Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5), member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and current co-chair of the Affordable and Accessible Healthcare Task Force for the New Democrat Coalition, released the following statement on the Congressional Budget Office report on the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“Last week, we were forced to vote on this bill in committee without knowing its real world effect on our wallets or our health care,” said Rep. Schrader. “Now CBO has confirmed our earlier analysis: this is terrible legislation that takes us backwards to an inefficient system that costs everyone more in the long run. Under Obamacare, millions of Americans and thousands of Oregonians were able to get health care for the very first time. This bill will strip away insurance from 14 million of those people, practically overnight. This is especially going to hurt our middle-class, middle-aged workers who will be looking at paying nearly half of their salary for health care when they need it most. That’s not giving people freedom, that’s backing them into a corner and forcing them to choose between their health and their retirement. It’s forcing them to choose whether to pay for health coverage or put food on the table. It’s forcing them to choose between health coverage and a roof over their head. This plan means millions will be paying more for less quality care and less coverage, and I will not be supporting it.”
According to the CBO report, 14 million Americans will lose their health insurance by next year, and in less than ten years, 24 million will have lost their coverage. Meanwhile, premiums are expected to rise as much as 20%.
Rep. Schrader voted against the Republican repeal bill last Thursday after more than 27 hours in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s markup of the bill. During the markup, he introduced a motion to delay consideration of the bill in committee until a CBO report was released, arguing that Committee members should know the bill’s ramifications before voting. The motion was tabled in a vote by the Republicans on the committee. He also commented on the cost of repealing the ACA saying that “you can say all you want about how [the Republican repeal bill] allows this or allows that. If it's unaffordable, Americans don't get health care. And who pays for that? We do.”