Today, Congressman Sires voted against H.R. 2, the Patients' Rights Repeal Act, to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was enacted into law last year. The bill would repeal important new benefits of the ACA, while increasing health care costs for millions of Americans, as well as increasing the national debt.
"Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have devastating impacts on the 13th District," stated Congressman Sires. "326,000 residents in the District with private insurance coverage would suddenly find themselves yet again vulnerable to insurers' devious practices, such as lifetime limits and rescission. Insurers could also once more deny coverage for up to 294,000 individuals in the District, including up to 35,000 children, with a pre-existing condition."
In March 2010, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act to reform our nation's struggling health care system. Since enactment, millions of Americans are already benefitting from this law. In particular, insurers are no longer permitted to discriminate against children and others who are sick; small businesses are receiving billions of dollars in tax credits to provide health care coverage for their employees; and seniors are saving money on prescription drugs and receiving free preventive care through Medicare, including 72,000 seniors in the 13th District alone.
In addition to abolishing these critical new benefits, H.R. 2 would also eliminate the requirement that insurance companies spend 80-85 percent of your premium dollars on benefits as opposed to administrative costs and executive compensation, as well as eliminate the ability of young adults to stay on their parents' coverage through their 26th birthday. Furthermore, repealing the ACA would accelerate the insolvency of Medicare, as the ACA is anticipated to extend the solvency of the program by an estimated 12 years.
"The truth is that repealing health care reform would increase the number of people without health insurance by 104,000 individuals in the 13th District, while increasing the costs of uncompensated care for hospitals in the District by $52 million annually," expressed Congressman Sires. "During this time of economic recovery, our nation cannot afford to focus on efforts to revert back to a system where insurance companies' needs were placed before consumers."