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Ms. MATSUI. I thank the gentlelady from New York for yielding me time.
Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this rule and the underlying legislation. This bill marks the 31st time that the Republicans attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled it constitutional.
Unfortunately, instead of focusing on job creation, here we are again. The underlying legislation exemplifies the majority's continuous drumbeat to abolish the ACA, fearful that Americans may have a chance to fully realize its tremendous benefits.
Instead, the majority has only offered vague phrases and empty rhetoric, such as ``patient-centered health care,'' while repeatedly attempting to repeal legislation that will expand access to care for millions of Americans. Clearly, their idea of ``patient-centered health care'' refers only to those patients who can afford skyrocketing health insurance rates and do not have any preexisting conditions. What is the point of ``patient-centered health care'' when only a small portion of the public can access the care?
The underlying legislation before us today would deny my constituents and the American people the consumer protections for which they've been asking for for years. This legislation would increase costs to families, small business owners, and seniors across the board. It would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to Americans with preexisting conditions, drop coverage when people get sick, re-institute lifetime limits on coverage, and charge people more based merely on gender.
The ACA has already created long-lasting benefits for many of my constituents, including Paula, who, in March of 2010, was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare children's bone cancer, and given a 15 percent chance of survival. Initially, she was lucky to have health insurance. But at an average of $60,000 per chemotherapy treatment, she quickly approached her lifetime benefits cap. These are not burdens anyone can or should have to bear.
Because of the ACA, she remained covered and was able to complete her full treatment plan. And in the future, because of the law, Paula will not have to fear being denied coverage due to this preexisting condition.
It is time that we move forward and focus our efforts on job creation. I urge my colleagues to vote down this rule and vote against this underlying legislation.
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