WISCONSINREPORT.COM (11/23/2009) - U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the release of a new report highlighting the benefits of health insurance reform for Wisconsin. Also today, Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and Richard Gephardt are showing support for Health Insurance Reform for the United States.
"Families, seniors and businesses are all suffering under the health care status quo," said Sebelius. "Our new reports demonstrate how health insurance reform will improve health care for all Americans."
The report provides specific details on the benefits of reform for Wisconsin. Under health insurance reform in Wisconsin:
- 541,000 residents who do not currently have insurance and 320,000 residents who have nongroup insurance could get affordable coverage through the health insurance exchange.
- 358,000 residents could qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.
- 871,000 seniors would receive free preventive services.
- 155,000 seniors would have their brand-name drug costs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” halved.
- 77,400 small businesses could be helped by a small business tax credit to make premiums more affordable.
The report also notes that if nothing is done now, by 2019 the number of uninsured people will grow by more than 30 percent in 29 states and by at least 10 percent in every state.
Without reform, the amount of uncompensated care provided will more than double in 45 states. Additionally, businesses in 27 states will see their premiums more than double and fewer people will have coverage through an employer if the status quo continues.
To read the complete report and learn more about health insurance reform visit www.HealthReform.gov.
Meanwhile, Tommy Thompson and Richard Gephardt, Board members of America's Agenda: Health Care for All, today released the following statement on the Senate Health-Care reform bill:
"The health-care bill in the Senate represents another milestone in achieving meaningful health-care reform for millions of Americans. It is now critical that members of Congress work together in a bi-partisan fashion to pass a common-sense, fiscally responsible solution to drive down health-care costs, ensure access to affordable and quality care, increase efficiency and achieve real savings," the joint statement by former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson began.
"While we both have specific concerns with the bill in its current form, we believe a bipartisan consensus must emerge to address the health care crises in America. All evidence shows that the number of uninsured Americans will continue to rise and that skyrocketing costs will be simply unsustainable for American businesses and workers without Congressional action in the near term."
"Any final bill passed into law must focus on both the human and economic impact, ensuring that access and affordability are achieved for employers, employees, and Americans currently without coverage. We can all agree that the opportunity before us is far too great to let specific differences stand in the way of reaching consensus legislation needed this year," stated Richard Gephardt and Tommy Thompson on behalf of America's Agenda: Health Care For All.
"As the Senate takes up the bill, we urge Members to further reduce costs, waste, inefficiency and chronic disease prevalence through such measures as coordinated health teams at the family doctor-patient level. It is a proven idea that both business and labor have rallied behind, and will redefine the way we prevent chronic disease, eliminate unnecessary costs and deliver 21st Century health-care to millions who need it most."
"In short, coordinated health teams will tie together, and make real, disparate elements of health-care reform by providing a means to help eliminate costly fragmentation of our health care system once and for all," the joint statement by Tommy Thompson and Richard Gephardt continued.
"Americans will look back with appreciation for those who set aside political interests to keep the process moving forward. Working together, it is time to show the nation that consensus legislation is possible, that ideas and bipartisanship far outweigh politics and, above all, that members of both parties rose to the occasion and got the job done."
America's Agenda brings together U.S. businesses, labor unions and government leaders who share a common commitment to achieving access to affordable, high-quality health care for every American. For more information, visit www.americasagenda.org