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Public Statements

The Affordable Care Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. Speaker, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, roughly 17 million American children with preexisting medical conditions can no longer be discriminated against and be denied health insurance by insurance companies. And yet, rather than focus on the key tasks of creating jobs and strengthening the middle class in America, my Republican colleagues want to tear up the health care law. They want to rip up the independent decision by our Supreme Court, by Justices appointed by Presidents of both parties, finding the Affordable Care Act is on firm constitutional footing, and they want to start all over again, putting the coverage of those millions of children I just spoke about at risk.

This vote is personal. Health care is personal. When I was 9, I had a serious childhood illness. I spent 3 months in the hospital. My grandparents, who were raising me, found out that their family insurance didn't cover me. They made great sacrifices to help pay for my care. But if that weren't enough, when my grandparents then looked for insurance that would cover me, they couldn't find coverage at any price. I was considered one of those kids with a preexisting medical condition, never mind that I had fully recovered from my illness. No child should ever be denied coverage for that reason.

I grew up believing that no family should have to go through what ours did. Parents or grandparents shouldn't have to worry, shouldn't have to lay awake at night worrying about whether they can provide for a sick child or whether an illness might bankrupt their family.

Families now know that insurance companies can't discriminate against their children based on a preexisting condition. Turning back the clock so insurance companies can, once again, deny children access to care is simply wrong.

It is time that we all move forward. It is time that we work together. It is time to make this Affordable Care Act work for the American people.

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