Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) voted in strong opposition to S.Con.Res. 3, the GOP budget proposal that begins the process of dismantling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law otherwise known as Obamacare.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 227 to 198, sets up an expedited process for consideration of a full repeal bill that Republicans plan to introduce later.
“Voting for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was one of my proudest moments in Congress. Before its passage, I heard from countless constituents who were unable to afford health insurance coverage. I met families bankrupted by medical bills in the wake of devastating accidents. I spoke with young people working entry-level jobs while saddled with student loan debt and mounting bills.
“Six years later, 20 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage through this historic and groundbreaking law, bringing the rate of uninsured individuals down to 8.6 percent, the lowest on record.
“Health care costs – though still on the rise – have increased at a slower rate, as the system shifts towards preventative medicine. Doctors are being rewarded for keeping patients healthy, and patients are being encouraged to receive regular medical attention.
“It is not a perfect law, but it has been a lifesaving reform for millions of families, and to throw it out wholesale without any regard for the tens of millions of Americans who stand to lose coverage is not only reckless, it’s unconscionable.
“Throughout President Obama’s Administration, House Republicans voted more than 60 times to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act but refused to come to the table to strengthen and improve the law. And despite having had six years to develop an alternative, we voted today without any replacement plans in hand.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act could have enormous consequences, especially for the people in this country who can least afford health coverage.
“Seniors could lose essential Medicare benefits, people with disabilities and low-income children could lose access to critical coverage, middle-class families could see premiums begin to skyrocket, Rhode Island could lose thousands of jobs, and insurance companies would resume control of Americans’ health care.
“To dismantle the Affordable Care Act is to ignore the needs of our constituents. And to my constituents in Rhode Island who have shared their stories of how health care reform has changed their lives, I say this: we will continue to fight.
“We will fight for the economic security of American families, and we will fight for the health and well-being of the American people.”