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Chris V.
Democrat MD 8

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  • Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015

    by Representative Chris Van Hollen

    Posted on 2016-01-06

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    VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    This is a sad and shameful way to begin the new year 2016 here in the United States Congress.

    This bill is entitled Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, the freedom of health insurance companies to once again deny health care to people based on preexisting conditions.

    It may be a new year, Mr. Speaker, but here we go again. We are in this Congress, on the floor of this House for the 62nd time with this effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and, to add insult to injury, to deny millions of women access to healthcare choices by targeting Planned Parenthood.

    While the calendar has changed, the Tea Party Republican agenda remains the same. Despite all the pressing issues we face in this country at home and abroad, the only thing and the first thing our Republican colleagues decide to bring to the floor of the House as the most pressing business to start 2016 is to take away access to affordable care from 22 million Americans and deny access to affordable care for millions of American women.

    That 22 million figure, Mr. Speaker, that is not my figure. That is the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that has looked at this legislation and concluded that, as a result of this bill, 22 million Americans will lose access to their affordable health insurance. It will be the freedom to be uninsured, the freedom to not have any opportunity to have coverage when your family has healthcare needs.

    Mr. Speaker, if you look at this chart, you can see that the Affordable Care Act has already made a dramatic difference in bringing down the number of uninsured in the United States of America, yet here we are in a new year, and the first act of this Republican Congress will be to turn back the clock and change that figure.

    I really hope, Mr. Speaker, that our colleagues will begin to focus on more important issues in the days ahead. Everybody knows that this will take about a nanosecond for the President of the United States to veto because the President of the United States is not going to allow 22 million Americans to lose their access to affordable health insurance, and the President is not going to allow millions of Americans and millions of American women to lose access to reproductive choice and a range of healthcare options here in the United States.

    It is disturbing, shameful, and sad that this is the way we are starting the new year. I hope we get on to more important business, Mr. Speaker.

    I reserve the balance of my time.

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