Thursday, April 08, 2010

Schwartz and Sebelius on Health Care

from the inbox:

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah today at Samuel Paley Learning Center, Philadelphia, to discuss health care reform’s benefits for the people of Pennsylvania. Specifically, they discussed the importance of prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, one of the many key provisions that will take effect in the next six months.

Today’s event highlighted the many families who are bravely fighting their own health care battles everyday and will be greatly affected by the new law. It was because of these families and their struggles that Schwartz introduced legislation in March 2009 to protect health coverage for children with pre-existing conditions and drove her to continue fighting for its inclusion in the final health care legislation.

“Last month President Obama signed into law health care reform that will make coverage affordable for the middle class, provide security for seniors and guarantee access to the uninsured,” Schwartz said. “Over the next six months, the American people will begin to see the benefits of the health care reform law, including a provision that will help parents of children with life threatening illnesses breathe a little easier. Thanks to this law, no child can ever be denied coverage or dropped from the insurance paying for the care they need to survive due to health reasons.”

“The health reform law is the biggest middle class tax cut for health care in American history; the most aggressive health care cost-cutting law we’ve ever had; and the most ambitious health care innovation legislation I’ve ever seen, all rolled into one,” Sebelius said. “Under the new law, Americans will start getting more control over their health care this year. By this fall, it will be easier for seniors to get medicines, easier for families and young adults to get coverage, easier for small businesses to cover their workers, and every American who has health insurance will have more security.”

Today, the trio heard from Christine Rowe, whose seven year old son, Alex, has a rare bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia. When Christine lost her job last year, her family lost their health coverage as well. Because of Alex’s pre-existing condition, they were denied coverage by every insurer in the area and were unable to pay the cost of his $30,000 a month treatment. With no where else to turn, Alex now relies on Medicaid to help him get the medicine he needs to survive.

Starting in September, Christine and Alex, along with the millions of other families dealing with this issue, will no longer have to worry about being denied coverage because of an illness.

Schwartz also played a key role in ensuring that other provisions were included in the final health legislation. As a result, beginning within six months small businesses will receive tax credits to make employee coverage more affordable; Medicare beneficiaries will no longer pay a co-payment for preventive services; young adults will be allowed to stay on their parents coverage until their 26th birthday; and new investments will be made in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses and public health professionals.

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