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Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the H.R. 2 legislation that will repeal health care for nearly 32 million Americans. I have listened to my colleagues from the other side of the aisle in press conferences and throughout this debate state that the Affordable Care Act is ``job destroying'' and ``budget busting.'' We know from numerous reports that these statements are blatantly untrue.
Since President Obama signed this legislation into law in March, the Department of Labor reports nearly 1 million new jobs were created in the private sector, including over 200,000 in health care related fields. Furthermore the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, CBO, said that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit over the next 10 years. In fact, on January 6 the CBO stated that the repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years.
As we prepare to vote on this legislation, I'd like to inform my constituents as I did for them at countless town hall presentations I hosted on the Affordable Care Act, what repeal means for the people of Illinois' Second District.
Health Care Repeal will rescind the vital Patient's Bill of Rights consumer protections provided under the Affordable Care Act for the 336,000 individuals in the Second Congressional District who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance. Passage of repeal will lift the limitations placed on insurance companies for rate increases and out of pocket expenses. Repealing health care reform would eliminate the requirement that insurance companies limit administrative costs by spending a minimum of 80 percent of the premiums they collect on actual healthcare. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will allow insurance companies to drop or rescind coverage when people get sick, place annual and lifetime limits on coverage and charge you for cost-saving preventative services and screenings.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, up to 129 million Americans under the age of 65 have some type of pre-existing condition and could be excluded from insurance plans if this health care repeal were signed into law. This would affect 263,000 individuals, including up to 40,000 children in the Second Congressional District who have a pre-existing condition.
Repeal would eliminate the requirement that health insurance plans allow young adults to remain on their parents' insurance policies up to the age of 26, cutting coverage to the estimated 2,000 young adults that are expected to take advantage of this benefit in the Second District.
Through the Affordable Care Act, middle class families with incomes up to $88,000 for a family of four and small businesses would be eligible for affordability tax credits. Repeal would cut access for 157,000 families and 14,200 small businesses in my district.
For Second District seniors, repeal will increase drug costs for the 6,700 seniors who fall into the Part D prescription drug ``donut hole'' this year and will deny access to free preventive services and health screenings to the 93,000 seniors on Medicare in the Second District.
Finally, under the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 94 percent of Americans would be provided access to health care through their employer, the Health Care Exchange or through Medicaid. With repeal, 61,000 of my constituents would lose this new coverage. Hospitals in my district spend nearly $40 million each year providing coverage to the uninsured which gets passed on to the consumer, and the average American family pays an additional $1,100 per year for covering the cost of uncompensated care for the unemployed.
Before the Affordable Care Act, skyrocketing health care costs were hurting families, forcing businesses to cut or drop health benefits, and straining state budgets. The people of Illinois' Second District and all Americans need and deserve better.
While some of my colleagues may be willing to pass legislation that (1) rescinds important consumer health care protections, (2) cuts tax credits for middle class families and small businesses, (3) forces our nation's seniors to pay more for prescription drugs and cost-saving preventative care and (4) passes the problem of steadily rising health care costs onto the next generation--I plan to vote for making health care affordable and accessible for up to 94 percent of Americans, not against it.
That's why I will vote no on Repeal.
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