CALL TO ACTION for the 28th: Protecting the Affordable Care Act
Dear Aging Advocates,
If you live in the 28th Congressional district, or if you provide services to individuals in the 28th, please see Congressman Schiff’s request below.
We can all agree that there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our families.
This month, the House Majority tried, and failed, to pass a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). My office was flooded with calls, emails, letters and, yes, tweets from concerned constituents.
Many people are afraid, and rightfully so: access to affordable health care can be the difference between life and death.
When President Obama was in office, the Republican-controlled House voted dozens of times to repeal the ACA. Although I supported efforts to make necessary improvements to the ACA to increase competition and lower premiums, I opposed these bills to repeal the ACA that were devoid of any plan to improve health care. When President Trump took office, the plan changed from repeal to “Repeal-and-Replace.” As part of this plan, House Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that would dismantle and defund key parts of the ACA.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the AHCA would result in 14 million fewer people having health insurance by 2018, and 21 million less by 2020. Seniors would have been charged up to five times more than young people. Subsidies to buy insurance would be gone, and if you lost your health insurance for more than two months, you would have to pay 30% more when you got insurance again.
The CBO also said that this bill would somehow manage to leave one million less people insured than just repealing the ACA with no replacement. After seven years spent scorning Obamacare, the House Majority was unable to agree on a replacement and had to pull their bill moments before we were set to vote on it because they knew it would not pass.
President Trump recently said, “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” Actually, most people did, and this is the why the ACA took so long to produce and even now is in need of improvement.
Many people believe the ACA is a bad law that needs to be repealed. Others think it should be improved upon and protected. Health care is an emotionally charged topic and we can all agree that there are legitimate concerns about the state of health care in our country.
I believe that we must continue working to drive down costs and improve the quality of health care. The ACA is not perfect, but it has largely accomplished what it promised to do by slowing the increase in costs and expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans. I would gladly work with the House Majority to fix some of the problems we’ve identified since it was first passed. But I’m not willing to throw out the good with the bad; reasonable legislators should be willing to work together to enact common sense fixes.
Let’s remember the facts:
- 20 million Americans were able to get health insurance thanks to the ACA.
- Before the ACA, insurance companies were free to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Not anymore.
- The ACA allowed for the expansion of Medi-Cal , which granted coverage to an additional 1.2 million low-income people in our state alone.
- Before the ACA, 82.8% of Californians had health insurance. Today, the insured rate is a record high at 92.8%.
- Because of the ACA, children can stay on their parent’s insurance until they are 26.
- The ACA prevents insurance companies from setting lifetime caps, something they did regularly before the bill was passed. A couple of months of cancer treatment could cost more than insurance companies were willing to pay.
Over the last few months, thousands of Americans came together at town halls and events across the country to implore their representatives to protect the ACA. I had the opportunity to hear directly from many of you at a town hall at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Your stories remind me of why the fight for affordable health care is so important.
We don’t want to go back to the days when cancer patients could be kicked off their insurance because their treatment was too expensive, or pregnant women could be denied coverage because pregnancy was deemed a pre-existing condition. The ACA created rules that protect Americans when we are most vulnerable. We must build on the progress made by the ACA, and work together towards insuring every American.
Congressman Adam Schiff