July 25, 2009
The Committee on Commerce and Energy Prepared Statistical Data for every Congressional District in the United States on how the proposed Health Care Bill would Impact Each District. Special thanks to ColoradoPols for their write-up and link.
If you live in my Colorado State Senate District 29, you also live in Congressional District 7. I am attaching the information on how the national health care bill would impact OUR district.
Benefits of America's Affordable Health Choices Act
In the 7th Congressional District of Colorado – Congressman Ed Perlmutter
Committee on Energy and Commerce
America's Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 7th Congressional District of Colorado: up to 17,500 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 10,000 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 1,690 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $37 million in uncompensated care each year; and 92,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Congressman Ed Perlmutter represents the district.
• Help for small businesses. Under the legislation, small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $40,000 qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. There are up to 17,500 small businesses in the district that could qualify for these credits.
• Help for seniors with drug costs in the Part D donut hole. Each year, 10,000 seniors in the district hit the donut hole and are forced to pay their full drug costs, despite having Part D drug coverage. The legislation would provide them with immediate relief, cutting brand name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and ultimately eliminate the donut hole.
• Health care and financial security. There were 1,690 health care-related bankruptcies in the district in 2008, caused primarily by the health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.
• Relieving the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers. In 2008, health care providers in the district provided $37 million worth of uncompensated care, care that was provided to individuals who lacked insurance coverage and were unable to pay their bills. Under the legislation, these costs of uncompensated care would be virtually eliminated.
• Coverage of the uninsured. There are 112,000 uninsured individuals in the district, 17% of the district. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationwide, 97% of all Americans will have insurance coverage when the bill takes effect. If this benchmark is reached in the district, 92,000 people who currently do not have health insurance will receive coverage.
• No deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals. This surtax would affect only 1,900 households in the district. The surtax would not affect 99.4% of taxpayers in the district.
This analysis is based upon the following sources: the Gallup-Healthways Survey (data on the uninsured); the U.S. Census (data on small businesses); the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (data on the Part D donut hole, health care-related bankruptcies (based on analysis of PACER court records), and uncompensated care); and the House Committee on Ways and Means (data on the surtax).
July 21, 2009
This article is written by Tracy Staton at FiercePharma. I am reproducing it here because it is important to know what we are up against on health care reform and to let you know we face the same issues at the state level.
July 21, 2009 — 9:38am ET | By Tracy Staton
Drugmakers continue to pour dollars into Washington coffers as the debate over healthcare reform shows no sign of stopping. New numbers from lobbying reports filed yesterday show that PhRMA ploughed $6.2 million into lobbying during the second quarter. Pfizer spent more than any other individual drugmaker at $5.6 million. As the Washington Post reports, some 22 healthcare associations and companies spent $1 million or more during the quarter–and half of them were pharma.
Here's how the industry lobbied: After PhRMA and Pfizer comes Eli Lilly with $3.6 million; GlaxoSmithKline with $2.3 million; Bayer at $1.9 million; Novartis for $1.8 million; Sanofi-Aventis U.S. with $1.6 million; Johnson & Johnson with $1.6 million; Merck at $1.5 million; Roche at $1.5 millon; and AstraZeneca at $1.2 million. Grand total of PhRMA and Big Pharma? $28.8 million.
Of course drugmakers have reason to want a seat at the table: Lawmakers are considering all sorts of ways to cut healthcare costs, including cuts to Medicare, drug-price negotiation, generic biologic meds, and more. Already Big Pharma made an $80 billion pledge to cut costs in aid of reform, hoping to gain enough goodwill to keep other cuts at bay.
Interestingly, on the other side of the table in that $80 billion deal was Sen. Max Baucus, who heads up the Senate Finance Committee, which is the epicenter of reform negotiations at this point. Small wonder, then, that Baucus's campaign committee and PAC have been among the biggest recipients of healthcare dollars. Though he stopped taking healthcare PAC money in June, he's still accepting donations from pharma execs–such as Merck chief Richard Clark–and from lobbyists.
July 20, 2009
The Pew Center on the States has recently released their report "One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections." This is an updated report on last years report revealing a staggering social expense to our current corrections system.
Here are some relevant statistics for Colorado:
- 1 in 29 adults is under correctional control (compared with 1 in 102 adults in 1982).
- Colorado spent $625 Million on corrections (nearly twice spending on higher ed)
- By end of 2007, 30% of correctional population was in prison or jail (in 1982 that figure was 26%)
- Colorado has 77,635 people in probation (238 federal)
- Colorado has 11,086 people on parole (954 federal)
- Colorado has 22,666 people in prison (1,736 federal)
- Colorado has 13,871 people in jail
- For every $1 Colorado spent on prisons in 2008, it spent $0.15 on probation and parole.
- 1 day of prison costs ($76.51) = 6 days of parole or 21 days of probation.
- Colorado ranks 15th highest prison / corrections population among the 50 states
You can download the full report by visiting www.pewcenteronthestates.org/publicsafety.
We can not afford to ignore sentencing reform in this era of staggering budget shortfalls. We are spending an extraordinary amount of money incarcerating primarily non-violent offenders.
July 13, 2009
BILLS THAT HAVE ALREADY TAKEN EFFECT (BEFORE JULY 1, 2009)
HB 09-1188 (M. Carroll – Ryden) Skolnik Medical Revisions: 3/30/09
HB 09-1186, Expanding Mail Ballot Drop-Off: (Levy – M. Carroll): 4/3/09
SB 09-249 (Penry & Carroll, M – A. Kerr) Homeowner Rights. 5/14/09
HB 09-1336: Election Reform Commission Recommendations: (Todd & Murray – Williams & Carroll, M.) 5/15/09
HB 09-1321 (Levy – Carroll, M): Juvenile Placement in Adult Facilities: 6/1/09
SB 09-286 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Justice Reinvestment Act – Sentencing Reform. 6/1/09
HB 09-1276 (Ferrandino – Carroll, M) Foreclosure Relief Act 2009: 6/2/09
SB09-87, Special District Accountability Act: (M. Carroll – Peniston):7/1/09
MY BILLS THAT TAKE EFFECT AFTER JULY 1, 2009
HB09-1149, Solar Option New Homes: (Merrifield – M. Carroll): 8/5/09
HB09-1155, Title Insurance Filings: (Weissmann – M. Carroll): 8/4/09
HB 09-1337: Changes in Election Deadlines , (Todd & Murray – Williams & Carroll, M.) 8/5/09
HB 09-1059, Clinical Trials Coverage Health Insurance (Primavera – M. Carroll): 8/5/09
HB 09-1224 (Schafer – Carroll M.) No Gender Discrim Rate Setting: 8/5/09
HB 09-1281: (Labuda – Carroll, M) Disability Representation on State Boards. 8/5/09
HB 09-1263 (Casso – Carroll, M) Time Deductions County Jail: 8/5/09
HB 09-1266 (McCann – Carroll, M) Driver's License Reform Criminal Corrections: 8/5/09
SB09-51, Renewable Energy Financing Act: (M. Carroll – Levy): 9/1/09
July 09, 2009
Reprinted from the 50 State Report released by the Center for American Progress, I am re-printing below some relevant numbers for Colorado.
Colorado Needs Health Care Reform
Colorado citizens are losing health care every day. In Colorado, 100 people are losing their health care every day during this economic crisis. Nationally, 14,000 people are losing their health insurance every day. [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 3/5/09]
Colorado has seen a 14 percent increase in the number of uninsured since 2007. [Center for American Progress, 5/4/09]
Our broken health care system is hurting the Colorado economy. The Colorado economy loses between $2.1 billion and $4.19 billion every year due to lost productivity stemming from the uninsured. And we are losing between $124 billion and $248 billion nationwide every year. [Center for American Progress, 5/29/09]
The average family premium in Colorado costs $1,100 more because our broken health care system fails to cover everyone. Nationally, the average family premium costs $1,100 more. [Center for American Progress, 3/24/09]
Colorado consumers have little choice in health care. Wellpoint Inc. holds 29 percent of the market. They control 53 percent of the market together with one other company, UnitedHealth Group Inc. [Center for American Progress, 6/16/09]
Colorado doctors support health care reform. Dr. Mark Earnest of Denver, CO says, "In the current system, what frustrates me the most is inequities in care and coverage. The tremendous amount of resources spent on denying care rather than providing it and improving it. The disproportionate voice of Pharma and the insurance industry over the needs of individuals. The perverse incentives for providing more of what's expensive and ineffective over primary and preventive care." [Doctors for America, Voices of Physicians, http://www.voicesofphysicians.org/]
Reforming our health care system is key to economic recovery. Half of all people filing for home foreclosure nationwide in 2008 cited medical problems as a cause. [Christopher T. Robertson, Richard Egelhof, and Michael Hoke, "Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Foreclosures," Health Matrix 18 (2008): 65-105.]
Health care costs for small businesses have grown by 30 percent since 2000, and our manufacturers spend more per hour on health care than manufacturers in Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom combined. [RAND, "Economic Burden of Health Insurance Increasing for Small Employers Providing Health Insurance," 4/4/08]
Health system modernization can save $600 billion over 10 years. [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 5/11/09]
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