Springer: Time to move forward together on health care reform

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OLYMPIA—State Rep. Larry Springer hailed today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act as a giant step forward toward more affordable health care.

“The Supreme Court has ruled,” said Springer (D-Kirkland). “Hopefully, this decision means we can now put partisan bickering aside and find compromise to move our country forward. We need to keep working to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans, especially children and seniors.”

Springer pointed out that Washington state has already fully implemented several key reforms in the Affordable Care Act, including health coverage for dependent children on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, the elimination of co-pays and deductibles for preventive care, and the elimination of caps on lifetime health benefits.

“We’re talking about nearly two and a half million Washingtonians who no longer face the threat of caps on lifetime benefits, and at least 1.2 million people who are already saving money on preventive care,” Springer said.

Repeal of the law would have been disastrous for the uninsured in Washington, according to Springer. He noted that noted that roughly 70 percent of the uninsured in King County will benefit from the federal law’s insurance subsidies and expansion of Medicaid, according to a recent county-by-county analysis of the law by state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler.

Springer said he’s heard from people in the 45th District who don’t like the federal law, but he said many of them change their mind when they learn more about how the law actually works.

“I respect the arguments of people who opposed the law, and I understand why they object to the requirement that everyone has health insurance,” Springer said. “But look at the other side of the coin. Until now, insurance companies have been requiring Washington families to pay an average of $1,017 a year more in family insurance premiums to cover uncompensated care for the uninsured. Where is the fairness in that mandate?”

The Insurance Commissioner has an informative web page to help Washington residents learn more about the Supreme Court ruling and the benefits available under the Affordable Care Act.

Washington is currently setting up a Health Benefit Exchange Program to help state residents take advantage of the provisions of the federal law that was upheld by the Supreme Court today.

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