Reid Remarks On The Affordable Care Act

“For far too long, Republicans have obsessed over the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and has been for over 4 years. But from the very day that President Obama signed the bill into law, Republicans have zealously worked to undermine it. “

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans can no longer be denied health insurance due to their pre-existing conditions. Millions of young adults are now able to stay on their parents’ policies through the age of 26. Millions of seniors are saving money on prescriptions drugs. This year alone, millions of women will receive maternity coverage. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would repeal all of those provisions.” 

“In the meantime, Democrats will keep looking to the future, and the future for the Affordable Care Act is bright.”

Washington, D.C.Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor regarding successful enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

One of the great statesmen in history, Winston Churchill, once said, and I quote: “Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.” Though he made those remarks more than 70-years ago, there are many here in Congress who can still learn from those words. For far too long, Republicans have obsessed over the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and has been for over 4 years. But from the very day that President Obama signed the bill into law, Republicans have zealously worked to undermine it. Day in and day out, they have clamored for repeal of the law.

House Republicans have voted 51 times, trying desperately to cripple the Affordable Care Act. They shut down the government trying to defund health care reform. How has that worked out for them? While they obsessed over the past, the country moved forward. And now, Republicans have to face the fact that their very own constituents are benefitting from health reform in record numbers. But still they insist on nothing short of repeal.  I ask my Republican colleagues, what would that repeal look like? Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans can no longer be denied health insurance due to their pre-existing conditions. Millions of young adults are now able to stay on their parents’ policies through the age of 26. Millions of seniors are saving money on prescriptions drugs. This year alone, millions of women will receive maternity coverage. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would repeal all of those provisions.

My counterpart, the senior Senator from Kentucky, will address the Senate after me. In his home state of Kentucky, 360,000 people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Of those who have signed up, 75% were previously uninsured. That is 270,000 people. I repeat, over a quarter million Kentuckians, who did not have insurance, now have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Or in other words, Obamacare, has reduced the uninsured population in Kentucky by nearly 40%. I wonder when my friend from Kentucky will explain to those 270,000 constituents  how he plans to repeal the law without stripping their new health benefits.  How exactly will he and his Republican colleagues guarantee that their newly-insured constituents have no lapses in coverage? I eagerly await their answer.

In the meantime, Democrats will keep looking to the future, and the future for the Affordable Care Act is bright. Every day more and more Americans are getting health coverage through the law. More than 7 million Americans have now signed up for health care. Roughly another million people are now covered through state exchanges. Health reform is working, and the law is here to stay. The more that Americans see the law is working, the more they want it to stay. The time of quarreling over the past is behind us. I invite my Republican friends to look to the future put this obstructionism behind them and work with us to make the Affordable Care Act even better. And together we can help millions of more Americans get the health coverage they deserve.