So what we have here is Rob McKenna participating in the multi-state lawsuit, now fully aware that the goal of the lawsuit is to strike down the entire law.
If McKenna is successful, Washington state gets credit for the downfall of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Ouch! Like that sooooooo represents our state. But that’s nuttin’.
Just for shits and giggles, I decided to look up the immediate effects should the lawsuit succeed in killing the law—the things that would affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Washingtonians.
Here’s what I found:
- Strips small businesses of the 35% tax credit (50% beginning in 2014) provided to make employee coverage more affordable.
- Eliminate for early retirees the temporary re-insurance program (pending the full development of insurance exchanges).
- Eliminate consumer protections and the external review process for appealing insurance company coverage determinations or claims.
- End the prohibition on recissions—that is, insurance companies will, once again, be allowed to drop sick people from coverage.
- End the prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage to children (and, in 2014, everyone) with pre-existing conditions
- Eliminate caps—once again allow insurance companies to place lifetime caps on coverage.
- End prohibition of certain annual coverage limits—some are in effect right now but all such restrictions will be eliminated by 2014.
- Re-open the Medicare part D “donut hole” by eliminating the 50% discount on brand name drugs for those in the donut hole, and put a halt to the gradual elimination of the donut hole by 2020.
- Reinstate co-payments for preventive care and, under medicare, once again allow preventive care to be included in deductibles.
- Eliminate funding for state consumer assistance programs that help folks navigating the health care insurance process.
- Eliminate funding for resources and new screening procedures that reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.
- Eliminate the option for young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until they turn 26.
That is a selection of the tangible benefits that have already fully or partially kicked in under the law.
It will be painful…particularly to our state’s youngest and oldest citizens.
There are many more benefits to come. Some are extremely important, like getting insurance for the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans.
And then there is the fiscal effects, to the tune of quashing the $210 billion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years, and an estimated $1 trillion over the next 20 years.
Shit…with gubernatorial wannabes like McKenna…who needs al Qaeda?