U.S. Rep. Pete
Visclosky, D-1st, spoke on the House floor today in opposition to the GOP’s
American Health Care Act.
The text of
“Mr. Speaker, I
rise in strong opposition to the American Health Care Act.
“I believe that the
purpose of any health care legislation should be to improve the health and
well-being of our nation’s citizens, and to allow for access to quality and
affordable health care for all.
“That is why in the
111th Congress I was proud to support the Affordable Care Act. As a result
of this landmark legislation, 19 million people in the United States now
have health insurance coverage who did not before, and over nine-in-ten
individuals in my home state of Indiana now have health insurance.
according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the legislation we
are considering today will leave approximately 14 million more Americans
without health insurance by 2018, and this number will continue to rise to
an estimated 24 million by 2026.
“I am especially
concerned that the American Health Care Act will jeopardize the health care
coverage of the over 429,000 Hoosiers currently enrolled in Indiana’s
expansion of Medicaid, also known as the Healthy Indiana Plan.
“Further, I believe
it is especially disingenuous that if this bill passes today, this
institution will have pushed the financial cuts to programs like the Healthy
Indiana Plan conveniently until after the next congressional election.
“The Act before us
also would negatively impact the health of millions of women and men who
receive the medical services provided by Planned Parenthood. Additionally,
it would not improve the well-being of our nation’s elderly by allowing
providers to charge older enrollees up to five times as much as younger
“Finally, I would
note with great concern that a provision was just added to the American
Health Care Act that would remove the requirement that insurers cover
life-saving, essential health benefits, including maternal and pediatric
services, rehabilitative therapy, and mental health and substance abuse
work to improve the Affordable Care Act and address important health
concerns facing ordinary Americans, such as the rising cost of prescription
drugs. But today’s bill does no such thing.
“It is unacceptable
and I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.”