Hastings blasts republicans’ health care repeal vote
By Erin Moffet
Washington, D.C. – Recently, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement regarding H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act. Hastings voted against H.R. 6079 when it passed the House by a vote of 244-185. This Republican-sponsored bill repeals the Affordable Care Act, which has already expanded access to affordable, quality health care for millions of Americans, including:
· 105 million Americans who no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage;
· Up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be denied coverage by insurers;
· 5.1 million seniors in the “donut hole” who have saved $3.2 billion on their prescription drugs, an average of $635 per senior;
· 2.3 million seniors who had a free Annual Wellness Visit under Medicare;
· 2,800 employers who took advantage of the retiree reinsurance program to help cover over 12 million retirees not yet eligible for Medicare; and
· 360,000 small business employers who used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help them afford health insurance for 2 million workers
. “Here we are again, wasting our time on the 31st repeal mea-sure in less than two years rather than focusing on much-needed jobs legislation. The Affordable Care Act was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, signed into law by the President, and upheld by the highest court in the land. Yet, the Republicans refuse to accept these facts. They also refuse to acknowledge the devastating affect a repeal of this law would have on the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from it. Additionally, millions more will benefit from the Affordable Care Act in the years to come, with the law being fully phased in by 2014. We should be working together to improve this landmark legislation to best serve the American people, not to repeal it for political gain.
“I cannot comprehend why Republicans want to turn the clock back on the most comprehensive health care reform in our nation’s history. How can denying coverage to the 6.6 million young adults who obtained health insurance through their parents’ plan be a positive step for our health care system? How can denying 54 million Americans and 32.5 million seniors access to free preventive services be a good thing for the American people? And how can the Republicans justify preventing 13 million Americans from receiving $1 billion in rebates because their insurance company spent too much of their premiums on administrative costs or CEO bonuses and not enough on their care? The Republicans’ so-called Repeal of Obamacare Act will cause more harm than good. Frankly, it should be called the Republicans-Don’t-Care Act.”
Congressman Alcee L. Has-tings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.