In this Democratic weekly address, Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel) discusses how partisan attempts to repeal federal health care reform would mean a loss of new health care protections for Californians, including pregnant women, children with disabilities, people with pre-existing conditions, and young people now eligible to remain on their parents' coverage. Monning also notes seniors would lose prescription drug discounts, and face new costs for preventive care to keep them healthy. Monning adds that repeal would also cause California to lose federal funding for our new Health Benefit Exchange, a consumer friendly marketplace where individuals and small businesses can claim federal tax credits and easily understand their insurance choices and costs.
This is Assemblymember Bill Monning, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee.
This week our nation witnessed a shameful political ploy--the attempt by Republicans in Congress to repeal health care reform. Repealing health care reform would be a big, expensive mistake for California and the country. California has been leading the nation on health care reform, and it's no time to turn back now.
Just this month California's own Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect. That was a law written by Speaker John A. Pérez that my colleagues and I were proud to support and help get signed into law. This law establishes the California Health Benefit Exchange, which will be a consumer friendly marketplace where individuals and small businesses can easily understand their insurance choices and costs and, where they can claim their federal premium subsidies and tax credits to buy affordable coverage. Repealing federal health care reform means we'd lose federal funding for this important tool for families and small businesses.
Repealing health care reform also means young Californians up to age 26 would lose their new eligibility to remain on their parents coverage....pregnant women, children with disabilities and people with pre-existing conditions would lose their new protections... and seniors would lose prescription drug discounts, coverage for check-ups and face new costs for preventive care to keep them healthy.
In California, the federal reforms will save us $200 million in early retiree health care costs - repeal would immediately create an additional hole in our state budget. The Congressional Budget Office says repealing health care reform will cause the national deficit to grow $230 billion over the next decade. The last thing we need is more deficits!
In a state with the most uninsured and underinsured people in the nation, where close to 2 million people lost their job-based health coverage in the last two years because of the recession, repeal of this landmark health care reform is simply not acceptable.
We've made a good start her in California--and we must keep going until every Californian has access to affordable, quality health care. Congress and the President can help us by rejecting the shortsighted political stunt of repealing health care reform.
This is Assemblymember Bill Monning, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. Thanks for listening.
Assemblymember Monning represents the 27th Assembly District and chairs the Assembly Committee on Health.