Saturday, August 29, 2009

HR 3200 Helps North San Luis Obispo

Our final look at how our government can help us in north San Luis Obispo county via the House Resolution (HR 3200) also titled "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act."

Affordable is the keyword. It would provide significant benefits in the 22nd Congressional District represented by Congressman Kevin McCarthy. The district spans north San Luis Obispo county across to most of Kern county.
Up to 12,200 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees;

10,200 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D;

1,300 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $48 million in uncompensated care each year and

107,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
A note about financial security. There have been 1,300 health care-related bankruptcies in the district in 2008, caused primarily by the health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.

Coverage of the uninsured? There are 130,000 uninsured individuals in the district, 17% of the district. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationwide, 97% of all Americans will have insurance coverage when the bill takes effect. If this benchmark is reached in the district, 107,000 people who currently do not have health insurance will receive coverage.

Best of all, there's no deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals.

This surtax would affect only 2,710 households in the district. So less than one percent of all people living in this district would pay a little more to share the benefits this country has shared with them. 99.1% of all taxpayers in the district would not be affected by the surtax.

Surely these 2700 people (.9%) could have it in their heart to follow in the steps of the Great Healer and help those less fortunate than themselves. They might even smile more for having done a good deed for their fellow man--a deed which will last a long, long time.

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