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Opinion: Harry Reid on what’s in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for you

By ThisIsReno

Dear Fellow Nevadan,

Today our nation won a tremendous victory when President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This historic health reform legislation will improve the lives of millions of Americans and is truly great news for Nevada’s families and small businesses, who will see lower premiums on their existing plans and new, more affordable options.

It is good news for the more than 600,000 Nevadans who will now be able to receive quality, affordable health care to keep themselves and their families healthy. It is good news for more than 50,000 Nevada seniors who will be able to get cheaper prescription drugs, no longer have to fear the Medicare “doughnut hole” gap in coverage and see Medicare’s solvency extended by nearly a decade without cutting even a dime of guaranteed benefits. It is good news for Nevada residents who will receive $5 billion in tax credits to purchase private insurance within the first five years of this bill’s enactment. And it is good news for future generations because it reduces deficits by nearly $1.4 trillion over the next 20 years.

This legislation provides consumers with more protection and more choice, and ensures that medical decisions are made by patients and doctors, not insurance companies. And it means that we don’t have to face the double-digit premium increases–some as high as 60 percent–that would have occurred had we done nothing to reform our health insurance industry. This is a real-life impact for so many Nevadans and Americans.

The Senate has worked closely with the House to make this good bill even better, and we plan to finish our work as soon as possible. While there is one more leg of this journey to complete this week, I wanted to write Nevadans today to talk about what is in this legislation for them. Please read the information below and visit my Web site to learn more about how this historic legislation with improve the lives of Nevadans like you.

HARRY REID
United States Senator for Nevada

Highlights of benefits of health insurance reform for Nevada

* Up to 518,000 residents who are uninsured and 132,000 residents who have individual market insurance will gain access to affordable coverage.
* Up to 311,000 residents will qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.
* 328,000 seniors will receive free preventive services and 58,200 seniors will have their drug costs in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” covered over time.
* Up to 24,000 small businesses will be eligible for tax credits for premiums.

Reduced premiums

* Health insurance reform will lower premiums in the nongroup market by 14 to 20 percent for the same benefits–premium savings of $1,380 to $1,970 for a family in Nevada

Premium Tax Credits to expand private insurance coverage in Nevada

* Reform will provide $5.0 billion in premium tax credits and cost-sharing tax credits for residents in Nevada from 2014 to 2019 to purchase private health insurance. This is $180 million greater than under the Senate-passed bill.

Increased Medicaid support

* The Federal government will fully fund the coverage expansion for the first three years of the policy and continue substantial support, paying for 90 percent of costs after 2020, compared with Nevada’s current FMAP of 50.2 percent.
* In total, Nevada could receive $3.6 billion more dollars in federal funds for Medicaid as a result of the expansion from 2014 to 2019, $240 million more than under the Senate-passed bill.

Improved value for Medicare Advantage

* The 228,000 seniors in Nevada who are not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan will no longer cross-subsidize these private plans, saving $45 in premium costs per year.
* The proposal will gradually move toward a fair payment system that rewards performance.

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