Building a Progressive Movement in the Lone Star State
February 24, 2012State Representative Lois KolkhorstChairwoman, Committee on Public HealthTexas House of RepresentativesState Representative John SmitheeChairman, Committee on InsuranceTexas House of RepresentativesTo the Distinguished Chairs of the Texas House Public Health and Insurance Committees,We are writing today to voice our unequivocal support for the implementation of the Patient Protectionand Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas. As you monitor its implementation and any potential changesthat may result from ongoing litigation or legislative modification, we wanted to ensure you were awareof the meaningful benefits of the health care law here in Texas.The Affordable Care Act is working. At its core, ACA is about basic consumer protections and extendingpreventive coverage to as many Americans as possible. According to recent reports from the U.S.Department of Health & Human Services, 6,044,690 Texas residents have been helped by the preventioncoverage improvements in ACA. According to their reports:
Texas residents with at least one new preventive service in 2011+ through their private health insurance plans
Texas residents with Medicare who received at least one freepreventive benefit in 2011
Texans helped by health reforms prevention coverage improvementsPrevention coverage is an essential component of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Key provisionsof the Affordable Care Act strengthen consumer protections and expand health care coverage incommon sense ways, and we want to ensure those rights are never repealed.Chief among the Affordable Care Act policies that must always be protected is putting an end to denyinghealth care coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. This basic consumer protection helps makehealth care coverage more secure for our families, ensuring that asthma for a child or breast cancer fora mother is never a reason to deny care. No family should be forced into bankruptcy just becausesomeone is sick.We are also writing in support of the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) 80-20 Rule that was recently upheld bythe U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). As you know, the 80-20 Rule ensures that for
Fifty-Four Million Additional Americans Are Receiving Preventive Services Coverage Without Cost-Sharing UnderThe Affordable Care Act. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, February 2012.
The Affordable Care Act: Strengthening Medicare in 2011. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,February 2012.