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Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the rule providing for consideration of H.R. 2, the ``Patient Rights Repeal Act of 2011.'' This bill is a giant step backwards for our country. By repealing the landmark achievement of the Affordable Care Act we would be taking away affordable coverage and financial security from thousands of my constituents and millions more across the country.
A vote in support of this bill is a vote for insurance companies over everyday Americans; it is a vote to return us to the days when fine print was used to cancel coverage for hard-working people; and it is a vote to take away parents' peace of mind, who will no longer know if their children will be able see a doctor when they get sick.
Mr. Speaker, at a time when Americans will soon finally be free from the fear that affordable coverage will not be available to them and their families when they need it the most, repealing the Affordable Care Act would be devastating. Without the Affordable Care Act:
196,000 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plans;
Insurance companies would once again be allowed to cut off someone's coverage unexpectedly when they are in an accident or become sick because of a simple mistake on an application;
New insurance plans would no longer be required to cover recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots, without cost sharing; and
269,623 on Medicare would see significantly higher prescription drug costs
Mr. Speaker, every time that I go home to my district, I meet with constituents who thank me for voting for the Affordable Care Act. They explain to me the peace of mind that they feel knowing that they will be able to afford the prescription drugs that they need; that their children can see a doctor when they get sick or break a bone; that their breast cancer treatment will be covered on their policy, rather than being written off as a preexisting condition. Health care reform provided the following benefits for the residents of my district:
Gave tax credits and other assistance to up to 146,000 families 15,100 small businesses have seen 50% tax credits to provide health care for employees.
Over 16,000 additional small businesses have been made eligible for health care exchanges that make insurance more affordable.
Help for small businesses are help for working families. Small businesses are the engine of the economy of my district and of our nation.
Improved Medicare for 63,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole
Extended coverage to 88,000 uninsured residents
Guaranteed that 17,500 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage
Protected 1,100 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs
I refuse to vote for a piece of legislation that will reverse these benefits and harm so many of the people that I represent. Health care reform is a moral obligation to the American people and a critical part of our long-term economic recovery. It represents the largest middle-class tax cut in history and is projected to cut the deficit by $138 trillion over 20 years.
Mr. Speaker, anyone who is serious about deficit reduction cannot in good conscience vote for this legislation. In addition to being the wrong thing to do to hard-working families, single-mothers, and senior citizens across the country, it is fiscally irresponsible. In fact, I would call this bill fiscally irrational--H.R. 2 would cost $1.3 trillion to repeal a piece of legislation that promises to cut the budget deficit by $138 trillion in the long-term. This does not make any fiscal sense; it is the exact opposite of what we should be doing and it is an unfair burden to place on future generations.
I oppose this bill because it threatens the peace of mind, financial security, and physical wellbeing of seniors, parents, and children across the country. I oppose this bill because I would rather side with everyday Americans than insurance company executives. I stand with the single moms, who no longer have to stay up all night worrying about how to pay the premiums to cover their child's illness. I stand with the senior citizens who built our roads and bridges and fought our wars and now can finally afford the prescriptions drugs that they need.
For all of these hard-working, middle class people, I strongly urge my colleagues to join me in opposing the rule providing for the consideration of H.R. 2.
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