H.R. 3200, Affordable Health Choices Act

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has prepared district-level analyses of the impact of the legislation, for each member of the house. Each analysis includes information on the impact of the legislation on small businesses, seniors in Medicare, health care providers, and the uninsured. It also includes an estimate of the impacts of the surtax that is used to pay for the legislation.  If you’d like to download a copy of the analysis prepared for Rep. Heller, go here. (If you don’t have a PDF Viewer installed, click one of these links:  PDF-Xchange Viewer,  Adobe Reader).

For those who don’t want to install a reader, I’ve reprinted the CD-2 analysis below that was prepared for Rep. Heller.  We should all pay close attention to how he votes, and if he votes for us, his constituents … or for the insurance industry. 

“America’s Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 2nd Congressional District of Nevada: up to 19,500 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 11,000 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 1,700 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $118 million in uncompensated care each year; and 141,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Congressman Dean Heller represents the district.

  •  Help for small businesses. Under the legislation, small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $40,000 qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. There are up to 19,500 small businesses in the district that could qualify for these credits.
  • Help for seniors with drug costs in the Part D donut hole. Each year, 11,000 seniors in the district hit the donut hole and are forced to pay their full drug costs, despite having Part D drug coverage. The legislation would provide them with immediate relief, cutting brand name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and ultimately eliminate the donut hole.
  • Health care and financial security. There were 1,700 health care-related bankruptcies in the district in 2008, caused primarily by the health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.
  • Relieving the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers. In 2008, health care providers in the district provided $118 million worth of uncompensated care, care that was provided to individuals who lacked insurance coverage and were unable to pay their bills. Under the legislation, these costs of uncompensated care would be virtually eliminated.
  • Coverage of the uninsured. There are 165,000 uninsured individuals in the district, 21% of the district. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationwide, 97% of all Americans will have insurance coverage when the bill takes effect. If this benchmark is reached in the district, 141,000 people who currently do not have health insurance will receive coverage.
  • No deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals. This surtax would affect only 5,310 households in the district. The surtax would not affect 98.6% of taxpayers in the district.

This analysis is based upon the following sources: the Gallup-Healthways Survey (data on the uninsured); the U.S. Census (data on small businesses); the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (data on the Part D donut hole, health care-related bankruptcies (based on analysis of PACER court records), and uncompensated care); and the House Committee on Ways and Means (data on the surtax).”

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