Crowley Counters GOP Attacks On Affordable Care Act
Congressmember Joe Crowley (D-Queens, The Bronx), spoke on July 17 on the House floor in opposition to House Republicans’ “Authority for Mandate Delay Act” and “Fairness for American Families Act” (H.R. 2667 and H.R. 2668), legislation that would undermine access to affordable coverage for the 129 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions and put at risk the guarantee that women will pay the same premiums as men for the same coverage.
On the heels of The New York Times article highlighting that millions of New Yorkers will pay half as much for their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, today’s legislation attacks the very provisions that have ensured these decreases by bringing new customers into the market.
Crowley’s remarks as prepared:
“Here we are, wasting our constituents’ time by voting on the exact same action the administration has already taken.
“Apparently, we must vote yet again to dismantle important parts of the Affordable Care Act.
“We keep hearing that these votes are necessary because of the quote-unquote ‘burden’ that’s out there for individuals and families.
“Let me tell you, I worry about burdens on my constituents too, and I want to help relieve them of their burdens:
“The burden of a young worker knowing that she’s stuck in a job that is bad for her, but she keeps at it because it’s the only place she can get health insurance; the burden of a father trying desperately to find an insurance plan that will cover his son even though his son has diabetes; or the burden of a mother living in constant fear that her family could lose their home because without insurance, one unexpected medical episode will lead to bankruptcy.
“Relieving those burdens is why I support the Affordable Care Act, and I don’t understand why my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are so eager to tear it down.
“Later today, we’ll be voting on whether to undermine one of the key pieces of the law that is responsible for actually making coverage more affordable.
“In fact just this morning, it was announced that in my state of New York, these very provisions are cutting the cost for a family to buy their own insurance—BY HALF.
“Instead of applauding this critical relief for families, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle plan to attack the parts of the law that made it possible.
“I’ve even heard reports that some opponents of the law are urging people to ‘burn their socalled Obamacare cards’ and not buy insurance in protest.
“As an aside, I would point out that there’s no such thing as an ‘Obamacare card’, so be careful not to burn your fingers when using your imaginary prop…
“But I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t want their constituents to have access to affordable, quality insurance that these people currently can’t get now.
“Especially when you consider the fact that none of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to want to give up their taxpayer-subsidized health benefits, while at the same time they want to deny options to those very taxpayers…but that’s for another day.
“The real burden is the Republicans’ willingness to spread misinformation, false rhetoric and scare tactics when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s their efforts to gut the very provisions of the law that will help our constituents and their families.
“And it’s their agenda to drag American families into the past instead of helping them build a more secure future.”
Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and The Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.