The reasons for health care overhaul are the same and benefits already accruing

By Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

As promised, I wanted to continue to keep you updated on the very latest concerning the Affordable Care Act.  The Web site problems have been frustrating, but are continuing to be fixed. In fact, the site successfully handled more than 725,000 visitors recently in just one day.
The overall goal of ACA continues to be what it has always been, assisting millions of Americans gain access to health care, while controlling costs and maintaining quality for all.
Already, under the Affordable Care Act:
• More than 47 million women have gained access to free and recommended preventive services.
• 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of those conditions.
• The growth in health care costs is slowing.  Recent data shows the ACA, along the other factors, is contributing to the lowest growth in spending on record.
The cost of healthcare has been prohibitive and crippling for millions of Americans for a very long time. For decades healthcare premiums skyrocketed, especially for middle class families.
Already under the Affordable Care Act:
• Insurance companies will still set premium rates but now face tough new rules that crack down on unjustified rate hikes.
• Insurance companies are required to spend your money on healthcare instead of administrative overhead, including CEO bonuses.
• Consumers have saved more than $5 billion in the past two years alone due to this requirement that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on care for patients. If they don’t, consumers get a rebate.
• In 2013, 8.5 million enrollees will get a total of $500 million in rebates, which is an average of $100 a family.
Cutting the cost of health care is critical for economic stability within families and economic growth throughout the country.
Already under the Affordable Care Act:
• Families spending less on healthcare are getting more security in their budgets.
• Businesses spending less on healthcare can hire more employees.
• Over the past 44 months businesses in our country have created nearly 8 million new jobs.
As in all things related to the government, I believe it is important to be transparent, to continue to reduce waste, eliminate fraud and abuse, and work to find ways to improve service and efficiency.  I will continue to monitor ACA and work in a bipartisan way to make sure this plan is the best and most beneficial it can be for those of Missouri’s Fifth District.

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