Issue Report ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
February 7, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

On Sunday, Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed to the American people that Republicans are moving ahead with their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act – despite reports that Republicans were changing their rhetoric, swapping “repeal and replace” for repair

 “If you’re going to repair the American health care system, and fix its problems, you have to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better… Somewhere along the line there was confusion that we were going to take the Obamacare architecture and, you know, tinker at the margins and repair it. You can’t.” [Meet the Press, 2/4/17]

And the House Freedom Caucus continues to urge GOP leadership to send a repeal bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law as soon as possible – even though they don’t have a plan to replace it.  

“House conservatives, alarmed by Trump’s declaration over the weekend that an Obamacare repeal and replacement might not come until next year, are redoubling efforts to speed up the massive healthcare rollback before they lose momentum. ‘We should at least be able to put on President Trump’s desk what we put on President Obama's desk,’ former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan said.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/7/16]

Speaker Ryan and House Republicans still haven’t laid out a real plan to replace the ACA, which would cause tens of millions to lose their insurance and millions more to see their premiums increase. Constituents in districts across the country are taking note:

“After the [Rep. Tom] McClintock event, some attendees said they were frustrated [by] his lack of detail about an Obamacare replacement plan. ‘He just said, yes, we have something in place,’ said Andrea Seminer, a lawyer from Roseville. ‘They have nothing in place.’” [Politico, 2/4/17]

“Organizers said repeal of the ACA was a chief concern for many demonstrators, including [Carolynne] Funk. Her 11-year-old daughter suffered a devastating stroke at the age of 9 and with her pre-existing condition, she would be uninsurable without the protection of the ACA because she and her partner are self-employed, she said. ‘[Rep. Peter Roskam] says it should be replaced but there is no comprehensive plan on what that replacement will look like,’ Funk said.” [Chicago Tribune, 2/4/17]

Americans continue to speak out against GOP efforts, sharing how they have benefited from the patient protections and cost savings of the ACA and what’s at stake if Republicans move forward with repealing it without immediately replacing it:

“Evan Thornton, 21, fought back tears describing the congenital heart condition that could cut his life short. The Affordable Care Act had allowed him to have coverage under his parents' plan into his 20s, he said. ‘I'm an independent who voted for you,’ he told [Rep. Gus Bilirakis. “Please don't take my life away. Please don't let me die.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 2/4/17]

“One of the town hall attendees, David Emerson, said his wife has a heart condition and they couldn't afford her medication without the Affordable Care Act. ‘If you vote to cancel the ACA and you see her name in an obituary, shame on you,’ he told [Rep. Tom] McClintock.” [NPR, 2/5/17]

“Amanda Barnes, a 28-year-old resident of Auburn, Calif. told McClintock she considered it an ‘act of God’ that she was able to get on her mother’s health insurance five months before she was hit by a car, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Barnes said at the time she was covered by the Obamacare provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance. ‘If I had not had my mother’s insurance … I would have been over half million in debt just in the first three days.’” [Politico, 2/4/17]

And Republicans continue to duck tough questions from constituents on how they’re going to prevent millions of Americans from losing coverage or seeing their health care costs skyrocket:

Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (TN-02): “I certainly do not need town halls to tell me how my constituents are feeling on the important issues of the day, [The Daily Times, 2/4/17]

Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10): “[She] stood up constituents over the weekend who attended two town halls with questions about an Obamacare repeal and the Trump Administration’s travel ban.” [Politico, 2/1/17]

Rep. David Brat (VA-07): “‘[Constituents] come up — ‘When is your next town hall?’ And believe me, it’s not to give positive input.” [Richmond Times-Dispach, 1/31/17]

Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06): “The meeting, originally advertised as ‘free and open to the public,’ was changed to a ‘members only’ gathering on Feb. 1… ‘This is in no way targeting the Palatine Republicans holding the meeting,’ said Carolynne Funk, a member of the Action 6th District... ‘We would just like to have access to our representative. We can no longer accept that he refuses to hold town hall meetings or meet with constituents who may disagree with his voting record.’” [Chicago Tribune, 2/2/17]

While Republicans aim to sabotage our health care system, moving ahead with their effort that would kick 32 million Americans off their health coverage and increase costs for millions more, Democrats will continue to oppose their plan to Make America Sick Again. 

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