Friday, August 28, 2009

H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, District by District Impact

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has posted a district-by-district assessment of the impact of HR 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

This is a wonderful tool for supporters of healthcare reform and the public option.

Despite the theatrics at the town hall meetings across the country and across the state, I'm convinced that there is a significant segment of the population open to being swayed by the facts of the healthcare reform legislation and they know they are not getting facts at those town hall meetings from either the audience members or (all too frequently) from the congressman or senator hosting the meeting.

These assessments should be well received by those folks who know that the current system is broken, but have been confused or at least worried by the claims being made against the legislation that will resume movement through both houses of Congress in September.

The Committee's assessments are single-page reports looking at the financial impact of the legislation on each district.

Got a few minutes? What follows are the highlights of the impact of HR 3200 (which includes the public option) on each of Louisiana's seven congressional districts.

Here's the overview for the First District (Rep. Steve Scalise):
up to 14,400 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 11,400 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 800 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $176 million in uncompensated care each year; and 69,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Read the full report on the First District here (PDF).

The overview for Second District (Rep. Joseph Cao):
up to 11,100 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 5,600 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 400 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $111 million in uncompensated care each year; and 64,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
The full report on the impact of HR 3200 on Second District can be found here (PDF).

Congressman Charlie Melancon represents the Third District and wants to become the next junior senator from Louisiana. Here's the overview of the impact of HR 3200 on the district he currently represents:
up to 11,000 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 3,000 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 350 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $146 million in uncompensated care each year; and 115,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Like the Republican members of the state's congressional delegation, Democrat Melancon says he opposes HR 3200. Here is the link to the full assessment (PDF).

The Fourth District is represented by Dr. John Fleming, one of three Republican doctors in the state's congressional delegation. Here's the overview of the impact of HR 3200 on his north and west Louisiana district:
up to 11,500 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 6,100 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 2,100 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $159 million in uncompensated care each year; and 122,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Here's the link to the full assessment of the impact of HR 3200 on the Fourth District (PDF).

Congressman Rodney Alexander represents the Fifth District, which covers north, northeast and central Louisiana. Here's the overview of how HR 3200 would impact his district:
up to 12,400 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 6,300 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 1,600 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $271 million in uncompensated care each year; and 143,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
The rest of the report on the impact of HR 3200 on the Fifth District can be found here (PDF).

Bill Cassidy is another Republican physician in the congressional delegation, representing the Sixth District. Here's the overview of the impact of the bill on the people in his district:
up to 13,400 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 7,600 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 700 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $139 million in uncompensated care each year; and 66,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
The full report on the impact on the Sixth District is here (PDF).

Republican Charles Boustany is a retired surgeon who has represented the Seventh District since 2004. Here's how people in his district would be affected by HR 3200:
up to 14,100 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 6,600 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 700 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $206 million in uncompensated care each year; and 100,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Here's the full impact of the legislation on the Seventh District (PDF).

Louisiana has consistently ranked at or near the bottom of health measurements in this country for the past decade or two. If healthcare in the U.S. is in trouble, (and everyone but Republicans with congressional insurance coverage pretty much agrees that it is) then the situation in Louisiana is worse than in the rest of the country.

Healthcare reform that includes the public option will be very good news for Louisiana, and the opposition of our congressional delegation to this legislation just gets more curious as time passes and the facts become known.

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