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Public Statements

Congressional Black Caucus Hour

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Thank you very much.

Two weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court justly and commendably upheld the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that millions of Americans will continue to have access to quality, affordable health care. Despite this monumental victory for our country, for the 31st time since its enactment, Republicans are attempting to repeal the health care law, treating it as if this is just some kind of political game played between the two parties.

While the Affordable Care Act will expand coverage for millions of Americans, many Texans will be denied access by their Governor. And I'm a Texan. Just today, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his decision not to expand Medicaid or implement a State health exchange under the Affordable Care Act--nothing more than politics. However, during his announcement, Governor Perry failed to provide an alternative plan to address the growing numbers of uninsured Texans. Texas has the highest percentage of adults without health care insurance, and rejecting Federal Medicaid funds would only worsen this predicament for Texans. Without the Affordable Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans will continue to seek primary care in our Nation's overcrowded emergency rooms, leaving taxpayers to pay the tab, if they own property. As a non-practicing registered nurse, I am all too familiar with this scenario, which has placed a huge burden on our Nation's hospital systems.

Mr. Speaker, this week's GOP messaging vote to repeal is nothing more than political warfare in an election year. Instead of bringing job-creating bills to the floor, Republican leadership insists on wasting taxpayer dollars by debating a law which has been firmly upheld by the Nation's highest court. While the Republicans have introduced numerous measures to undermine and repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have repeatedly failed to introduce one piece of legislation which could serve as a viable alternative to the health care law.

I urge my colleagues to reject this effort to take away patient protections for Americans. Instead, for once, let partisan politics come in second and let the American people win this one.


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