Affordable Care Act: Saving Texas Lives and Saving Texans Money

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The third anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act this past weekend provides a great opportunity to recognize the many ways the bill is making life better for Texans every day. It's saving lives, and it's saving money.

While it's easy to dwell on Rick Perry's adamant and inhumane refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion outlined in the Affordable Care Act, this bill is already doing a great deal to help those with private insurance.

Since the bill's passage…

  • 357,000 young Texans gained coverage on their parents' policies
  • 5,198,000 Texans with private insurance gained free preventative services
  • 1,795,711 Texans on Medicare used one or more free services in 2012
  • 1,516,721 Texans with private insurance received a total of $166,975,840 in rebates

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz recognized the occasion by trying and failing to repeal Obamacare, rather than give it a chance to keep working and saving even more lives and money here in Texas. Evidently, folks like Ted Cruz and Rick Perry think leaving kids unable to go to the doctor and seniors unable to get their medicines will make America better off.  

Tens of thousands of Americans without health insurance used to die every year because they couldn't get the medical care they need. Nationally, more than 6 million people with Medicare have saved more than $6 billion on prescription drugs and 105 million Americans got coverage of free preventive health care.

I, for one, will celebrate the end to denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions and an end to lifetime caps on coverage. Thanks to President Obama's leadership and the work of Congressional Democrats, one of the greatest scourges on American society in the form of financial ruin from medical bills has been alleviated. It's something to celebrate, even if folks like Cruz and Perry don't see it that way.

Read even more about the direct benefits to Texans below the jump.  

  • As of December 2011, 357,000 young adults in Texas gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.

  • In 2011 and 2012, 5,198,000 Texans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing.  For policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012, women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need, which will benefit approximately 3,412,175 women in Texas.

  • In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million people with Medicare benefited from Medicare's coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing.  In Texas, 1,795,711 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2012.

  • Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing.  If they do not adhere to this 80/20 rule, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums.  This means that 1,516,721 Texas residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $166,975,840 in rebates from insurance companies this year.

  • In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Texas has received $1,000,000 under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.

  • The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.  Already, 7,536,000 people in Texas, including 2,771,000 women and 2,094,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.

  • As of August 2012, 9,592 previously uninsured residents of Texas who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law.

  • The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Texas, 69 health centers operate 396 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 975,509 people.  Health Center grantees in Texas have received $224,639,256 under the Affordable Care Act to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.
  • Thanks to Congressman Gene Green for furnishing this summary! Learn more at


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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