Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference on the health care benefits that millions of Americans would lose if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“With millions still out of work and families struggling to make ends meet, Republicans are responding by voting to take away critical health care protections. Polls show a clear majority of Americans want Congress to move on from the health care issue and spend time focusing on creating jobs and moving our economic recovery forward.
“It is unfortunate that the Republican leadership has chosen to set jobs aside to spend time on this partisan messaging vote. This bill will have a real and devastating impact on Americans. It will make it legal once again for insurance companies to discriminate against 17 million children with pre-existing conditions, and it will cause 30 million Americans to lose their insurance coverage.
“The Republican bill takes away the cost-saving measures under Medicare that have enabled millions of seniors to receive free preventive services, and it will reverse the process of closing the Part D ‘donut hole.’ If they have their way on this vote, our deficit will jump $1 trillion over the next two decades. Furthermore, 360,000 small business owners will lose access to tax deductions that help them provide coverage for their employees.
“If this bill passes, 6.6 million young people under age 26 will be dropped from their parents’ plans, left to face one of the toughest job markets with the prospect of no health coverage.
"Thankfully, this bill has no chance of going anywhere. It will never pass the Senate, and the President has already said he would veto it.
“But Republicans ought to know some of the real people whose lives will be affected if it were to pass. That’s why I’m glad to welcome some of the many whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act and give them a chance to share their stories today.
“Bill Cea is a retired Social Studies teacher from New York now living in Boca Raton, Florida. He is a very active retiree-member of the American Federation of Teachers and a national board member of the Alliance for Retired Americans. An interesting fact about Bill: some years ago, he taught current AFT President Randi Weingarten.
“So now let me turn the Floor over to Bill to talk about how today’s vote would affect America’s seniors and retirees.”