Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Congressmen Elijah Cummings (MD-07), John Sarbanes (MD-03), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) at a press conference this morning calling on Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to oppose House Republicans’ bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We are here to ask Governor Hogan to join the growing opposition to Congressional Republicans’ dangerous ACA repeal bill. House Republican leaders are trying to jam their bill through Congress before the American people fully understand what it does and the harm it will bring. We need to keep the pressure on them to slow down this process and open it up, make it transparent, and let the American people and the states weigh in.
“We now know from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that their bill will: kick 24 million Americans off their health coverage; cause premiums to go up 24-29% on average for consumers in the individual market; incentivize states to force those with pre-existing conditions into ‘high-risk pools’ with higher-premiums, higher deductibles and waiting periods for coverage; kick 14 million off Medicaid and force states to ration care and cut provider payments; reduce the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 3 years; and take away $6 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help purchase coverage for their employees.
“The effects of the bill right here in Maryland would be devastating: Marylanders would lose health coverage; more than 50,000 health care jobs in Maryland could be lost; losing expanded Medicaid could cost Maryland taxpayers $1.4 billion; and health care costs in Maryland could grow by $2 billion.
“In Maryland, Medicaid covers 38.6% of prescriptions for critical medication used to treat opioid addiction. Earlier this month, the Governor declared a state of emergency in response to Maryland’s opioid crisis. Cutting off access to treatment at a time like this would be illogical and unconscionable. We cannot afford to turn the clock back.
“We are urging Governor Hogan to speak out and join us in opposing this dangerous repeal bill. Already, Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, and Arkansas wrote a letter to Speaker Ryan opposing this terrible bill which, as the Governors note, ‘does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out.’
“I’ve heard from Fifth District residents whose lives have been saved and who avoided financial ruin thanks to the Affordable Care Act. They are hoping Governor Hogan will join in rejecting this reckless and harmful bill.
“We will continue to do everything we can to stop this bill in its tracks.
“With Republicans refusing to hold a single hearing on their bill, House Democrats held our own on Thursday, where witnesses from Maryland spoke to the disastrous consequences for our state and the country. We need to reject this bill.
“I want to thank John Sarbanes for organizing this event, and now yield to my friend.”