While campaigning in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pulled no punches and accused Republicans of turning their backs on 19 million Americans with a scheduled vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
At the Davenport Town Hall Clinton said, “This week, Republicans are going to vote again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And this time, it looks like it might get to the President’s desk. They’re willing to turn their backs on 19 million Americans, to turn our healthcare system back to the insurance companies so if you have a pre-existing condition it will be hard for you to afford care. If you’re a woman, you’ll be charged more, because that’s what used to happen. Prescription drugs — hey, watch out. They’ll go as far and fast and high as the drug companies can take them. Because they have no plan, the Republicans just want to undo what Democrats have fought for decades and what President Obama got accomplished. So we need a president, just as President Obama will, to veto that. But if there’s a Republican sitting there, it will be repealed. And then we will have to start all over again. So when I think about what’s at stake in this election, I don’t think the stakes could be higher.”
The Clinton campaign pointed to the latest data from the White House that revealed the consequences of the Republican ACA repeal:
· Re-open the prescription drug donut hole, raising costs after ACA saved 9.4 million seniors and people with disabilities who have over $15 billion on prescription drugs, an average of $1,598 per beneficiary, since 2010
· Deprive Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, including up to 17 million children, of protection from being denied coverage because of their health.
· Take away coverage from the more than 16 million uninsured people who have gained coverage since the Affordable Care Act took effect. The uninsured rate is now at the lowest level recorded across five decades of data.
If Republicans were successful in repealing Obamacare, the health and welfare of hundreds of millions of Americans would be impacted. Clinton was correct to remind voters of what is at stake in this election.
There is a temptation to laugh off the latest Republican attempt to repeal the ACA as another Republican misuse of Congress as a get out the vote tool, but Democrats should be aware that Republicans are taking all of these repeal votes because they fully intend to take healthcare away from millions of Americans if they win the White House.
Obama has been the ultimate Democratic firewall to stop the Republican agenda, but if voters choose to elect a Republican, that decision will have disastrous real-life consequences for millions of Americans.
Republicans are telling the American people exactly what they intend to do, which is why Democrats must be prepared to go to the polls and fight for the progress that has been made during the Obama presidency.