Providing for Consideration of H.R. 45, Repeal of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Floor Speech

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: May 16, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the Patients' Rights Repeal Act. This is the Republicans' 37th callous attempt to derail health care reform.

Rather than work to create jobs and to improve our economy, Republicans are focused on taking away key patients' rights and benefits that are already improving countless American lives.

With this vote today to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans are saying that they don't mind if insurance companies drop patients as soon as they get sick, or if our seniors can't afford their prescription drugs to stay healthy.

Three years after the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed into law by the President, and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, millions of Americans, particularly our Nation's women, are seeing meaningful protections for their health and well-being.

As a cancer survivor and as a mother of three young children, this law isn't about politics for me. It's personal.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41, 5 years ago, it was like my world was coming down around me all at once.

My colleagues must understand, and we were reminded again this week, there is nothing in the world more gut-wrenching as a parent than not being able to assure your children that their mom is going to be okay, or that they won't have to worry about getting cancer someday themselves.

I was fortunate to have exceptional health care coverage, but too many women in our country have never had the ability to see a doctor, and so many face true financial hardship with a diagnosis like mine.

Over the past 5 years, I've had so many women come up to me and confess that they haven't had a mammogram in years because they can't afford the expensive co-pays or they fear the prohibitive cost of treatment. That is unacceptable in the United States of America.

Imagine how many millions in our country face terrifying health care decisions every day. This Congress has the power to protect them from uncertainty, instability, and financial ruin. That power lies in the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, tools like free preventative care and cancer screening services that help save women's lives.

We cannot waste another minute with more of these meaningless attempts to repeal a law that has already made a difference for so many of our constituents. For our children, and all families across this Nation, we must come together and work to implement this historic health care reform that is the law of the land and that is not going to be repealed.


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