Release: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Affordable Care Act in Action: 129 Million Americans no Longer Denied Coverage or Charged Higher Premiums Due to Pre-existing Conditions
The Cost of Repeal for Georgia: up to 4,324,000 consumers could be denied health coverage or charged higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions
Atlanta, GA – Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia released figures highlighting the number of consumers in Georgia with pre-existing conditions who, under the Affordable Care Act, will be protected from discrimination based on their health status.
For the first time, because of the new health care law, insurance companies will be prohibited from denying health coverage for the up to 129 million Americans – including up to 4,324,000 in Georgia – with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes. Insurance companies will also no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on health status or history. Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to the up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions – including up to 613,000 in Georgia. This protection is extended to adults beginning in January 2014.
“Helping middle class families and small businesses in Georgia take advantage of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act should be a priority for officials in our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson. “Yet, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, as well as Gov. Nathan Deal, have consistently stonewalled meaningful health care reform.”
In fact, Hudgens blames the sick for having higher premiums saying it’s their fault. Despite flip-flopping on these comments, Hudgens’ comments and intentions, along with those of the Georgia Republican Party, have always been crystal clear: Dismantle the Affordable Care Act, go back to the days when insurance companies were in the driver’s seat, then do absolutely nothing to fix the old broken system.
While Democrats realize that health care is a pocketbook issue for most families, Republicans in Georgia prefer a return to the old days of higher premiums and discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, taking away piece of mind for millions of Georgians.
Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services: Pre–existing Conditions by State – First and Second Estimates
AJC 12/4/2013: Hudgens walks back remarks about chronically ill people