Speaker Pelosi Joined Protect Our Care on a Press Call to Highlight Landmark Anniversary of the ACA and Discuss the Ongoing Threats to the Law That Put Americans at Risk During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Washington, DC — On the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Laura Packard, a stage four cancer survivor, along with Protect Our Care held a press call to highlight the passage of the landmark law and show what’s at stake for Americans if President Trump and Republicans overturn the ACA as the nation grapples with the coronavirus.
On the call, Speaker Pelosi reflected on the progress made since the passage of the ACA and made clear the importance of strengthening and protecting the law. Just this month, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the Trump-Republican lawsuit to repeal the ACA in its upcoming term, which if successful would strip coverage from 20 million Americans and eliminate protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. This means that during a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to prepare America for the coronavirus, Republicans are still dead set on ripping away their health care.
“Ten years ago we passed this law and took a monumental step forward for the health care and financial safety of the American people,” said Speaker Pelosi. “House Democrats have been leading the way to defend and enhance the law. Instead of joining us to strengthen the law, the Trump Administration is in court again to tear it down entirely and we cannot let that happen. This is both a happy day for what we did then and it’s a challenging day for what the Trump Administration is still doing to dismantle the law at a time when we couldn’t need it more. Today I am urging President Trump withdraw from the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that, if successful, would return to lifetime limits on coverage, remove essential health benefits, open up the prescription drug donut hole, take young people off their parents insurance, and allow Americans with pre-existing conditions to be discriminated against in terms of health care and costs.”
“Ten years ago we made affordable health care a reality by expanding coverage to millions of Americans who were uninsured and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. This is an historic achievement worthy of commemoration,” said Senator Bob Casey. “However, our work does not stop there. For the past 10 years, Congressional Republicans have continued their efforts to dismantle consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions, destroy the ACA through the courts and defund the law by making it harder for Americans to sign up for health care plans. These efforts are even more obscene when we are in the midst of a global public health pandemic. The best way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ACA would be for Republicans to announce that they are dropping their lawsuit. I will not stop fighting to protect the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
“Ten years ago we took an enormous step to improve the lives of the American people and progress our country’s health care system. Because of the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million more Americans have access to quality, affordable coverage, millions of people like me with a preexisting condition don’t have to live in fear, young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance, Medicaid has been expanded, and preventative services are available without out-of-pocket costs,” said Congresswoman Lauren Underwood. “As we take a moment to celebrate this momentous anniversary today, let us only allow it to be a moment. The work of ten years ago continues today and is more important than ever as Republicans and now this Administration have worked themselves breathless trying to take healthcare away from millions of Americans in Congress and in the courts. We need to work together to lower health care and prescription drug costs, expand access to mental health services, and improve the quality of health care. At this very moment we are experiencing a global pandemic that serves as a stark reminder of the value of our personal health, our family’s health, and the health of our communities.”
“We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ACA but the fight to save the law began the day the bill was signed and continues to this day with the Texas lawsuit that could strike down all of the benefits that people have received over the last 10 years,” said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Here in the midst of the coronavirus, health care again is front and center in people’s minds and we need to remind people that this administration is trying to take health care away from Americans.”
“Ten years after the ACA was signed into law, the fate of 135 million people with pre-existing conditions hangs in the balance – many of us uninsurable without it, and many will not survive without insurance,” said Laura Packard, stage four cancer survivor and health care advocate. “Millions more Americans will join the ranks of people with pre-existing conditions too, if they develop long term damage from coronavirus. And many millions more have lost health insurance when they lost their jobs in the last few days.”
“Because of the Affordable Care Act 20 million Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions have the protections they need,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Now more than ever, we must all work to protect our health care against President Trump’s and the Republican’s ongoing attacks. Despite the progress made under the law, President Trump and Republicans remain dead set on ripping it apart and stripping millions of their health coverage, even as we confront the threat of coronavirus made worse by the Trump administration’s disastrous response. President Trump must immediately drop his Texas lawsuit.”