Next week, the Republican leadership in Congress is seeking to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. First of all, I would like to point out that, while Republicans would like to turn back the clock on health care reform and pretend that it never happened, the fact of the matter is that it did happen and is making a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans as we speak.
We have already seen many valuable benefits of the Affordable Care Act take effect, both in Florida and nationally. Below I would like to share some of the ways in which health care reform has impacted individuals and our communities in my home state of Florida:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $71.4 million in new
grant funding since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010;
142,992 Medicare beneficiaries have received a on-time, tax-free $250 rebate to help pay
for prescriptions in the Part D "donut hole" coverage gap;
293 uninsured Florida residents enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition insurance Plan;
$1 million has been provided to crack down on unreasonable insurance premium
$1 million has been provided for states to plan for a Health Insurance Exchange;
190 employers enrolled in the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program;
$26,216,721 has been provided in Therapeutic Discovery Project Program Tax Credits and
Grants to support groundbreaking biomedical research and develop new therapies;
An array of additional grants have been made available, including funding for Aging and
Disability Resource Centers, the HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative,
improved health information systems capacity, HIV prevention, and implementation of the
National Background Check Program for long-term care workers.
I need to look no further than my own district and state to see the benefits of health care reform in action. These figures speak to the positive impact the Affordable Care Act has already had on people's everyday lives. I will continue to support health care reform and continue to fight against the repeal of this important piece of legislation by House Republicans who would rather vote to strip middle class, working poor, and other vulnerable Americans of their access to affordable, quality health care now and worry about the details later.