March 05, 2014

Lujan: House Republicans Again Vote to Undermine ACA While Ignoring Critical Legislation

50 Votes on ACA, Not One on Immigration Reform, Minimum Wage, or Unemployment Insurance

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District voted against yet another House Republican attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The legislation on the floor today – the 50th vote on the ACA in the House – delays the individual responsibility provision and would result in an increase in premiums for millions of Americans.

“House Republicans have made their point over and over again.  They want to repeal the ACA despite not having an alternative,” Congressman Luján said.  “Their repeal only plan would put insurance companies back in charge and open the door for the worst abuses that the ACA has ended, such as discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.  Their obsession with repealing the ACA stands in stark contrast to the important legislation they have failed to act on.  Fifty votes on the ACA, yet not one vote on the House floor to reform our broken immigration system, extend unemployment insurance for those struggling to find work, and increase the minimum wage for hard-working Americans.  House Republicans’ priorities are clear – undermine the ACA while ignoring ways to strengthen our economy and the middle class.”

The shared responsibility provision of the ACA plays a critical role in ensuring that millions of Americans don’t lose their coverage when they get sick and that individuals with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.  Repealing this aspect of the law would result in higher premiums for those who remain insured, fewer premium tax credits for middle-income families, and increased cost-shifting of uncompensated care to health care providers, workers, and businesses.

The individual responsibility provision was originally developed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989 to prevent the problem of “free riders” who don’t get health insurance and face health care costs they cannot afford to pay.  The costs of their uncompensated care are then passed along to all those who have health insurance in the form of higher premiums for consumers and businesses.

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