Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) blasted the passage of H.R. 2, the Repealing the Jobs-Killing Health Care Law Act. This Republican-sponsored bill repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to affordable, quality health care for 32 million Americans and continues to provide further benefits and protections to millions more since its enactment on March 23, 2010.
"It is indeed a sad day for our nation when my Republican colleagues would vote to help themselves over helping the American people. Rather than focus on the true task before us -- putting more Americans back to work --, House Republicans have set the tone for the beginning of the 112th Congress by pursuing this fruitless repeal effort for their own political gain instead of measures to create jobs and grow our economy.
"Republicans may be able to change words on a page as if nothing happened, but they cannot undo the Affordable Care Act without hurting those whom it has helped, and the millions more it will help. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults looking for jobs can stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26; children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage; prescription drugs for seniors under Medicare Part D are more affordable; and much, much more.
"While it is troubling that Republicans would gamble with the health of Americans, I am confident that this legislation will go no further in the Senate nor ultimately be signed into law by President Obama.
"It is my sincere hope that the American people will now see through the hypocrisy and political rhetoric of the Republicans. Repealing comprehensive health care reform is nothing more than a political stunt that promises to strip middle class, working poor, and other vulnerable American of their access to affordable, quality health care. One that, I might add, also grows the deficit by $230 billion dollars over the next 10 years and over $1 trillion in the following decade.
"The bottom line is that Republicans would rather take this country back to a time when looking for a job meant going without health care than move this country forward. Frankly, it is time to create more of the jobs that the American people need and deserve, not take extreme measures like the one passed today."
As a Member of Congress since 1992, Hastings has always advocated for smart, comprehensive, and sustainable health care reform. In the 111th Congress alone, he sponsored and co-sponsored over 200 health-related bills in order to increase health care affordability, access, and quality, and has led and supported efforts to facilitate better health care at home in his Congressional district and for the nation as a whole. Hastings also introduced legislation to bring fair competition to the drug market and increase patient access to affordable generic medications; increase access to voluntary screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs as well as other preventive services, especially for groups that have been historically underrepresented in public health interventions; and establish a commission designed to construct a comprehensive national strategy on how to increase the affordability, accessibility, and effectiveness of long-term care and community services.