WASHINGTON BUREAU — Two Republican senators say the Affordable Care Act is failing to address the top health care concerns of the American people.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo. – GOP lawmakers who are both physicians – have combed through government budget analyst reports, think tank reports and other documents for what they say is evidence that the ACA – the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act – will hurt patients and employers, produce unintended consequences, and, in some cases, do less than Democratic supporters have promised.
The table of contents, headed “Prognosis: Grim Consequences,” includes chapters with titles such as “Health Costs Skyrocket” and “Millions Could Lose Their Current Health Plan.”
In a section on the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program, which is supposed to help uninsured people with health problems get access to affordable, subsidized health coverage before a ban on medical underwriting takes effect in 2014, Coburn and Barrasso cite estimates from the chief actuary of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the $5 billion in program funding will run out in 2011 or 2012.