are now covered with no copays or deductibles.
- Medicare pays primary care providers a new bonus payment so seniors have better access to their doctors.
- The law provides new tools to fight health disparities.
- A new insurance finder at HealthCare.gov helps families and small businesses find affordable coverage now.
- In just eighteen months, all Americans will have access to affordable health care coverage, so 30 million people will gain health insurance.
These are just some of the ways Obamacare is strengthening health coverage. Every time Republicans revel in empty political attacks on health care reform, they trivialize the health and economic security of everyone who needs—and deserves—affordable, quality health care.