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Congressman Higgins Outlines: What Health Care Repeal Means for WNY | Health

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Congressman Higgins Outlines: What Health Care Repeal Means for WNY
Health, News, Politics
Congressman Higgins Outlines: What Health Care Repeal Means for WNY

“Today I will vote against the effort to repeal health care reform.   Health reform needed the start we gave it and we should be working together to build on that momentum.  No one thinks the Affordable Care Act is perfect, but tearing down what has been done is destructive not constructive.”

“Most would agree health care costs are devastating businesses and families but finding long-term solutions to complex problems doesn’t come when you press the delete key, it happens when we collectively put in the hard work necessary to continue the process of delivering meaningful change - that is what the American people want and that is what they deserve.”


What Does Repeal Mean for WNY?

Cutting Job Opportunities and Discovery Along the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

  • The Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project tax credit has provided nearly $1.9M to 6 BNMC companies (Kinex, Androbiosys, Cleveland Biolabs, Empire Genomics, Buffalo Biolabs & The Smart Pill Corp.), supporting and creating jobs in WNY
  • The credit is provided to companies who show the potential to: advance the goal of curing cancer w/in 30 yrs; reduce health care costs in the US; or result in new therapies that treat chronic disease.
  • If the Affordable Care Act is repealed these BNMC businesses would have to return the almost $2 million they received and can’t apply for the credits again in 2011, risking jobs and stalling discovery that leads to better treatment and a cure.


Hurting Seniors

  • Last year 39,943 seniors in WNY alone entered the Part D donut hole which requires them to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs.
  • In 2010 these nearly 40,000 seniors received a $250 rebate to help with prescription costs, totaling $9,985,750 in savings for seniors in WNY.
  • This year these seniors will save 50% on brand name drugs, saving them on average over $700 in 2011 and more as the donut hole closes in upcoming years.
  • Repeal would force WNY seniors to pay back nearly the nearly $10 million they received through the rebate, and pay hundreds of dollars more in prescription costs this year and thousands more over the next several years.


Economic Devastation for Local Families & Businesses

  • Shawn is a healthy college student who was too old to stay on his parents’ insurance.  His Mom called our office and explained, he purchased insurance through the school but it wasn’t good enough.  He got sick and now owes $6,000 in hospital bills on top of $20,000 in student loans.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act Shawn can now stay on his parents insurance until he is age 26.  This provision went into effect in September 2010 and some carriers agreed to implement it as early as last May.
  • Repeal would force thousands of WNY young adults like Shawn to again go without adequate health coverage. 2,500 young adults in our district alone have or are expected to take advantage of this benefit.


  • Repeal would eliminate tax credits for small businesses. The health reform law provides tax credits to small businesses worth up to 35% of the cost of providing health insurance. There are up to 13,000 small businesses in our district that are eligible for this tax credit. Repeal would force these small businesses to drop coverage or bear the full costs of coverage themselves.


  • Brian from Cheektowaga is a former American Axle employee who contacted our office.  His wife is a dental hygienist.  They make just too much to qualify for Healthy NY.  He said private insurance would cost them $2390 each month. 
  • Repeal would eliminate tax credits for buying health insurance. Starting in 2014, the health reform law gives middle class families the largest tax cut for health care in history, providing tax credits to buy coverage for families with incomes up to $88,000 for a family of four. Repeal would deny these credits to 176,000 families in the district.




What Does Repeal Mean for New York State?

Hurting Seniors

  • Repeal would force Nearly 2.9 million seniors in New York who have Medicare coverage to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services, like mammograms and colonoscopies.


  • Medicare would no longer pay for an annual check-up visit, so with repeal Nearly 2.9 million seniors in New York who have Medicare coverage would have to pay extra if they want to stay healthy by getting check-ups regularly. 


  • With repeal 192,596 Seniors Would See Significantly Higher Prescription Drug Costs: In NY, 192,596 seniors received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate to help pay for prescription drugs in the “donut hole” coverage gap in 2010.  Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the “donut hole” in 2011 will be eligible for 50 percent discounts on covered brand name prescription drugs.  Without the law, the burden of high prescription drug costs would hurt millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.  


Devastating Families

  • Under repeal 77,800 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans.   Families across New York would lose the peace of mind of knowing young adults can stay on their parents plan to age 26 if they do not have coverage of their own.


  • New insurance plans would no longer be required to cover recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots, without cost sharing, nor would they have to guarantee enrollees the right to choose any available primary care provider in the network or see an OB-GYN without a referral. 


  • Up to 8.6 million non-elderly New York residents who have some type of pre-existing health condition, like heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis or cancer, would be at risk of losing health insurance when they need it most, or be denied coverage altogether.  Across the country, up to 129 million Americans would be at risk.


  • More than 10 million residents of New York with private insurance coverage would suddenly find themselves vulnerable again to having lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care.


Killing Jobs, Crippling Business and Taxpayers

  •  465 NY businesses and agencies who signed up would not receive business assistance to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.
  • Repeal would force NY to pay back $1 million it received to begin planning for a Health Insurance Exchange, to build a new, competitive, private health insurance marketplace for consumers that provides lower costs, one-stop insurance shopping, and greater benefits and protections.  


  • New York would have to pay back $1.76 million to help protect consumers from some of the worst insurance industry practices.  


  • Repeal would force New York State to give back $1 million in grant funds to increase scrutiny of proposed health insurance rate increases.


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