Dear Ms. Kirst:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the Affordable Care Act. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
In the two years since the Affordable Care Act became law, the debate over the merits of the law have continued, despite the recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold most key provisions. I believe that this law reflects our Nation’s commitment to ensuring health care for all Americans. Over the next several years, the Affordable Care Act will extend health insurance coverage to an additional 30 million Americans, ensuring that 95 percent of our Nation has access to quality, affordable care.
Pennsylvanians are already benefiting from many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. As of April 2012, 5,355 Pennsylvanians with pre-existing medical conditions have enrolled in PA Fair Care, the high-risk insurance plan created and funded by the Affordable Care Act. Almost 300 employers in Pennsylvania have enrolled in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, making it easier for them to continue offering health insurance to their early retirees who are too young to enroll in Medicare. Over 91,000 young adults now qualify to remain on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, providing a viable option to many young adults who would not otherwise have access to affordable health insurance.
I do not support efforts to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act, and I oppose any efforts to do so. Repealing or defunding the Affordable Care Act would be a big step backwards for too many Pennsylvania families, removing new consumer protections that are already benefiting thousands of Pennsylvanians. These protections will protect Americans from losing their health insurance when they get sick or change jobs, and will prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against individuals based on their medical history or health status, gender or salary.
I respect the many people who remain opposed to the Affordable Care Act. In the many months I spent working on this issue, talking both to Pennsylvanians who supported the law and those who opposed it, I concluded that the cost of doing nothing was too high for too many working families, and that this legislation will provide families with security and peace of mind, knowing that they will have access to the health care they need. At the same time, I recognize that the law Affordable Care Act is not perfect and that more work remains to be done; I am open to reasonable proposals to improve the Affordable Care Act.
There are many rumors and much misinformation about what the Affordable Care Act does or does not do. To learn more about what the Affordable Care Act means for Pennsylvania and for you, I encourage you to visit http://www.healthcare.gov to learn about the specific provisions in the law and how the legislation is being implemented. If you have further questions about how you and your family will be affected by this legislation, please do not hesitate to contact my office; my staff will be happy to assist you.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like to respond to this message, please use the contact form on my website: http://casey.senate.gov/contact/