Every 12 minutes, someone in America dies from a lack of insurance. The high cost of health care in our country is one of the primary roots of this inexcusable reality. The Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010 is one of the most sweeping and comprehensive reforms of our tangibly broken health care system. Yet, despite the documented progress and impact of the implementation the Affordable Care Act in less than a year of its passage, the 112th Congress is now set to vote on H.R.2, a bill proposing its full repeal.
The National Conference of Black Mayors supports the continuation of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and opposes H.R.2 which calls for the Act to be overturned. Repeal of any portion of this critical legislation will weaken its capacity to protect Americans from discriminatory practice and ensure Americans are provided with more choices for affordable care options. Key provisions in the law extend coverage to 32 million Americans, including 8 million African Americans currently uninsured.
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act will make it legal again for insurance companies to deny coverage to patients they classify with preexisting conditions such as children born with disabilities and women who become pregnant; raise prescription drug costs for seniors; eliminate expansions of dependent care that allows older children to remain on their parents’ health plans longer; reinstate cancellations on coverage when patients become sick and lifetime coverage limits for patients battling some of the most debilitating diseases; strip the freedom from co-pays for an array of vital preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies; and return hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to insurance companies that would otherwise benefit Americans, particularly low to middle income families, purchasing their own insurance through state-based exchanges.
Estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicate that the Affordable Care Act will cut over $130 billion from the deficit in this decade—and more than a trillion dollars by the next decade—while slowing the growth of health care costs in our cities and towns. It is also estimated that more than 300,000 new jobs will be created as a result of the law reducing the health care costs of employers for their workers and providing employers with over $40 billion worth of tax credits, allowing businesses to invest in job growth.
The Affordable Care Act brings redress to the health care disparities, fraud and abuse that have existed for far too long in our health care system and left the most vulnerable in our communities excluded from quality, affordable care. The National Conference of Black Mayors urges Congress to collectively focus on strengthening, not repealing, this landmark legislation.
To these ends, the National Conference of Black Mayors would like to tell the story of how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is impacting our cities and towns, in a special report, “Care for My Life.”
- Did you recently obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition? Have you struggled to get your child covered in the past?
- Are you a small business owner who will benefit from the new health insurance tax credits?
- Are you a senior who has recently received a $250 rebate check to make it easier to purchase prescription drugs?
- Have you put off getting preventive care like a mammogram or colonoscopy because you simply couldn’t afford it?
- Will your older child now be able to stay on your health insurance plan?
- Have you had your care rescinded after you got sick?
- Does your insurance plan currently have a lifetime limit on the care it will provide?
- Are you or someone you know enrolled in the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)?
The 112th Congress is poised to vote on H.R.2, a bill that calls for the repeal of the historic reforms instituted by the Affordable Care Act. The National Conference of Black Mayors supports the continued implementation of the law and opposes the extreme measure of repealing provisions in this law due to the impact that repeal will have on communities of color and the most vulnerable in our society. We urge Congress to work collectively to focus on strengthening, not repealing, this landmark legislation.
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