Maloney statement on repeal of health care reforms

Jan 20, 2011
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today made the following statement on the House floor during debate on the Republican bill to repeal health care reforms:  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this harmful, ill-conceived bill.    When the Republican Majority said it was going to make the deficit their defining issue this Congress, most of us did not realize it was to make the deficit bigger. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, their first act to repeal health care would do just that--add $230 billion to the deficit while making Americans pay more for health care.    Instead of focusing on job creation, Republicans are running up our deficit, jeopardizing the health of millions of Americans, and threatening the creation of new jobs.    Under the Republican repeal effort:    Insurance companies will once again be able to drop people when they get sick--exactly when coverage is needed most;    Children with pre-existing conditions will be denied coverage, while insurance companies would again impose devastating annual and lifetime caps;    Young people will not be able to stay on their parents' plans until age 26;    Pregnant women and breast cancer survivors can be denied coverage;    Seniors will face an increase in their prescription drug costs--millions thrown back into the Medicare Part D Donut Hole. Repeal would deny seniors a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs, re-creating the devastating coverage gap.    Each of these things will disappear if Republicans are able to repeal the historic health reform law.    In my home state of New York, repealing the Affordable Care Act would be devastating. New York residents, providers, small businesses and other employers would be denied critical new benefits of the law, from protections against insurance industry abuses to new coverage options and millions of dollars in support so states like New York can deliver quality, affordable health care options to all of its residents.    Without the Affordable Care Act, New York will suffer:    77,800 young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plans, sometimes just after they finish school and as they are looking for a job. Families across New York would lose the peace of mind the Affordable Care Act provides by making sure that young adults can stay on their parents plan to age 26 if they do not have coverage of their own.    More than 10 million residents of New York with private insurance coverage would suddenly find themselves vulnerable again to having lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care.    Insurance companies would once again be allowed to cut off someone's coverage unexpectedly when they are in an accident or become sick, because of a simple mistake on an application. This would leave 734,000 people in New York at risk of losing their insurance at the moment they need it most, as one of the worst abuses of the insurance industry would become legal again.    New insurance plans would no longer be required to cover recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots, without cost sharing, nor would they have to guarantee enrollees the right to choose any available primary care provider in the network or see an OB-GYN without a referral.    Nearly 2.9 million seniors in New York who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services, like mammograms and colonoscopies.    Medicare would no longer pay for an annual check-up visit, so nearly 2.9 million seniors in New York who have Medicare coverage would have to pay extra if they want to stay healthy by getting check-ups regularly.    192,596 on Medicare would see significantly higher prescription drug costs: In New York, 192,596 Medicare beneficiaries received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate to help pay for prescription drugs in the ``donut hole'' coverage gap in 2010. Medicare beneficiaries who fall into the ``donut hole'' in 2011 will be eligible for 50 percent discounts on covered brand name prescription drugs. Without the law, the burden of high prescription drug costs would hurt millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.    For the sake of argument, if we remove the moral obligation of providing health care to 32 million Americans who would lose coverage with this repeal, we are still left with a compelling fiscal reason for opposing the repeal of this law:    Repeal adds $230 billion to the deficit over the first 10 years and more than $1.2 trillion in the second decade (around one-half percent of GDP).    Americans purchasing health insurance on their own will see their costs rise.    Americans will get fewer health benefits for their money. ###