Neal Floor Statement on GOP Budget that would Take Away Health Insurance from 30 Million Americans

Jan 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) today delivered remarks on the House Floor in opposition to S.Con.Res. 3, which would lay the groundwork to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cause nearly 30 million Americans to lose their health insurance:

(Remarks as prepared)

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. Con. Res. 3, the 2017 Republican Budget Resolution. Although this does not explicitly call for ACA repeal, it provides a process to repeal it. This legislative charade is both fiscally and socially irresponsible.

“The Republicans have had seven years to develop a replacement and they still don’t have a plan. Instead, they are pushing legislation that could cause as many as 30 million Americans to lose health coverage after 2017 and the number of uninsured Americans would be worse than before the ACA was implemented.  Even the Republican Governor from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently sent a letter to House Republican leadership on January 11 noting, among other things, ‘During…[ACA repeal/replace] deliberations, it is important that coverage gains, patient protections and market stability are maintained.’

“It is important to understand that the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid are now wed—if you fracture the ACA, it also directly impacts these important social programs. Instead of wholesale repeal of the ACA, Democrats will continue to advocate building on the successes which in real terms means greater financial security for the middle class.

“The ACA is working: 97.2% of residents in Massachusetts have health insurance; the Medicare trust fund solvency was extended for 10 years; about 137 million Americans have access to recommended preventative services without cost sharing; and Medicare enrollees have avoided 565,000 unnecessary hospital admissions. The Republican rhetoric is simply not matching reality.

“Hospitals play a critical role in the Massachusetts economy—repeal of the ACA would have devastating consequences on their ability to provide quality care and be a huge hit to hospital related jobs throughout the Commonwealth and across the nation. 

“The negative ripple effects of ACA repeal would be swift and forceful. Instead of working to dismantle it, we should be protecting and enhancing it for the next generation. Vote no on S. Con. Res. 3.”