A national nonprofit group that bills itself as a "nonpartisan organization for health care consumers" has released another report that examines the health care reform legislation pending in the U.S. House.
Families U.S.A. Executive Director Ron Pollack says the measure would help thousands of Iowans who are currently without health care coverage. He says the report shows 146,000 Iowans would gain coverage under the legislation’s first year of implementation in 2013.
A report released in April by Families U.S.A. claimed nearly 686-thousand Iowans were without insurance at some time during 2007-2008. Pollack believes that figure could be cut by nearly one-third over the next decade under the pending legislation.
"By the year 2019, 235-thousand (Iowans) will have gained coverage," Pollack said. "This is a substantial improvement for the people in Iowa." Nearly 50-million Americans are currently without health care coverage. Pollack believes 37-million would gain coverage by 2019 under the proposed bill. Pollack says the measure would also lower the premiums paid by people that currently have health care coverage.
"It will do so by reducing the so-called ‘hidden health tax’ that gets tacked onto insurance premiums to pay for the care received by the uninsured," Pollack said. "That hidden surcharge averaged $1,017 for family coverage in 2008." The Families U.S.A. report is based on data provided by the Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office.
The bill before the House is believed to carry $1.5 trillion price tag and would require all individuals to have health insurance and all employers to provide it. The poor would get subsidies to buy insurance and insurers would be barred from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.