Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
With Republicans controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, they are fully responsible for what happens to America’s health care system. Today, Speaker Ryan announced that House Republicans will introduce legislation after the February District Work Period to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After seven years of promising to repeal and replace the law, deep divisions among Republicans have prevented Republicans from acting. As a result, their repeal rhetoric has caused significant uncertainty and led some insurers to pull out of health care marketplaces, leading to reduced choice and increased costs for Americans. Here’s a look at Republicans’ failure to end this uncertainty and prevent millions of people from losing their coverage or seeing their health care costs skyrocket.
By the Numbers
7: The numbers of years Republicans have been promising to “repeal and replace” the law.
6: The number of weeks the 115th Congress has been in session.
0: The number of bills put on the Floor that provide a meaningful plan to replace the law.
150,000: The number of Americans who will lose health insurance in 2018 after Humana’s announcement to leave the marketplace due to uncertainty caused by Republicans. [New York Times, 2/14/17]
30 Million: The number of people who will lose their health coverage if Republicans repeal the ACA without a replacement. [Urban Institute, 12/6/16]
300 Million: The number of Americans who will be affected by disruptions in the health insurance market place.
A Moving Timeline
Republicans continue to punt when it comes to showing the American people a plan to replace the ACA:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “[Obamacare is] the first item up in the New Year” [Fiscal Times, 12/7/16]
House Speaker Paul Ryan: “But we want – we want to move our Obamacare legislation by the end of the first quarter.” [RealClearPolitics, 1/13/17]
Interim House Budget Chair Diane Black (R-TN): “We expect that probably toward the latter part of February or the first part of March that we should be ready to go with the final reconciliation.” [Talking Points Memo, 1/25/17]
President Donald Trump: “I would like to say by the end of the year. At least the rudiments, but we should have something within a year into the following year.” [Fox News, 2/7/17]
It’s clear there is no consensus on a plan or timeline to protect access to quality, affordable health care for millions of Americans:
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “I don’t think you can fully repeal and replace it in that amount of time…It took months to write Obamacare, the original bill, and years to phase it in. It is going to take time to unwrite it and replace it with something else.” [Washington Post, 2/14/17]
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA): “There’s a lot of work left to be done.” [Washington Post, 2/14/17]
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “There was a lack of specificity…Ideas are bubbling together.” [Washington Post, 2/14/17]
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI): “I think it becomes a math problem to get [a majority vote] if people don’t know what that replacement piece looks like, so the idea of we’ll repeal it, trust us, doesn’t have a lot of weight.” [The Hill, 2/14/17]
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “[The repeal effort is in] mortal danger…If there's any excuse possible, now that we're shooting real ammunition, there are maybe some people that will get weak-kneed” [The Hill, 2/14/17]
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA): “We’re playing with live rounds this time…We're playing with live rounds and we have to have a fully developed replacement plan” [The Hill, 2/14/17]
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): “I hear things that are unacceptable to me…If they don’t seem to care what conservatives think about complete repeal of Obamacare, they’re going to be shocked when they count the votes.” [Politico, 2/15/17]
Rep. Peter King (R-NY): “Right now, I would say it's not that easy to repeal it. I don't know if it's a guarantee” [Politico, 2/15/17]
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “There’s no consensus….From my vantage point, there isn’t a consolidation around a particular thought yet.” [Politico, 2/9/17]
Americans will not stand by and allow Republicans to sabotage the health care system, kick millions of people off their coverage, and increase costs for millions more. They are speaking out across the country:
“Mike Carlson, a 32-year-old student from Antioch, Tennessee, said that as an overweight man, he depended on Obamacare to stay alive. ‘I have to have coverage to make sure I don't die. There are people now who have cancer… that have to have that coverage to make sure they don't die… And you want to take away this coverage — and have nothing to replace it with! How can I trust you to do anything that's in our interest at all?’” [CNN, 2/11/17]
“Michelle Roelandts had a question for her congressman: If the Affordable Care Act and its premium subsidies were repealed, what would happen when her daughter turns 26 this year and needs to get her own health insurance while attending law school? Representative Jim Sensenbrenner… had little to offer in response. ‘If I could give you an answer today, I would, but I can’t...’” [New York Times, 2/13/17]
Democrats will continue to work to protect Americans’ access to health care and will hold the GOP accountable for their efforts to Make America Sick Again.
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