As a representative of the House Budget Committee, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz testified before the House Rules Committee today, urging the Committee to deny the request to hear legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Congresswoman called on Republican Leadership to put the needs of the American people ahead of their unsuccessful partisan attacks on the Affordable Care Act.
As prepared for delivery:
"Two weeks ago the United States Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Court affirmed a path forward for seniors to afford lifesaving medications, for children with pre-existing conditions to receive care they need, and for 30 million more Americans to be able to afford coverage. Because of the Affordable Care Act, families won't go broke because of an illness, small businesses can provide affordable coverage for their employees, and young adults can remain on their parents' coverage.
"Yet, despite the Supreme Court's affirmation, House Republicans are continuing their politically-motivated attempts to repeal health care reform, instead of responding to the priorities of the American public to work across the aisle to grow our economy and strengthen opportunities and financial security for America's middle class.
"The legislation before the Rules Committee today reflects a clear decision by Republican Leadership to put partisanship ahead of the pressing needs of our constituents and our country. In fact, we have voted 30 times to repeal the health reform law. Today is the 31st time Republicans have called for a vote to deny Americans access to affordable, quality health coverage.
"Let's be clear: the Republicans' efforts will not be successful. But, it makes crystal clear that if they were to get their way, it would:
Increase the deficit -- Last year CBO estimated the cost of repeal at $210 billion over 10 years.
Put insurance companies back in charge of Americans' health care,
Increase costs and cut benefits for seniors on Medicare; and,
Eliminate $40 billion in tax credits to help make insurance more affordable for small businesses.
"The Republicans' actions take time and attention away from the work we should be doing. Republicans in Congress are choosing to play politics, rather than working to find bipartisan solutions to the important challenges we face as families and as a nation. Their actions are creating uncertainty and instability, renewing arguments that have been settled, and hurting our economic recovery and the security of middle-class Americans.
"Americans are demanding action by Congress on jobs and economic growth. Instead, the Republicans are again, asking Congress to strip Americans of the economic security that comes with access to continuous, affordable, meaningful health coverage. This is wasteful and misguided time. It is disrespectful to the Supreme Court. It is time to get to the agenda before us: jobs, the economy, and the fiscal future of our families, businesses and our nation.
"I urge the Rules Committee to deny the request to hear this legislation. And instead, call on the Republican leadership to work to meet the priorities of the American people."