||December 16, 2009
Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Bob Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary
New Report Shows Senate Health Care Bill Will Expand Coverage to 988,000 North Carolinians
Report Also Highlights How Many North Carolina Residents Would Lose Coverage if the Senate Health Reform Bill Fails to Pass
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Although the ongoing Senate debate over health reform may seem at times to be unrelated to everyday life in North Carolina, the bill’s passage or failure will have a profound impact on the health and well-being of many North Carolina residents. A report from Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers, found that 988,000 people in North Carolina will gain coverage by 2019 under the Senate health reform bill.
The Families USA report, based on Congressional Budget Office data, also shows that, without health reform, 254,000 people in North Carolina will lose health coverage by 2019. In 2007 and 2008, the average number of uninsured people in North Carolina was 1,466,000, but that total will rise to 1,720,000 if the bill fails to pass. Nationally, the number of uninsured will reach 54 million in 2019 in the absence of comprehensive health reform.
“The consequences of inaction will be very severe for people in North Carolina and across the country,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. “If the Senate fails to act, Americans will continue to struggle, and a growing number of them will face the devastating effects of going without coverage.”
Each and every state stands to gain from the passage of health reform. Passing the Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not only extend coverage to millions of Americans, but it will also help bolster the economy, increase the stability and security of coverage, and moderate the rise of health insurance premiums.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will cover millions of people by doing the following:
- Ensuring Access for All: The Senate bill requires insurers to offer coverage to every person who applies, regardless of health status, age, or gender.
- Making Premiums Affordable: The Senate bill will help millions of middle-class families who simply cannot afford health coverage by creating a new health insurance marketplace where they will be able to purchase quality coverage, regardless of gender or health status. In addition, the bill will make premium subsidies available to families with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($88,200 in annual income for a family of four in 2009).
- Strengthening Medicaid: Currently, in 42 states, adults without dependent children are not eligible for Medicaid at all—even if they are penniless. The Senate bill will make all individuals who have incomes below 133 percent of poverty (about $29,330 for a family of four in 2009) eligible for Medicaid regardless of whether they have dependent children or not, substantially increasing the number of very low-income people with health coverage.
“The Senate has an opportunity to give peace of mind to families by providing and extending health coverage to virtually everyone in North Carolina,” said Pollack. “Conversely, the failure to act will result in many people joining the ranks of the uninsured. We hope the Senate rises to this historic opportunity and passes the health reform bill.”
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
1201 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1100 · Washington, DC 20005
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