Congressman Braley meets with pharmacy students from Iowa in his Washington, DC office.
Affordable Care, Medicare & Medicaid
Let me state clearly: I support Medicare and Medicaid. I do not believe in some of the recent proposals in Congress that would privatize these programs or cut their benefits. Iowa seniors and families should have the peace of mind that comes with health coverage through these programs.
Providing affordable, accessible and quality health care to all Americans is one of my top priorities. I was proud to help pass the Affordable Care Act, which will decrease health insurance costs, expand access to quality, affordable health care, improve reimbursements for Iowa medical providers and allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance. This bill will provide much-needed relief for thousands of businesses in Iowa’s First District and will reduce our deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years and over $1 trillion in the 10 years after that.
We are already seeing the positive impact of the Affordable Care Act. Medicare reimbursements to Iowa providers increased by 5% in 2010 and 10% in 2011, as a result of my work on this bill. This means more Iowa providers will accept Medicare patients, providing greater access to care for Iowa seniors.
In Iowa, the Affordable Care Act is already working. Here are a few examples:
- As many as 230,000 previously-uninsured Iowans could qualify for either a tax credit to purchase health insurance or for Medicaid, by the end of 2013.
- As of December 2011, 20,000 young adults in Iowa gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
- Since the enactment of the health care law, Iowans with Medicare have saved over $64.9 million on prescription drugs. In 2012 alone, 39,260 Iowans saved over $25.8 million, or an average of $658 per Medicare beneficiary.
- In Iowa, 351,880 individuals with Medicare have used one or more free preventive service in 2012, thanks to the health care law’s coverage of preventive services with no deductible or co-pay.
- As of August 2012, 393 previously uninsured residents of Iowa who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law.
Accomplishments in Health Care
I’m proud of my other work to improve health care in Iowa. I’ve passed legislation to make sure that private health insurance policies are written in “Plain Language,” to make these policies easier to understand. I’ve passed fixes to our Medicare reimbursement structure, to correct long-standing geographic disparities that have penalized Iowa doctors, hospitals, and health providers for years. I’ve supported investments in community health centers, medical training programs, and medical research to find cures for many diseases. Finally, I’ve supported a number of efforts to decrease our medical costs and reduce the deficit, including reforms to the Medicare prescription drug program and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.