On Wednesday, Congress is scheduled to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act (bill number H.R. 2), the health care reform legislation that passed last March. We would urge lawmakers not to vote in support of the repeal. Last spring's health reform legislation was in response to the struggle many Americans have in finding access to quality affordable health care. The health reform legislation grants access to children, young adults and older people below the Medicare-eligible age of 65 by:
- Preventing insurance companies from denying children coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Providing relief for four million seniors that have a gap in prescription drug coverage
- Allowing young people to remain on their parent's insurance until age 26
- Investing $5 billion to provide needed financial help for employment-based plans which will continue to supply valuable coverage to people who retire between the ages of 55 and 65, as well as their spouses and dependents
In 2009 -- prior to the passage of health reform legislation -- 1.5 million Americans lost health coverage. The health care act is slated to increase the number of insured by 32 million and the newly insured span all generations. Families suffer when one of their members -- and any age-- can't access quality health care. And without the Affordable Care Act, medical crises will continue to push families into bankruptcy.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 2 would increase the federal budget deficit by $145 billion from 2012 to 2019, and $230 billion from 2012 to 2021. It is imperative that lawmakers not pass H.R. 2 as it will be devastating to children, young adults and older people.