April 2, 2019
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, too often, we forget what our healthcare system was like before we passed the Affordable Care Act.

   Before the ACA, healthcare costs were skyrocketing; insurers could deny people coverage if they had a preexisting condition; policies did not have to provide essential benefits; and people were losing their insurance at alarming rates. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers could place annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage.

   Today, the Affordable Care Act ensures that 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions can have access to the healthcare peace of mind and financial security that comes with quality, affordable health coverage.

   Now, we have heard a lot about what we can do to make things better. We have heard about a bill that just protects those with preexisting conditions. The problem with that, Mr. Speaker, is, if you allow people to wait until they get sick before they buy insurance, they will wait until they get sick before they buy insurance. Those buying insurance are, on average, sicker, and the costs tend to go up. Fewer people can afford it. The healthy people drop out, and the costs go up.

   There is a name for this cycle. It is called the death spiral. Every time they try to protect those with preexisting conditions without the supports of the Affordable Care Act, there is a death spiral out of control.

   In Washington State, for 3 years, they tried that. In the 3 years, nobody could buy insurance.

   New York was in the death spiral when we passed the Affordable Care Act. When we passed the Affordable Care Act, the costs for individual insurance dropped more than 50 percent.

   So we know we just can't protect those with preexisting conditions without the supports and tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act. But we do know what a replacement plan looks like.

   The Republicans voted on such a thing. It was actually evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office, finding that, if the bill passed, about 20-some million fewer people would have insurance.

   They talk about costs. Under their plan, the costs would go up 20 percent the first year. Insurance policies would not have to cover essential benefits, as they do now, and those with preexisting conditions would lose many of their protections.

   Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution and support people with preexisting conditions so that they can have access to the care they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives