Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) blasted the House Republican leadership for wasting Americans' time, money, and patience on their 37th attempt to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act while ignoring pressing national priorities like creating jobs and fixing the sequester's devastating impact on middle-class families. Each and every past attempt at repeal by the House GOP has not been acted upon by the Senate, despite costing taxpayers $52.4 million in the process.
"Here we go again -- instead of getting to work on real national priorities like creating jobs, the Majority is wasting the American people's time, money, and patience trying to repeal a law that is already bringing down the cost of health care and providing new benefits to millions of Americans," Slaughter said. "As far back as President Teddy Roosevelt, we have acknowledged the need to provide our citizens with a healthcare system that puts their health before industry profits, and treats healthcare as a right for all, not a privilege for the lucky few. Under the leadership of a Democratic Congress, we managed to realize this long awaited goal by passing the Affordable Care Act through an open and deliberative legislative process. The majority's vote today would undo all of this progress and would put health insurance companies back in charge of your care."
The Affordable Care Act is already saving Americans money on their health care. Since the law was enacted, total health care spending grew at its lowest rate in over 50 years, and Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage increased by only 4 percent in 2012 -- the smallest increase in all but one of the last 13 years. Costs are also lower for seniors -- the average premium for Medicare Advantage enrollees in 2013 is 10 percent lower than the average premium in 2010, Medicare per beneficiary spending only rose by 0.4% in 2012, and Medicaid per beneficiary spending actually declined by 1.9 percent in 2012. Finally, 13 million Americans were awarded over $1.1 billion in rebates from their insurance companies through the law's requirement that 85 percent of premium dollars must go towards providing health care instead of advertising or executive bonuses.
Facts also disprove Republican myths that the Affordable Care Act kills jobs and adds to the deficit. The economy has also created over 6.7 million private-sector jobs since the law was passed, over 800,000 of which are in the health care sector. The law also reduces the deficit by $109 billion over the next ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Furthermore, the law's benefits to policyholders -- and more specifically, women, seniors, students and those with pre-existing conditions -- would be wiped out if the Republican attempt to repeal succeeded. The Affordable Care Act ended lifetime caps on coverage, giving peace of mind to families that they won't go broke if a family member gets sick. It bans discrimination against pre-existing conditions, ensuring that you can still gain coverage no matter your medical history. It has given 100 million Americans access to preventive care such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Women can now access a wide range of free preventative services, and will no longer be forced to pay more for their health care than men. The law also ends the insidious practice of allowing insurance companies to label domestic violence as a pre-existing condition and deny care to survivors. The Affordable Care Act has already saved seniors $6.1 billion on prescription drugs by closing the Medicare Part D "donut hole', and has given 3.1 million young adults the ability to stay on their parents' health coverage.