After Seven Years, House Republicans Still Have No Health Care Plan

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama. The legislation protects Americans from the worst insurance industry practices, and offers the uninsured and small businesses the opportunity to obtain affordable health care plans.  Over 6 years later, we can confidently say the ACA is working. Prior to this year’s open enrollment period, 17.6 million previously uninsured people had gained coverage. From 2010 through the first nine months of 2015, the uninsured rate has fallen by more than 40 percent and, for the first time ever, more than 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance. That is real progress for America’s working families.

Apparently Speaker Ryan and the House Republicans view a plunging uninsured rate as a problem to be fixed. Congressional Republicans have spent the past six years relentlessly trying to repeal the law. They have called countless votes to undo the successes of the ACA.  All the while, they have failed to provide the American people with their ACA alternative. Today Speaker Ryan released a framework that he and House Republicans are trying to label as their ACA “replacement plan.” To call it a “replacement plan” may be a misnomer, considering that their plan is not in the form of a bill or a legislative proposal, and it provides no specific dollar figures. The American people deserve better.

For the young Americans who have been able to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26, this law has mattered. For the individuals whose lives have been saved because they were able to afford the essential care they needed, this law has mattered. And for the 24 million Americans who would become uninsured if the House Republicans are ever successful in repealing the ACA, this law matters. Republicans have been promising an ACA replacement plan since 2010. It is reckless to constantly vote to repeal the ACA and risk people’s health insurance, while not having a real replacement proposal ready, and it is unfortunate that their promises to the American people still remain empty. Democrats remain open and committed to bipartisan action to improve and build upon the large successes of the ACA.