WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act:
"Supreme Court Justices appointed by presidents of both parties today made an independent legal judgment to uphold the health law. I hope today's ruling will put an end to the partisan bickering so that we can continue our focus on jobs and improving the economy" Brown said.
"Today's ruling means that more than 1.2 million Ohio seniors will continue to have access to cancer screenings and wellness exams through Medicare. Nearly 97,000 young adults in our state will continue to be able to stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26. Parents of children with pre-existing conditions - like cancer, asthma, or diabetes - will no longer worry that they will be unable to buy health insurance."
More than two years ago, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law has benefitted Ohioans in the following ways:
- Nearly 97,000 of Ohio's young adults are now able to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 while they finish school or start a career.
- More than 2,000 Ohioans with pre-existing conditions have access to health care through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
- Children with pre-existing conditions - like asthma or diabetes or cancer - can no longer be denied coverage - or dropped from their parents' insurance.
- More than 2.1 million Ohioans with private insurance gained preventive health services with no cost-sharing.
- More than 4.5 million Ohioans are no longer in danger of hitting a lifetime limit on insurance coverage as the ACA bans companies from placing a monetary limit on care. This means cancer patients, individuals with Parkinson's or MS, and children with disabilities will not face financial ruin due to medical bills.
- More than 1.2 million seniors on Medicare received free preventive services such as annual wellness exams and cancer screenings in 2011.
- Ohio seniors who have reached the so-called "donut hole" have seen their prescription drug costs cut in half - saving more than $164 million. In the first five months of 2012, 36,291 people with Medicare in Ohio saved a total of $24,417,492 - which is an average saving of $673.
- Up to 147,000 small businesses are eligible for tax credits so that they can attract employees by offering them health coverage.
- More than 5,000 Ohio construction jobs and 10,000 full-time jobs have been supported through grant funding - like the competitive award received by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to help fund OSU's Project One.
The law also ensures that the premium dollars Ohioans pay for health insurance are used for their medical care - rather than for executive bonuses and ad campaigns. The law requires that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect from consumers on medical care - or give consumers a rebate. An estimated nine million consumers could receive between $600 million to $1.4 billion in rebates from insurance companies this year. In Ohio, more than 143,000 Ohioans will benefit this year from $11.3 million in rebates. And after Ohio families have faced unchecked hikes in their health insurance costs for years, the law subjects insurance companies to new scrutiny if they raise prices by more than 10 percent. The ACA provided the State of Ohio $5.1 million to combat unjustifiable increases.