Even though the U.S. Supreme Court decided the most debated aspect of President Obama's healthcare reform bill is constitutional, Republicans remain relentless in their attempts to repeal the law. While millions of Americans have been unemployed for years, while they face Republican-induced reductions to unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other supports, and millions more have lost their homes, the House-Republican leadership has offered no legislative responses to these fundamental crises. Instead it has spent precious legislative time, limited taxpayer dollars, and hearing hours, debating and voting on efforts to repeal this law. Today's efforts in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents the last of 31 to damage landmark progress on health care reform, either in part or completely.
The Congress has debated the need for healthcare reform for over 100 years in view of constantly rising costs to working families who can be financially wiped out due to a catastrophic illness. Rep. Lewis spoke forcefully today on the House floor about the need for this Congress to focus its efforts on the needs of the American people, instead of wasting the taxpayer's time and money on pointless attempts to repeal ACA. Rep. Lewis made the following statement on the House floor today:
"We've been down this road before. We have been here 31 times before, voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We are wasting time! The American people are suffering. They have lost their jobs, their homes, and more than 50 million uninsured are worried about whether they are one illness away from disaster.
"The Affordable Care Act was a historic and necessary step to cover ALL Americans. And all the Republicans can say is "REPEAL!" These are the same forces that fought against Medicare and Social Security. People get it! If it were not for Medicare, where would our seniors be? Where would they turn?
"Health care is a right; and it is not a privilege. Not just for some people, but for ALL people. We cannot and we will not go back. Do you want to go back? Do you want people to be afraid to have a checkup? Do you want the only doctor people see to be in an emergency room? The Affordable Care Act is moving us away from this tragedy and toward insurance coverage for All Americans. We have come too far, suffered too long to go back! Too much progress has been made with the Affordable Care Act to go back. The American people will not be fooled this time. Vote NO on Repeal! And get to work putting the American people back to work.