In a CNN town hall event on Thursday, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has helped over 20 million Americans get health insurance.
While Ryan called the plan “failing” and promised to get rid of it, one audience member took the microphone and told the Speaker that he would be dead without President Obama’s efforts to pass the landmark piece of legislation.
— CNN (@CNN) January 13, 2017
“Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?” the man in the audience asked on the same day that Senate Republicans took the first step toward repealing the law without a replacement.
Ryan quickly responded: “Oh, we wouldn’t do that. We want to replace it with something better. First of all, I’m glad you’re standing here.”
The man interrupted, “Can I say one thing? I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart because I would be dead if it weren’t for him.”
As Republicans move to dismantle a law for political reasons, it is the lives of millions of Americans – like the man who courageously stood up to the Speaker of House – that they should keep in mind. These are people who have literally been saved by President Obama’s health care initiative.
The law is not perfect and, like any major piece of legislation, will need to be improved upon – but scrapping the reforms to score political points without a viable replacement is irresponsible and could have deadly consequences.
If Republicans have their way, the lives of millions of Americans will once again be at risk.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.