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Mr. NADLER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Republicans' 31st attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Mr. Speaker, you don't have to be a policy wonk to know that the U.S. economy is still struggling to rebound. Millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed. That this Congress has not spent every single day of the last year and a half fighting to put people back to work is unconscionable. And now, instead of fighting for good-paying American jobs, Republicans are launching their 31st attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
First, the Republicans said the law was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court said they were wrong. Next, Republicans said the law was too expensive. The Congressional Budget Office said they were wrong. Now Republicans say the law will raise taxes on millions of middle class families. The Urban Institute says they are wrong, estimating that a mere 3 percent of Americans under 65 will face the choice between purchasing insurance and paying a penalty.
Mr. Speaker, let's review what the Affordable Care Act actually does.
We know it extends health insurance to 32 million uninsured Americans, which will prevent the unnecessary deaths of 45,000 people who die each year because they lack health insurance.
We know it will enable millions of Americans with preexisting medical conditions to get insurance. This has gotten publicity.
Also, every middle class family today is one cancer diagnosis away from bankruptcy. Fifty-five percent of all personal bankruptcies are caused by health care emergencies; and 75 percent of these bankruptcies are of people who had health insurance, but health insurance that proved inadequate to cover an expensive disease like cancer.
By preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions and by eliminating the annual and lifetime caps on coverage found in most current policies, the Affordable Care Act will guarantee that middle class families will no longer have to fear going broke because of an expensive illness.
Despite all of the benefits of this law, Republicans have decided the whole law must go. Fine, they want to repeal and replace. Replace it with what?
What is the Republican plan to stem the ever-rising cost of health care in this country and to reduce out-of-pocket health costs? What is the Republican plan to help millions more Americans gain access to health insurance? What is the Republican plan to end discrimination in the insurance market for women, for
those with preexisting conditions, for those who are sick and going broke with medical bills and those who die because of lack of care? There is none. The simple truth is that the Republicans have no plan.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my Republican colleagues to do something new, to try something novel. Instead of going to their familiar well of election-year politics and a steady stream of ``no,'' let's try to work together. Let's not turn a blind eye on the problem and hope it goes away. Let's not be indifferent to 45,000 unnecessary deaths of Americans every single year.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this repeal bill so that we can move on to fighting for American jobs, and we can move on to assuring the middle class that they won't go broke because of an expensive illness and to assuring 30 million Americans that they can get health insurance when they need it.
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