Mr. THOMPSON of California. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this legislation that represents the 31st time that we have voted or will vote to repeal parts or all of the Affordable Care Act. Instead of staging these political games, we should be spending our time strengthening the reforms that were made in the Affordable Care Act and working together to put people back to work.
The Affordable Care Act was passed in response to a national crisis: businesses and individuals could not afford to buy health insurance. Hospitals, doctors, and clinics provided more than $100 billion a year in uncompensated care--$50 million in my district alone.
Now, the good fairy doesn't come and reimburse them for this care. These costs are passed on to all of us who have health insurance in higher taxes and higher premiums, to the tune of $1,000 a year in higher health insurance premiums.
People with preexisting conditions could not get coverage. People in my district were hitting their lifetime caps or even annual caps and being dropped by their insurance company.
Others were self-employed and simply couldn't afford to buy private insurance on the open market. This was the national crisis that we worked to try and fix, and this is the national crisis that the majority party would like to go back to. It's not right. It's not good for America, and it's not good for Americans.
So on behalf of the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, I urge a ``no'' vote on this legislation.