POLITICAL: Jeanne Shaheen supports the ACA!

In response to my letter opposing the ACA.

*** begin quote ***

Dear Ferdinand,

 

Thank you for contacting my office about health care reform and the Affordable Care Act. This is one of the most important issues facing our nation and I appreciate hearing your thoughts. 

I support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and believe that the law was a necessary step toward improving our nation’s health insurance system and broadening access to coverage for individuals in New Hampshire and throughout the country. While I believe the law should be improved, I oppose efforts to repeal or dismantle it. The law makes critical insurance reforms, such as guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 and limiting annual out-of-pocket costs to consumers. The ACA is providing insurance options to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured, ensuring that many of them have access to health insurance for the first time. 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the ACA will reduce the federal deficit over the next ten years and into the following decade. However, we must continue to focus on efficient and effective implementation of the ACA to ensure these significant savings. I am pleased that millions of Americans are receiving insurance plans through the online marketplaces, in addition to the millions nationally who have bought plans outside of the health insurance exchanges, and those who benefit from Medicaid expansion in our state. This demonstrates the ongoing need for the essential reforms that this law made. 

Although we have already seen benefits from the ACA, I am very concerned about problems that remain and I am dedicated to making this law work for New Hampshire residents. Last year, I was pleased to author the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act, which is the first bipartisan standalone, health-related fix to the ACA to pass both the House and the Senate, and I’m proud that the President has signed it into law. This legislation amends the ACA to allow New Hampshire and other states the option to treat employers with 51 to 100 employees as large employers for the purposes of health insurance markets, preventing potential rate increases that could have otherwise taken place. 

Furthermore, I remain concerned that some individuals have faced insurance premium increases and understand that the rising cost of health insurance is a burden on many American families and small businesses. While health insurance premiums have typically increased annually in recent years, the ACA includes provisions to rein in insurance company abuses, such as requiring insurance companies to justify extreme cost growths to the consumer and ensuring that they spend a minimum of 80 percent of premium costs on actual health care services as opposed to administrative costs.

As you know, insurance premiums are based on underlying health care costs and a number of factors such as the use of the latest, most expensive technology and our fee-for-service model of health care delivery, where quantity rather than quality is rewarded. The ACA also took important steps to address the cost of health care, and I am hopeful that as the law’s implementation progresses, its innovative reforms and cost-saving measures will result in a more efficient and less costly health care system. 

I am pleased that five insurance companies are selling insurance plans in New Hampshire’s marketplace for coverage in 2016. This will ensure that our residents have access to a broader range of hospitals and providers throughout the state. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance or information related to the health reform law, please contact my Manchester office at 603-647-7500. In addition, Covering New Hampshire is an information resource available to all Granite State residents; please visit www.coveringnewhampshire.org to get in touch with the organization. 

Please be assured that I will continue to look for commonsense ways to improve the law to help ensure that Americans have access to affordable health insurance coverage. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me, and please do not hesitate to contact my office with any future concerns.

 

Sincerely,

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

*** end quote ***

Argh!

# – # – # – # – # 

Dear Ferdinand,

 

Thank you for contacting my office about health care reform and the Affordable Care Act. This is one of the most important issues facing our nation and I appreciate hearing your thoughts. 

I support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and believe that the law was a necessary step toward improving our nation’s health insurance system and broadening access to coverage for individuals in New Hampshire and throughout the country. While I believe the law should be improved, I oppose efforts to repeal or dismantle it. The law makes critical insurance reforms, such as guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 and limiting annual out-of-pocket costs to consumers. The ACA is providing insurance options to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured, ensuring that many of them have access to health insurance for the first time. 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the ACA will reduce the federal deficit over the next ten years and into the following decade. However, we must continue to focus on efficient and effective implementation of the ACA to ensure these significant savings. I am pleased that millions of Americans are receiving insurance plans through the online marketplaces, in addition to the millions nationally who have bought plans outside of the health insurance exchanges, and those who benefit from Medicaid expansion in our state. This demonstrates the ongoing need for the essential reforms that this law made. 

Although we have already seen benefits from the ACA, I am very concerned about problems that remain and I am dedicated to making this law work for New Hampshire residents. Last year, I was pleased to author the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act, which is the first bipartisan standalone, health-related fix to the ACA to pass both the House and the Senate, and I’m proud that the President has signed it into law. This legislation amends the ACA to allow New Hampshire and other states the option to treat employers with 51 to 100 employees as large employers for the purposes of health insurance markets, preventing potential rate increases that could have otherwise taken place. 

Furthermore, I remain concerned that some individuals have faced insurance premium increases and understand that the rising cost of health insurance is a burden on many American families and small businesses. While health insurance premiums have typically increased annually in recent years, the ACA includes provisions to rein in insurance company abuses, such as requiring insurance companies to justify extreme cost growths to the consumer and ensuring that they spend a minimum of 80 percent of premium costs on actual health care services as opposed to administrative costs.

As you know, insurance premiums are based on underlying health care costs and a number of factors such as the use of the latest, most expensive technology and our fee-for-service model of health care delivery, where quantity rather than quality is rewarded. The ACA also took important steps to address the cost of health care, and I am hopeful that as the law’s implementation progresses, its innovative reforms and cost-saving measures will result in a more efficient and less costly health care system. 

I am pleased that five insurance companies are selling insurance plans in New Hampshire’s marketplace for coverage in 2016. This will ensure that our residents have access to a broader range of hospitals and providers throughout the state. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance or information related to the health reform law, please contact my Manchester office at 603-647-7500. In addition, Covering New Hampshire is an information resource available to all Granite State residents; please visit www.coveringnewhampshire.org to get in touch with the organization. 

Please be assured that I will continue to look for commonsense ways to improve the law to help ensure that Americans have access to affordable health insurance coverage. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me, and please do not hesitate to contact my office with any future concerns.

 

Sincerely,

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

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