Repeal of health law would have big impact on Kentucky, HHS Secretary Sebelius writes

The U.S. House voted again yesterday to repeal the health-care reform law, a move that has no chance of passing in the current Senate and would be vetoed by President Obama if it did.

In an op-ed piece in The Courier-Journal, which put the news of the House vote on an inside page, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, said a repeal of the law would have big ramifications for Kentucky because:

• The law eliminates lifetime limits on coverage because it prevents insurance companies from dropping customers if they get sick or meet a lifetime dollar cap. This had helped 1,414,000 Kentuckians, including 528,000 women and 362,000 children.

• It provides free preventive care like vaccinations, checkups and cancer screenings for 732,000 Kentuckians who have private health insurance.

• It provides funding for expanding community health centers in underserved areas.

• It requires insurance companies to spend “at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on health care and quality improvements, not CEO salaries or advertising,” Sebelius writes. If they don’t do so, customers get a rebate.

• Seniors receive free preventive services under Medicare, and the law eliminates the prescription-drug “doughnut hole.” Since the law was enacted, 5.2 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved more than $3.7 billion on prescription drugs.

• The law allows young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, which translates to 48,000 Kentuckians. (Read more)

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