By Monica Land, Special to the NNPA from the Mississippi Link –
WASHINGTON, D.C. - One year after President Barack Obama signed his historic, and still controversial Affordable Care Act into law, United States Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) reiterated his continued support of the act that was designed to provide quality and affordable health care for all Americans.
“The Affordable Care for America Act has the same monumental significance that Medicare and Medicaid has had for all Americans,” Thompson said. “The Affordable Care Act has extended health coverage to more than 32 million Americans by providing security for seniors, guaranteeing health insurance coverage for the uninsured, and making health care more affordable for middle class families.
When President Barack Obama signed the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, it was a moment that was decades in the making, the White House said. Presidents from both parties had attempted to reform the nation’s health care system and as President Obama said, he “wasn’t the first President to try and pass health reform,” but he was determined “to be the last.”
“Passing the law wasn’t easy,” said a White House spokesman, “but we knew that we were working to end the worst insurance company abuses and give Americans more freedom and control over their health care choices. And, the law that is one year old today is already making the health care system better for millions of Americans.
“Since the enactment of the historic health care law, more than 3.5 million seniors who entered the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ coverage gap in 2010 have received $250 rebate checks. Additionally, young adults can now stay on their parents’ health plan until the age of 26 and children under the age of 19 can no longer be denied coverage by an insurance company for having a “pre-existing condition”.
President Obama’s monumental legislation, however, still faces intense opposition, and the emotional debate over the bill arguably gave rise to the "tea party" movement. Thirty-eight states, including Mississippi, are currently challenging aspects of the law, and countless lawsuits against it are filtering through the court system, The Daily Tar Heel said.
Thompson maintains the law is highly beneficial.
“One year later,“ he continued, “the Affordable Care Act benefits small business by providing $40 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help them offer employee health insurance coverage – if they choose to do so. These tax credits cover up to 35% of the cost of the coverage – going up to 50% in 2014. More than four million small firms may be eligible for these credits which went into effect for the 2010 tax year.
“As the landmark legislation moves toward full implementation,” he continued, “our health care system will build on these accomplishments and Americans will continue to see improvements in their health care coverage.”
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