Southern Politics

If I’m Jack Kingston, Congressman from the First District of Georgia, I’ll cast my vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and, according to the Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the deprivation will be hard to miss, as a consequence of:

  • Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 113,000 to 297,000 individuals, including 9,000 to 42,000 children, with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rescinding consumer protections for 384,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance.
  • Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 13,000 small businesses and 182,000 families.
  • Increasing prescription drug costs for 7,700 seniors who hit the Part D drug “donut hole” and denying new preventive care benefits to 99,000 seniors.
  • Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 10,400 early retirees.
  • Eliminating new health care coverage options for 3,200 uninsured young adults.
  • Increasing the number of people without health insurance by 77,000 individuals.
  • Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $45 million annually.

Now, there may well be some double-counting in those numbers, so we can’t just tote them up. And that “early retiree” number looks pretty speculative. But otherwise, that’s a lot of potential hurt coming down the pike. That Mr. Kingston’s sure going to give those hell-fire preachers a bit of real competition.

There was some talk during the last election about 56 mandates from the state of Georgia that current insurance merchants labor under. Whether those cover any of the following provisions wasn’t clear, but, even if these provisions are duplicative, it’s hard to see the benefit when:

Repeal would eliminate the ban on discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Under the health reform law, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and will be banned from discriminating against adults with pre-existing conditions in 2014. There are 113,000 to 297,000 residents in Rep. Kingston’s district with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, including 9,000 to 42,000 children. Repeal would allow insurance companies to refuse to insure these individuals if they seek coverage in the individual or small-group markets. The consequences would be particularly acute for the 24,000 to 62,000 individuals in the district who currently lack insurance coverage and who would be unable to purchase individual policies if the law is repealed.

Repeal would eliminate the ban on annual and lifetime limits. The health reform law prohibits insurance companies from imposing annual and lifetime limits on health insurance coverage. This provision protects the rights of everyone who receives coverage from their employer or through the market for private insurance. If this protection is repealed, insurers would be able to impose coverage limits on 384,000 individuals in the district with employer or private coverage.

There’s more on the web site in a pdf for each Congressional district. Check it out.

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."