In his weekly address released by the White House on Saturday, President Barack Obama discussed the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act already in place helping millions of Americans everyday as well as the benefits to come in the next several months, all while attacking republicans in the U.S. Congress who are threatening a government shutdown if the law is not repealed.
“Many Members of Congress, in both parties, are working hard to inform their constituents about these benefits, protections, and affordable plans. But there’s also a group of republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government,” President Obama remarked.
“Think about that,” he continued. “They’re actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they’ve been sick and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process. And many Republicans are more concerned with how badly this debate will hurt them politically than they are with how badly it’ll hurt the country.”
Upcoming benefits mentioned by the President include the start of health care exchanges on October 1 which will give consumers the opportunity to shop around to various health care insurance providers, allowing a better fit to a family’s needs and the start of tax credits for qualified participants which will make insurance more affordable. In addition, starting January 1, 2014, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny customers coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
Benefits already in place for the 85% of Americans already covered by health insurance include free medical checkups, free mammograms, free contraceptive care and better prices on prescription medicine for those on Medicare, as well as the ability for young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until they turn 26 years old.
Another key part of the law which has been in place since 2011 is the medical loss ratio, requiring insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the premiums paid by consumers on medical care. This provision has provided billions of dollars in refunds to millions of Americans and to many businesses overcharged for insurance over the past two years.
“A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But they’d just be sticking it to you,” the President explained. “Some even say that if you call their office with questions about the law, they’ll refuse to help. Call me old-fashioned but that’s lousy constituent service. And it’s not what you deserve.
“Your health insurance isn’t something to play politics with. Our economy isn’t something to play politics with. This isn’t a game. This is about the economic security of millions of families.”
For more on the details of health care reform and how it applies to you and your family, please visit Healthcare.gov.