Monday, January 18, 2010

Will Crist Follow Rubio's Extreme Pledge To Add to Deficit, Hurt Seniors, And Deny Health Coverage To Floridians?

From FDP:

While showing once again that he is out of step with mainstream Florida, today Marco Rubio once again showed he is part of Rush Limbaugh/Sarah Palin wing of the Republican Party by pledging to repeal health insurance reforms, which when passed will lower the federal budget deficit, create jobs, and ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. The repeal will also hurt senior citizens across the Sunshine State, by re-opening the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole.

"The real question Floridians are asking today is if Charlie Crist will once again put his political ambition above Florida by following Rubio down the extreme right-wing path of trying to repeal health insurance reforms. Because Rubio is running for Senate to win the heart and soul of the Republican Party, rather than to do what is right for all Floridians, Rubio's actions today once again show he is nothing more than a typical politician who is in the hands of the health insurance industry," said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman. "By pledging today to repeal health insurance reforms Marco Rubio not only promised to add to the federal budget deficit and deny Florida's families access to health care, but Rubio's repeal would also force senior citizens to continue paying for the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs out of their pockets by re-opening the Medicare Part D donut hole. Rubio's repeal also means that he wants allow insurance companies to deny coverage when you get sick because of a pre-existing condition."

By pledging to repeal insurance reforms, Rubio wants to undo the follow:

1. PROTECTIONS AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANY DISCRIMINATION AND LOSING COVERAGE WHEN YOU GET SICK: People who have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition will finally have access to affordable coverage. Insurers will no longer be able to drop your coverage when you get sick and are in the middle of treatment.

2. LOWER DRUG COSTS FOR SENIORS, LOWER PREMIUMS FOR EARLY RETIREES: Seniors who fall into the Medicare Part D donut hole will see lower prescription drug costs as immediate steps are taken to close the donut hole. Employers who cover their early retirees will receive temporary funds to help offset the cost of expensive claims for retirees' health benefits - lowering premiums and protecting coverage for early retirees.

3. INSURANCE SECURITY IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB: Never again will you lose access to insurance if you get laid off or switch jobs.

4. RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYERS, JOBS FOR AMERICANS: Small businesses and employers getting crushed by soaring health care costs will see lower costs, allowing them to create as many as 4 million more jobs over the next decade.

5. NO LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE: Never again will you be subject to annual or lifetime limits on what insurance companies will pay, protecting millions of Americans from the threat of medical bankruptcy.

6. FREE PREVENTIVE CARE: Insurers will be required to offer free preventive care, lowering your out-of-pocket expenses and helping ensure that diseases or conditions can be caught early on.

7. INDEPENDENT CONSUMER ADVOCATES AND SUNSHINE ON RATE INCREASES: For the first time, consumers will have independent advocates dedicated to upholding consumer protections, answering their questions, and helping with any problems related to their plans. Insurance companies will be required to disclose their rates to consumers - discouraging them from runaway rate increases.

8. BETTER ACCESS AND STRONGER PROTECTIONS FOR WOMEN: Prohibits insurers from charging women more than men for health insurance or discriminating on the basis of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. Required maternity services as part of the essential benefits package in the exchange.

9. EXTENDED COVERAGE FOR YOUNG ADULTS: Young adults will now be able to stay on their parents' insurance much longer, through their 26th or 27th birthday.

10. AT LEAST 30 MILLION MORE AMERICANS WILL FINALLY HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE: Health reform will finally guarantee access to quality, affordable health insurance for 30-35 million Americans who don't have coverage today, also eliminating the annual hidden tax of $1,100 that American families pay to cover the cost of the uninsured. While the official health insurance exchanges are being created, a temporary insurance pool will be available for individuals with pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses.

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