The sole priority of Republicans in Congress is to take away Americans' health insurance and the protections they now have against insurance companies.
The Republicans would put insurance companies back in charge of Americans' health care, take tax credits away from small businesses, and deny care to children with pre-existing conditions. Republicans want to abolish the health care law because they know it is succeeding at finally putting families back in charge of their health care.
And this priority is so important to Republicans in Congress that they are willing to cause great harm to our economy and country if they do not achieve their singular and mean-spirited goal.
Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down the federal government, and all the services the government provides to seniors, businesses, travelers, veterans and others, and they are even threatening to stop paying America's debts. Imagine that. They would have America default for the first time in its history if they do not win their mindless fight to put insurance companies back in charge of Americans' health care. Just imagine.
The Republicans' actions would wreak total havoc on our economy and on average Americans. But they simply don't care. They only have one mission -- to take away every Americans' guarantee to quality and affordable insurance.
Here is what it would mean to average Americans if Republicans are able to abolish the health care law.
Young adults would be kicked off of their parents' insurance plans right now.
Small business would lose tax credits they are using right now to help pay for health insurance.
The long-term solvency of Medicare would worsen.
Seniors would pay more for prescription drugs.
Children with pre-existing health conditions could be denied insurance, like they were before the health care law took effect.
Adults with so-called pre-existing conditions -- like pregnancy -- could continue to be denied insurance.
Nearly 40 million Americans without health insurance who are in line to start getting coverage in January will be out of luck.
Millions of Americans who have already received $1 billion in rebates from their insurers under the law would stop receiving future rebates.
This is what's going on in Washington right now. The Republicans are trying to extort the President, the rest of Congress, and the American people. They are demanding an end to the health care law and all the benefits from it that I have just listed, or they will shut down the government and default on America's debts. Their actions will devastate our economy and increase unemployment and ruin America's credit. So their choice is no choice at all: shut down the government or take away Americans' health insurance and protections against insurance companies.
There is no place for these kinds of tactics in our government and in our country. This is extortion. And this will not stand.
The President is clear, the Senate is clear, and Democrats in the House are clear -- the health care law is working and we will not turn our backs on hard working Americans. It is delivering real benefits right now to senior citizens, children, small business and others, and many more benefits will take effect in January. We will not shut down the government and we will not allow insurance companies to regain control over Americans' health care decisions. We will continue to stand up for America's middle class and for affordable health care of all Americans. The question for the Republicans is, "When will they stop fighting for insurance companies and stand up for the American people instead?'