Two summers ago we fought long and hard for affordable, quality health care for all Americans. It was a tough battle, but we won and the Affordable Care Act passed. Now, however, folks at the capitol actually want to stop it from taking effect!
At least five bills have already been introduced to attack the Affordable Care Act in the legislature. We’ve seen it all: from a moratorium on implementing new mandated health benefits to prohibiting state expenditures to comply with certain federal health care laws to an outright prohibition on enforcing, implementing, or funding the Affordable Care Act.
It seems like Republicans had an “oh crap!” moment when the Congressional Budget Office informed them that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost $230 billion. Now they’ve switched to a different tactic, stalling implementation instead of repealing.
Republicans in the Minnesota legislature have demonstrated this session their lack of respect for the Affordable Care Act. Twice in committee, Republican Representatives had to be admonished to call the act by its actual name instead of “Obamacare.” Regardless of how they feel about the bill, state representatives like Steve Gottwalt should know better than to use or allow others to use pejorative nicknames in committee hearings.
Republicans just don’t seem to understand that the Affordable Care Act isn’t something we should be repealing. It allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26, extends health insurance to tens of millions of families that would otherwise do without, stops discriminatory care, and includes preventative screening checks. In Minnesota, 712,000 folks can now receive free preventative services–like mammograms or colonoscopies, 16,000 young adults can gain insurance coverage, and 298,000 children with preexisting conditions will be protected. The Affordable Care Act is not something Republicans should be spending their time messing with. Americans and Minnesotans alike proved two years ago that they supposed quality, affordable health care for everyone.
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