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Earl B.
Democrat OR 3

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  • Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015

    by Representative Earl Blumenauer

    Posted on 2016-01-06

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    BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today, I will vote against H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defund Planned Parenthood. Republicans eyeing election year points are waging yet another political battle with President Obama, without regards to current health coverage and protections for millions of families and businesses and limiting health care access for millions of women.

    The ACA is here and will remain throughout the tenure of President Obama as a key accomplishment of his administration. Despite dire predictions, the results of the ACA are remarkable. Our nation's uninsured rate is the lowest it's been in decades; more than 19 million Americans today have health coverage because of the ACA. Up to 129 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry about being denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status. Additionally, thanks to the ACA, health care prices have been rising at the slowest pace in nearly 50 years.

    No one pretends the ACA is perfect; I've long claimed it is in need of refinement. Congress needs to work together to improve the ACA and pass legislation that continues to make health care more affordable for Americans. It's unacceptable that we leave behind some of our most vulnerable individuals because many Republican governors refuse to expand Medicaid and extend coverage to those most in need.

    The obsessive targeting of Planned Parenthood funding is another reason I will vote against H.R. 3762. The amazing Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers in my community provide critical reproductive health services to more than 70,000 Oregon women annually. This legislation is yet another concerted assault against the provision of essential service to women, especially women of color and low-income status.

    This legislative merry-go-round must stop. We must instead focus on solutions that instead build on the promise of healthcare reform; not just to save money, but to improve the lives of Americans of all ages.

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