Pallone Highlights the Dangers of Repealing the ACA At O&I Medicaid Hearing
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) described the pending chaos for health care at today’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled, “Medicaid Oversight: Existing Problems and Ways to Strengthen the Program”:
For seven years now, Congressional Republicans have railed against the Affordable Care Act with a steady drumbeat of repeal and replace. For seven years, they have sabotaged implementation of the law. And here we are today: Republicans are misleading the public with falsehoods that the law is failing. That could not be further from the truth.
The truth is – after seven years of claiming they could do it better – they have no plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
This Subcommittee should be evaluating the impact that repeal would have on the American people and the national health care system. But instead Republicans are holding yet another hearing to highlight their ongoing opposition to the law’s Medicaid expansion, despite clear evidence that the expansion has made health care affordable and available for the first time to 12 million people nationwide.
Tomorrow and Thursday, the Committee is holding hearings on what Republicans consider to be “the first pieces of the GOP health care replacement plan.”
The fact is that none of these bills will prevent 30 million Americans from losing their health care coverage. None of them will reduce the chaos in the health care system that will inevitably result if Republicans successfully repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The fact is Republicans are already creating uncertainty and instability in the individual market. This instability will ultimately result in reduced consumer choice, higher premiums, and will endanger the health and welfare of millions of Americans. In other words, the Republican-made chaos has already begun.
Congressional Republicans continue to ask the American people to trust them—that they have a plan, and that somehow everything will be ok. They have repeatedly assured the American public that no one will lose coverage with a Republican replacement plan, a claim that President Trump and his advisors also continue to make.
But recently released audio of a closed-door meeting from their Republican Retreat last week confirms they simply have no plan.
At the meeting, Republicans admitted that repealing the Affordable Care Act could eviscerate coverage for the roughly 20 million Americans now covered through state and federal marketplaces, as well as those covered under the Medicaid expansion.
In fact, one Republican member warned, and I quote: “We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal.
My Republican colleagues are also trying to claim that the Affordable Care Act is already collapsing under its own weight, and that their replacement plan will quote “rescue the American people from Obamacare.” Republicans are so scared to own the chaos they are causing that they are trying to pretend that the law is imploding on its own, which could not be further from the truth.
Americans today have better health coverage and health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The law’s Medicaid Expansion has helped improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care for millions of Americans.
Congressional Republicans and this Administration will stop at nothing to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, despite having no plans to replace it.
My colleagues would be wise to consider the impact that their actions will have on the millions of Americans who are currently benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. If my Republican colleagues finally took their ideological blinders off, they would realize that the Affordable Care Act should not be repealed.
I yield back.