AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT OF 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, as we talk about the Affordable Care Act, I think it is important to remind ourselves of the situation before it passed: costs were going through the roof, those with preexisting conditions could not get insurance, women were paying more than men, and every year millions of people were losing their insurance.
We passed the Affordable Care Act. Since then, the costs have continued to go up, but at the lowest rate in 50 years. Those with preexisting conditions can get insurance at the standard rate. Women are no longer paying more than men. Instead of millions of people losing their insurance every year, more than 20 million more people now have insurance.
The full name of the Affordable Care Act is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Now your coverage can't be canceled if your insurance company decides that it has paid too much. Preventive services, such as cancer screenings, are free with no copays and deductibles. We are closing the doughnut hole. Those under 26 can stay on their parents' policies.
We also funded community health centers, made investments in education to produce more doctors, nurses, and other professionals. Through all of that, the Medicare trust fund is more solvent than it was before.
Still, the law is not perfect. But if we are going to make any changes, we ought to improve the law, not make it worse.
Incredibly this bill makes it worse. Now, the CBO has separated promises and press releases from reality. Twenty-four million fewer people will have insurance, and the Republicans call this choice in freedom to be uninsured. Most everybody else will pay more and get fewer benefits. All of those consequences will occur if the proposal actually works.
A number of States have done what this bill tries to do, and that is cover people with preexisting conditions without universal coverage. All of those attempts failed.
So the question we must ask is: Who will be better off if this bill passes? Certainly not older people who will face the bill's age tax. Certainly not veterans who will lose benefits. Certainly not senior citizens in nursing homes and people with disabilities because Medicaid is cut. Even the solvency of the Medicare trust fund will be worse.
But millionaires will get tax cuts.
Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing a lot of complaints and shortcomings about the Affordable Care Act, but if we are going to make any changes, we should improve it. Unfortunately, this bill makes things worse: 24 million will lose their insurance, most everybody else will pay more and get less. This bill should be defeated.