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Rep. Clarke Opposes Healthcare Repeal Legislation

Today Congresswoman spoke in opposition to H.R. 2, the Patient’s Rights Repeal Act. She released the following prepared statement expressing her stance on the proposed repeal:

“Today, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2, a bill that would repeal the Healthcare Law.

“In the United States, one of the richest countries in the world, nearly 50 million Americans lack health insurance, 13.5% of which are New Yorkers. Last year alone, New York City’s hospitals spent 1.2 billion dollars in charity costs. Tragically, people who are either uninsured or underinsured often have to go without vital healthcare simply because they cannot afford it.
“Every American has a human right to adequate physical and mental healthcare, and I believe that government has a responsibility to assist its citizens in securing quality healthcare.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which passed in the 111th Congress, does just that. It insures that Americans have access to quality healthcare. Repealing it would mean:

  • Insurance companies will once again be able to drop coverage for people when they get sick – exactly when coverage is needed most;
  • Children with pre-existing conditions will be denied coverage;
  • Insurance companies would again be able to impose devastating annual and lifetime caps;
  • Young people will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26;
  • Pregnant women would be denied coverage simply because they are pregnant since pregnancy is considered a “pre-existing condition” and therefore a basis for denial of coverage;
  • And finally, seniors will face an increase in their prescription drug costs because they would be thrown back into the Medicare Part D Donut Hole, which the healthcare reform law would have closed by 2020.

    “Let me share with you a letter that I received from one of my constituents in the 11th Congressional District of New York. Jonathan writes:

      ‘I am a two-time cancer survivor, constantly worrying about being denied coverage because of my pre-existing condition. I’m not comfortable that corporations under the old rules would consider me “unprofitable”. I think it’s a disgrace that this problem has existed in our country. I for one, will move to Canada or elsewhere if Healthcare Reform is repealed and I ever have a reoccurrence of my cancer. Meanwhile, I think it’s every American’s responsibility to not allow other people with pre-existing conditions to be denied coverage.’

      “As Jonathan notes – this repeal would once again allow big insurance companies, who are only focused on profitability, to deny coverage to him and so many others with pre-existing conditions.

      “Are we going to allow Jonathan to be punished and denied coverage simply for being a cancer survivor? Repeal of this healthcare law would punish so many.

      “Healthcare is a fundamental human right, rather than a commodity, which is why I stand in strong opposition to repeal.”