State reps. issue statement on U.S. Supreme Court health care ruling
AUGUSTA – Democratic state representatives issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court largely upheld the Federal Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare. The court ruled the health reform law is constitutional.
“The action by the court today is an incredible victory for the millions of Americans and tens of thousands of families across Maine, who will soon be able to afford to get the care and medication they need.” said Rep. Sharon Treat, D-Hallowell, who is the ranking Democrat on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. “Now that we have a decision, it is time for people to put aside the politics and posturing. We must roll up our sleeves and make sure Maine people get the access to affordable health care that they need.”
Treat noted because of ObamaCare a family of four in Maine earning the median income of $46,000 a year could get a tax credit that would cover nearly 80 percent of the family’s total cost of health care for the year.
The health reform law has provided critical preventative services in Maine such as well-visits for children, cancer screenings, smoking cessation counseling or immunizations with no out-of-pocket cost to 226,000 Maine people. More than 7,000 young adults in Maine now have health care coverage through their parent’s plan because of the law. Nearly 12,000 older Mainers each saved an average of $1,384 on prescription drugs purchased through Medicare.
“People should never have to go bankrupt because of illness or injury, or die of a treatable disease,” said Rep. Linda Sanborn, D-Gorham, a retired family physician, who serves on the Health and Human Services Committee. “Now, we can finally put aside the politics and focus on fixing the health care crisis in our country and our state.”
Sanborn added, “ObamaCare put our nation on the right track by prioritizing prevention, stopping the worst abuses by insurance companies, such as revoking insurance after you get sick or refusing to insure pre-existing conditions or discriminating against women; and making health care affordable for families and businesses.”
State Democrats said the ruling is particularly important for Maine people, who are seeing sharp increases in health care premiums from the rate hike law forced through by state Republican leaders in Maine last year and for those seniors and families that lost health care coverage in the GOP budget cuts.
“ObamaCare has been the last parachute for Maine people and small businesses who have had to pay more for less coverage and for those seniors and families who were thrown off coverage completely,” said Rep. Adam Goode, who was a leading opponent of the budget cuts and the Republican deregulation of the insurance market, which has allowed insurance companies to increase premiums with little or no prior review and based on an individual’s age, where they live, or what kind of job they have.
Goode added, "Families in Maine and across our country scored big over big insurance companies today."