WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement concerning his vote against the misguided legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which passed the full U.S. House of Representatives yesterday in a vote of 217 to 213:
“I strongly opposed the House passage of the healthcare legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. This bill jeopardizes the healthcare of Americans across the country. If this legislation is also approved by the Senate and signed into law, it is anticipated that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance. This bill eliminates guaranteed coverage for essential health benefits, including emergency room care, prescription drug coverage, preventative care and chronic disease management, ambulatory patient services, inpatient hospitalization, newborn and maternity care, pediatric care, mental health care and addiction services, lab services, as well as rehabilitation services. These essential health benefits are currently guaranteed for all insurance plans, and the removal of these guarantees would impact all Americans. This bill also leaves up to the states whether to protect those with preexisting conditions such as hypertension, asthma, a history of cancer, and many others. Should a state waive such protections, those with preexisting conditions would be forced to move to another state to obtain affordable coverage.
“With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the United States had joined the rest of the industrialized world in providing healthcare coverage for its citizens. The Affordable Care Act has guaranteed that the over 550,000 individuals with health insurance in the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia have access to essential health benefits. It has provided all policyholders with important consumer protections such as coverage for preexisting conditions and prohibitions on lifetime limits, and it has helped close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.
“Instead of working to improve on the progress we have made, the bill passed by the House yesterday turns back the clock. If it becomes law, it will roll back healthcare services for millions of Americans both in Georgia and across the country and dramatically increase uninsured rates and healthcare costs.
“I adamantly urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this disastrous piece of legislation, and I call on the House, the Senate, and the administration to instead come together to improve the Affordable Care Act by fixing its flaws and by building on the great strides it has already made toward providing affordable healthcare to all Americans.”