Bronx, NY - On Thursday, in response to the passage of the American Health Care Act, New York State Assembly Member and DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake released the following statement:
“The passage of the American Health Care Act by House Republicans is a tragic betrayal of public trust. Today, the House acted irresponsibly by passing a bill that will lead to a loss of coverage for 24 million people, raise costs and severely weaken coverage for pre-existing conditions. It is inhumane and an international embarrassment by Congressional Republicans to choose politics over saving lives. As a baby, I was born with a heart murmur; my mother is a breast cancer survivor, and I represent an Assembly District with a disproportionate number of residents facing health inequities. It is personal when access to health care is denied to those who are most vulnerable.
"Congressional Republicans continue to play politics with the lives of close to 24 million Americans, and if this bill becomes law, hundreds of thousands of people who have relied on the Affordable Care Act to detect and treat serious illnesses will be at risk for more serious illness and a more difficult quality of life. This is one of few instances where the US Congress has shown a clear disregard for the welfare of American people.
"Trumpcare is not a replacement for Obamacare but rather a tax break for the top one percent disguised as an attempt to lower costs while giving drug and insurance companies the bulk of nearly $600 billion in new tax breaks. This bill eliminates the Affordable Care Act's subsidies based on a person's income and cost of coverage and replaces them with lower subsidies based mainly on a person's age. Currently, more than 80% of A.C.A. enrollees benefit from these subsidies. It loosens the age-band so that insurance companies can charge older people at least five times more than younger people. Equally despicable, it weakens the protections for those with pre-existing conditions and especially targets women by denying protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, C-section, and postpartum depression.
"These are not the values of the American people, and we must continue to hold our representatives in Congress accountable. We must continue to make our voices heard and actions seen. As it goes before the Senate, we must demand that our leaders shut this bill down.
"Universal health care is a right, not a privilege, and our leaders should act accordingly. Today reminds us why we must continue to #Resist and reject this unjust and unconscionable behavior by Congressional Republicans. If they want to take away our health care, then we should take away their jobs in Congress.”