Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic women held a press conference today highlighting the protections included in the Affordable Care Act for women and families as the House GOP plans their 37th attempt to repeal the law. Below is a transcript of Leader Pelosi's opening remarks:
"Good afternoon. Thank you for being here. I know it's a very busy day. All kinds of evasions are taking place on Capitol Hill to keep us off the subject of going to a budget table to reconcile our differences in the House and the Senate bill, so that we can hopefully come out where the President is, on a budget that is a statement of our national values, that is a job creator, deficit reducer, and that we should be about that business.
"Instead, here we are again: it's 133 days into this session of Congress, 113th Congress, 133 days, and we haven't had a single vote on a jobs bill. That's what the American people want to us to do -- create jobs. It's the answer to so many challenges in their lives. Instead, we are wasting time, once again, on the Republican repeal of patients' rights. This is something that is stunning because not only is it a waste of time, it is a waste of money -- $52 million, over $52 million dollars calculated to the cost of taking up this bill, over and over again, which they know is going nowhere. And again, it's not only a vote that is a waste of time, it is a vote to take away affordable quality benefits that the American people are enjoying right now.
"You have our handout of all of the benefits that are in existence right now -- we'll be talking about them some more. But it's -- it's about how it affects women specifically, that we are talking about today, but those women are part of the nearly 13 million Americans benefitting from $1.1 billion in rebates from health insurance companies last summer. You see the free preventive services like cancer screenings, "women's wellness tests,' coverage for young adults, and children, with pre-existing conditions. Women no longer pay higher premiums for the same coverage. And being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition. This is a big deal.
"Our champion on this subject is Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who will speak more on this subject. But, I seem to have some kind of a condition, so I'm going to excuse myself shortly to, to deal with that. And then to welcome Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to talk about women and health, Congresswoman Velázquez to talk about Small Business and women, Congresswoman Capps, a health care provider herself, who knows first-hand how good the opportunities are now, how much better they'll be in 2014, how dangerous the bill is the Republicans are putting forth. Congresswoman Kelly, our newest Member of Congress on the House side -- and for the moment still the newest member, right? For the moment, talk to us about how women seniors are affected.
"We're also joined by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, we are very proud that she is here. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois -- and Jan, she's in two places at once; I guess we left her across the table on another issue. Congresswoman Janice Hahn of California. With that, I'm pleased to yield to Congresswoman DeLauro. Thank you."