News release issued by the Madison County Democratic Party:
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Madison County Democratic Party expressed commendation of the Supreme Court’s ruling as constitutional the Affordable Healthcare Act passed by Congress more than two years ago.
Since the passage of the law, Medicaid coverage has been expanded, prescription drugs for seniors became more affordable; preventative services were covered with no deductible or co-pay for some; a broader number of insurance companies were required to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of executive salaries and marketing; premium increases faced greater scrutiny; lifetime benefit limits were lifted; new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions were created; and children could remain covered under their parents healthcare plan until age 26.
“This ruling is a victory for President Obama in his efforts to aid the middle class, children, and elderly – which the Republican Party has abandoned. Overturning this law would be a victory only for insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act makes the first strides toward providing families with greater control over their health care coverage,” said Clete Wetli, Chair of Madison County Democratic Party. Wetli went further to say, “This law expands access, lowers costs, and protects consumers so that families have the peace of mind to know that the health of their loved ones was not subject to the whims of insurance companies. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the citizens of the United States rather than already highly-profitable corporate interests.
The benefits of the law are staggering. In 2010 and 2011, over 5.1 million people on Medicare saved over $3.4 billion on prescription drugs. In the first three months of 2012 alone, more than 220,000 people have saved $184.5 million, an average of $837.
According to Wetli, this decision supports the advances made over the past two years and takes away many Alabamians’ need to choose between putting food on their table or seeking medical treatments. “For too long, many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gave families in Alabama and across the nation the security they deserved. The law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.
“The decision by the right-leaning Supreme Court is a victory for Americans. Coupled with the unlimited corporate donations and anonymity unleashed by Citizens United has created a situation in this country of corporate domination that is unlike anything in our history, and it cannot lead to good for the citizenry or the country,” added Wetli.
The Alabama and Madison County Democrats believe in the equality of all people, the power of education, the dignity of work, and our responsibility to each other, especially the least of these people. The Democratic Party of Madison County promotes and supports progressive ideals and candidates throughout our communities.