Senate and House take first step to strip healthcare from millions

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For every American who has acquired health insurance since 2010 — or already had it — this is something you should truly pay attention because it will hurt a lot of Americans.

The United States Senate and House of Representatives have voted to:
1. To end coverage for preexisting conditions, veterans benefits, and aid to rural hospitals.
2. To remove discrimination protection for women in healthcare.
3. Against the provision allowing children to remain on their parent’s insurance till the age of 26.
4. To cut off funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
5. Against ACA contraceptive coverage and maternity care provision.
6. To direct committees to send budget legislation to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

That means no pre-existing conditions for anyone, whether you get your health insurance through your job or not. It will also bring back lifetime caps for everyone. If this budget bill is signed as is, it will cost tens of millions their healthcare coverage.

Despite insisting this they are going to “repeal and replace,” the GOP has offered no viable alternative plans as of yet. Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan tells people to

The House of Representatives voted this past Friday. If you are not part of the top 10 percent of the income ladder, your health care could be — most likely will be — severely affected. If you are upset about your premiums and co-pays going up under the ACA, get ready for more increases as the GOP-led Congress votes to let the insurance companies run wild with health care once again.

Here in California, former Speaker of the House Democrat Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco led an event in support of the Affordable Care Act. Held at The California Endowment in Downtown Los Angeles Monday — Martin Luther King Day — Pelosi was joined by Congressmembers Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Judy Chu (CA-27), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mark Takano (CA-41), Norma Torres (CA-35), and Maxine Waters (CA-43), California Endowment President and CEO Robert K. Ross, MD, Community Clinic Association of LA County President and CEO Louise McCarthy, and four individuals who provided personal testimonials supporting the ACA: Maryann Hammers, Pacific Clinics Vice President of Latino Services Dr. Luis Garcia, Doug Lunn, and Patty Amato.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard said, “Last week, Congress took the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act by passing the catastrophic budget resolution. More deeply troubling is the lack of a plan to replace it.  Repealing the Affordable Care Act is wholly irresponsible, reckless, and outright dangerous because over 20 million Americans will lose their health coverage.  We have chosen Martin Luther King Jr. Day to highlight the injustice of repealing the Affordable Care Act because Dr. King devoted his life to fighting against injustice.”

In California, five million mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, owe their health security to the ACA. Every one of these five million Californians carry a powerful personal story of how their lives have been improved and in many cases saved because of current law.  I recently heard from a woman in my district (Ca-33), a 2-time cancer survivor, that the ACA keeps her family out of bankruptcy since the law eliminates annual and lifetime coverage maximums, meaning they can afford the health care they desperately need.  Repealing the ACA without a better alternative plan would destroy families such as this,” said Rep Ted Lieu.

Rep. Linda Sánchez said, “Since before passage of the law, there has been a lot of misinformation spread about the Affordable Care Act. The reality is 156 million Americans, including approximately 18 million Californians, who currently get their health insurance through their employer will suffer the consequences of repeal.  Many of the worst insurance company practices, such as lifetime caps and denials for pre-existing conditions, would make a comeback.  I am proud to join my Democratic colleagues in opposing repeal and standing up for the well being of California’s working families.”

Republicans — including President-Elect Donald Trump — keep promising to replace the ACA, but many of the reality-based GOP Senators don’t see that happening, not any time soon. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine told the New York Times, “I don’t see any possibility of our being able to come up with a comprehensive reform bill that would replace Obamacare by the end of this month. I just don’t see that as being feasible.”

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said, “This is our opportunity to keep our campaign promise. This is our opportunity to help the president-elect and the vice president-elect keep their campaign promises and show to the American people that elections have consequences.”

If tens of millions of the GOP’s voters lose all or part of their healthcare coverage there could very well be some consequences in the 2018 mid-term and 2020 general elections. Call your Congressional representatives if you wish to keep your healthcare.

Top photo: California Democrats holding event in support of the ACA
(From the office of Lucille Roybal-Allard)