Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015by Representative Steny H. Hoyer
Posted on 2016-01-06
HOYER. The ranking member took the words right out of my mouth.
There are 22 million Americans covered now that weren't covered before.
Mr. Speaker, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, ``House Speaker Paul Ryan, starting this month, will push to turn the Chamber into a platform for ambitious Republican policy ideas.'' My friend, Mr. Upton, talked about policy ideas, but Mr. Van Hollen correctly observed they are not on this floor. You haven't brought them to this floor. All you have brought is a negative. Bring a positive. That, presumably, is what your Speaker ought to be talking about.
Many have been wondering what new, ambitious ideas Republicans would put forward to kick off this new session of the 114th Congress. Well, today we have the answer, the 62nd effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which everybody knows is not going anywhere.
We have seen this fresh, new idea before. It is coupled with a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, which will deny millions of Americans access to affordable health care.
So not only by repealing the Affordable Care Act will we deny health care to people, but by doing what they are doing to Planned Parenthood, millions of people will not have access to the health care they are relying on.
What we have before us is not anything new. In fact, it is a repeal of health reform that goes even further than the Republicans brought to the House floor in October, this time also ending tax credits and subsidies that enable those with modest incomes to afford health insurance and repealing the expansion of Medicaid.
[[Page H58]] The reason there is not another bill on the floor is because people would then see how draconian the policies are. These are components of the Affordable Care Act that have enabled millions of previously uninsured Americans to gain coverage since 2010.
Senate Republicans took a bad bill and made it worse. I am disappointed that Speaker Ryan would bring it to the floor as his first major act of this new session of Congress.
This reconciliation bill would cause an estimated 22 million Americans, as the ranking member has pointed out, to lose their health care, would increase premiums by approximately 20 percent, would provide employers with much uncertainty, and worsen the outlook for deficits over the long term.
Only in the first 10-year window do you have a savings. The CBO says, if you go to the second 10 years, this bill is a loser and exacerbates the deficit.
I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this 62nd vote to repeal or undermine America's access to affordable, quality health care.