At Full Committee ACA Hearing, Committee Democrats Defend Families’ Rights and Protections, Release New Report on How Repeal Threatens Working Families

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on health care, and how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided quality, affordable health care coverage. At the hearing, Committee Democrats unveiled a new report entitled, Accessible, Affordable Health Care – A Right, Not A Privilege: How Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Threatens the Health and Economic Security of Working Families.

“If my Republican colleagues continue on the course to repeal, we know that 30 million Americans will lose coverage, with the vast majority of those millions in working families,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott. “Workers with job-based plans could lose out on the ACA’s consumer protections – such as prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits. They could lose out on access to free preventive services which keeps the American workforce healthier and on the job. These are meaningful protections that have improved the lives of people in this country – protections that the Republicans are threatening to take away. And the collateral damage won’t stop there. Unfortunately, this hearing was part of a larger agenda to repeal the Affordable Care Act, root and branch, despite the fact that there is no credible plan to deal with the chaos that repeal will create.” 

The report released today highlights ten of the most important ways the ACA has improved the lives of hardworking Americans and their families. The report also illustrates why efforts to repeal the ACA are dangerous for working people.

“We are here to strengthen the economic security of Americans and to protect the health of this country,” Scott continued. “There is more that we need to do to improve access and affordability in health coverage, but setting the stage for a repeal vote that will take benefits away from hardworking Americans is irresponsible. That’s why the Democratic staff of the Committee released a report that highlights all of the ACA’s benefits to the American people, particularly those with job-based health coverage, and why repeal is so dangerous for our country and families’ health and economic security.” 

The ten benefits highlighted in the report include:

  1. Strengthening Health Coverage Rights and Protections for Working Families
  2. Putting Money Back into the Pockets of Working People
  3. Enabling Financial Security for Young Workers
  4. Controlling Health Insurance Costs for Working Families
  5. Creating a Healthier Workforce
  6. Helping Working People Afford Coverage
  7. Improving the Quality of Coverage for Families
  8. Creating More Job Flexibility
  9. Improving Health Benefits for our Nation’s Coal Miners
  10. Creating a Better Economy for Working People

Angela Schlaack, a mother of two and widow from the Midwest, served as the Democratic witness at the hearing. Schlaack lost her husband suddenly to an aggressive form of leukemia with genetic links just one year after he became ill. She highlighted the importance of access to routine, preventive care afforded by the ACA, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing her children cannot be denied coverage for having a preexisting condition.

“The provisions of the Affordable Care Act kept us from filing bankruptcy and losing everything we had built up in our over twenty-year marriage,” stated Schlaack in her written testimony. “The expenses incurred in a matter of 10 months was nothing any health savings account could properly fund.”

Families like Schlaack’s are why Democrats in Congress remain committed to full implementation of the ACA and have offered ways to improve the law, including increasing quality of care and making health services even more affordable for America’s working families. 


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