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Mr. REYES. Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the 31st attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, tens of millions of Americans are already receiving better care as well as better value for their health care dollars. Already, Americans are benefiting from the provisions that have been implemented. In fact, 6.6 million young Americans now have health coverage until age 26, 105 million Americans are no longer facing lifetime limits on health benefits, and 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
Instead of focusing on jobs legislation, Republicans are once again trying to take away patient protections by seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Instead of providing solutions to the provisions in the law that they would like to see changed, they would rather repeal the whole law and all the positive changes that come along with it. This constant push to take away patient protections is no longer based on logic, but is clearly a partisan political ploy to score cheap points at the expense of millions of Americans.
We should turn our efforts to tackling our nation's larger problems, such as the economy and job creation. Let's move beyond this vote and demonstrate our commitment to the American people.
My Republican colleagues have requested that we work together, but, as they seek to once again make America a country where millions of people are uninsured and unable to afford health care, their actions speak louder than their words.
The Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act would affect thousands of El Paso residents who are already benefiting from the law, including the 52,000 children who are no longer denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions, the 2,900 seniors who have saved $1.8 million in drug costs, and the over 360 small businesses who received new tax credits to help them expand health care coverage to their employees.
Republicans seem to forget how things were before the Affordable Care Act. For example, one family in my district faced significant health care related financial difficulties. They had a daughter with a severe disability who had undergone 17 surgeries, numerous hospitalizations, required constant care, and treatment that cost up to $2,000 a month. The couple's private insurance company implemented lifetime caps to prevent a major loss of profits at the expense of the health of the young girl. As a result, the family had to cover the medical expenses out of pocket and went bankrupt. While the current Affordable Care Act would prevent private insurance companies from using lifetime cap provisions to bar critical services to patients like this young girl, this couple's private insurance took advantage of the lax regulations at the time and left the family to fend for themselves.
There are countless other examples of El Pasoans who faced similar situations. There are those who had been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and others who faced similar situations with insurance companies who took advantage of lax health care oversight. That was then--now, the Affordable Care Act gives families the opportunity to have the best life possible.
Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to reject this misguided legislation.
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