Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) announced January 7, that because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, nearly 8,000 seniors who were enrolled in Medicare Part D and affected by the “donut hole” in the 23rd congressional district received a $250 rebate check to help cover the cost of their prescriptions in 2010. The assistance provided to seniors in the 23rd Congressional district totaled nearly $2 million.

“The results are in and the historic health care reform law is already benefitting Central Coast seniors. Last year, nearly 8,000 seniors in towns from Cambria to Oxnard and all in between received $250 tax free rebate checks to cover the cost of their prescription drugs. For seniors struggling to pay for their prescriptions, this $2 million of assistance made a real difference in keeping them healthy and financially stable,” said Capps. “That’s just one of the many reasons I will be voting against repealing this new law next week.”

Next week, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives are pushing through legislation to repeal the health reform law. The repeal would take away this and many other important protections for Central Coast seniors contained in the bill, such as annual physicals and preventative screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies, without copayments.

“The new majority in Washington is playing politics with the health and well-being of our nation’s seniors. I will continue to work to keep these critical new benefits intact for Medicare beneficiaries, and to support the health reform law which will close the dreaded “donut hole” for good.”

As a result of the health care reform law, seniors in the Medicare Part D coverage gap – often referred to as the “donut hole” – automatically received a one-time, tax free $250 rebate check to help cover the cost of their prescriptions. In 2011, further assistance will be given as name brand prescriptions in the donut hole are discounted 50 percent for seniors who fall into the “donut hole. And by 2019, the “donut hole” will be entirely closed.

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Capps Highlights Santa Barbara Family’s Health Care Struggle

On January 6, Rep. Capps spoke out against the Republican move to immediately repeal the newly passed health insurance reform law. She highlighted the story of how one family in Santa Barbara has benefitted from the implementation of this law, specifically the elimination of lifetime caps on coverage. A copy of Capps’s remarks is included below, and you can watch Capps’ remarks here. To learn more about the Strong family and SMA click here.

M. Speaker I rise today to speak against this reckless attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The law has already put in place critical protections for families across the country.

I want to tell the story of one family in my district whose life has been dramatically helped by this law–the Strong family of Santa Barbara.

Bill and Victoria Strong’s daughter Gwendolyn was diagnosed with a rare disease, spinal muscular atrophy, at 6 months old.

Her care is extremely expensive, and before the new law the Strongs lived in constant fear that Gwendolyn would reach her policy’s lifetime limit, no longer be covered for treatments, and be uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition.

The elimination of lifetime caps has given the Strongs peace of mind—they’re guaranteed Gwendolyn will receive the care she needs and their family is protected from bankruptcy.

Repealing these safeguards would take that security away.

It would put this courageous little girl at risk of having her health care cut off when she needs it most.

And it would put this inspiring family at risk of bankruptcy.

I urge my colleagues to stand up for all those who are benefitting from this law like the Strong family and vote NO on repealing the Affordable Care Act.


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