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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Health

Health issues affect us all and determining the best means of addressing them is an important part of my work in Congress.

Because of healthcare reform, millions of seniors are getting free preventive services, children are not being denied coverage, and young adults are covered under their parents' plan. These are big and important differences helping millions of Americans focus on their jobs and quality of life, instead of worrying about what will happen if they and their family members get injured or sick.

  • No American can ever again be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
  • No woman can ever again be charged a higher premium just because she’s a woman.
  • No American ever again has to worry that one major illness will mean bankruptcy for their family.
  • No senior will ever again have to pay a co-pay for key preventive services like cancer screenings.
  • Because of the ACA, the CBO has projected we will have lower deficits than in their last report, with a reduction of $23 billion in 2014 and $286 billion over 2015-2024.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, the government run program that provides health insurance for low income and disabled individuals, was expanded to include more people. The Supreme Court decided that Congress did not have the power to penalize states that did not want to expand their Medicaid programs by cutting of funding for existing Medicaid programs. The Missouri Legislature has not taken action to expand Medicaid in Missouri. Medicaid reform and expansion would bring federal dollars that Missourians send to Washington, $2 billion a year, back to the state to provide health care coverage to an additional 300,000 working Missourians. These families make no more than $32,913 a year -- for a family of four.  

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion was also meant to compensate for payment cuts to hospitals and health care providers. Even though Missouri did not expand Medicaid, many of those payment cuts are still taking effect. A recent survey by the Missouri Chamber and MHA has shown that these cuts have forced many hospitals to reduce staff and services. 

For all Americans, Republicans and Democrats, the states and the federal government must continue to work together to make sure healthcare is functional, full, and fair.

HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.
  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.
  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.
  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.
  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES

  • Health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record: Since the law passed, real per capita health care spending is estimated to have grown at the lowest rate on record for any three-year period and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1960. This slower growth in spending is reflected in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. 
  • CBO projects the deficit will shrink more and premiums will be lower than expected: CBO previously estimated that the ACA will reduce the deficit by $1.7 trillion over two decades, and, just this week, CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next ten years. The CBO report also projects that lower-than-expected premiums will help to save $5 billion this year, and that lower premiums will persist in the years ahead, remaining 15 percent below projections by 2016 (the only year in which CBO provides a precise estimate).
  • Medicare spending growth is down: Medicare per capita spending is growing at historically low rates.  This week, for the fifth straight year, the CBO reduced its projections for Medicare spending over the next 10 years – this time by $106 billion.  CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid costs in 2020 will be $180 billion below its 2010 estimates.  Recent economic research suggests that the ACA’s reforms to Medicare may have “spillover effects” that reduce costs and improve quality across the health care system, not just in Medicare. 

 THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

  • Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – including up to 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.
  • 71 million Americans with private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as mammograms, birth control, or immunizations in 2011 and 2012.
  • In 2013, 37 million people with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.
  • Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.
  • Since the health care law was enacted, almost 8 million seniors have saved nearly $10 billion on prescription drugs as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”
  • 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit.

More on Health

May 24, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement after reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri will pull out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2018.

May 23, 2017

(Washington D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is deeply troubled by President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal. The budget calls for a harmful reduction in programs that help every day, working families. It would gut safety net programs that serve many of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The proposal cuts taxes for the wealthy while cutting crucial housing, education, and health care services.

May 9, 2017

(Kansas City, MO) – Earlier this year, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II was informed that the Hickman Mills American Legion Post 598, located at 11600 Blue Ridge Blvd., had been in desperate need of a wheelchair accessible ramp. The Post provides services for veterans in the Kansas City area.

“Many of the veterans said they were lifting people in wheelchairs up and down the stairs which I’m certain was too much of a strenuous activity for them,” said Congressman Cleaver.

May 5, 2017

As you might already know, I am deeply troubled by the decision Congress made yesterday to pass the American Health Care Act, also known as “Trumpcare”. Some of you may have assumed that I voted “No” to stay within party lines but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

May 4, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement on House passage of The American Health Care Act.

“Republicans in Congress have put the health of millions of people in jeopardy by passing Trumpcare. This was a mistake on all levels and I did not support it. Americans across the country have flooded Congressional offices with phone calls asking them to vote “No” on repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

Mar 28, 2017

(Washington D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II is extremely concerned about the effects that President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget will have on rural Americans and small town citizens.

“This budget is not for rural America and it hurts working families, veterans, and especially low-income families and seniors,” said Congressman Cleaver.

Mar 24, 2017

I will vote “No” on TrumpCare – H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.

There is just too much for the American public to lose. Americans will suffer with less health care coverage, fewer protections and higher costs.

Mar 17, 2017

Yesterday, President Donald Trump released his FY 2018 budget recommendations. Though the power to spend and appropriate lies squarely with Congress, every year the President offers a budget proposal. This year’s budget proposal left me astounded. Surely something with such blatant disregard for our most vulnerable citizens could not, should not, and will not pass in Congress.

President Trump’s cuts to several departments are simply put - harmful. This budget hurts working families, veterans, and especially low-income families and elderly citizens.

Mar 7, 2017

“This latest proposal by the Republicans guts the Affordable Care Act and ends access to health care as we know it. This isn’t replacement, this is an elimination - snatching healthcare away from millions of Americans. This plan would cut Medicaid and force older Americans to pay more out of pocket. The only people who will benefit from this plan are the big insurance companies and the wealthy with extreme tax breaks. The purpose of the ACA was to ensure that all Americans regardless of income, age, or health status would be able to receive health care.

Dec 2, 2016

     A development this week in Washington D.C. could have a huge impact on many families in my district and around the country. Earlier this week, the House considered H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill includes three parts; bipartisan 21st Century Cures provisions, bipartisan Mental Health Reform, and various bipartisan Medicare-related provisions. The 21st Century Cures bill dedicates $6.3 billion over 10 years for medical research, opioid prevention and FDA innovation.