Levin Floor Statement on the House GOP’s 52nd ACA Repeal Attempt
WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) delivered the following statement on the House floor today in opposition to H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2104 – the House GOP’s 52nd attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“My colleagues on the Republican side in the House are so blinded by their ideology that they will not or cannot see reality or hear other voices. So here's the reality: seven-plus million people have enrolled in private plans through the ACA marketplaces. The ACA is working. Millions have new coverage under Medicaid. Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions, including 17 million children, no longer have to worry about being denied coverage or being charged higher premiums due to their health status. Three point one million young adults have gained health coverage because they can now stay on their parents' health plan up to age 26. That's the reality of the ACA.
There's also the reality of what this legislation would do, and I want to emphasize this because I don't think it has been accurately stated to date. It would force one million people out of employer-based health insurance, according to CBO. It would increase the number of uninsured by about half a million, also according to CBO. And so they are bringing this up at the same time that seven million people have enrolled in private plans through the marketplace, and when millions now have coverage under Medicaid. So they essentially want to reverse the progress we’ve made in health coverage.
Also -- and they don't face up to this -- this bill would add $74 billion to the deficit, according to CBO, without an offset.
And you're coming forth the day after we receive the latest information about ACA enrollees, and saying, knock people off of insurance, knock them off of employer-based insurance and add $74 billion to the deficit? If any of those figures are wrong, I'd like someone to stand up and say so.
Also, there's been much discussion about the impact of the ACA in terms of part-time employment, and I want to read what the CBO said definitively in February. In CBO's judgment, “there's no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA.” We heard in testimony that a community college said they had reduced the hours of teachers in order to avoid paying health insurance. That's what somebody in the education field came forth and said is their policy. I suggest, instead of forgoing their responsibility as employers, they ought to go into the marketplace and see what they can do to bring more coverage for the people who are working hard.
What you're doing here today is saying to many, many people who are working hard and who need insurance: this bill will knock you off of your employer-based insurance and increase the number of uninsured by half a million, while increasing the deficit by $74 billion. Ideology is indeed blind when this kind of a proposition is put forth.”