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Congress sends rebukes of Affordable Care Act and funding of Planned Parenthood to Obama’s desk; he promptly vetoes

This news story was published on January 8, 2016.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress, for the first time, sent a bill to President Obama’s desk that would repeal the Affordable Care Act – known to many as Obamacare – and de-fund Planned Parenthood, which is blamed by most Republicans for killing unborn babies and selling the leftover parts.

Although the number of uninsured Americans has dropped to record lows, Republicans in general despise Obamacare, and have tried numerous times to undo the legislation.  However, Gallup reports that the uninsured rate was essentially unchanged throughout 2015, a rate that is down 5.2 points (17.1% to current rate of 11.9%) since just before Obamacare essentially took effect.

Today, President Obama announced he has vetoed the legislation approved by Congress this week that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

His statement on that veto:

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3762, which provides for reconciliation pursuant to section 2002 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016, herein referred to as the Reconciliation Act.  This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America.  The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered.  And it is working.  About 17.6 million Americans have gained health care coverage as the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect.  The Nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever, and demand for Marketplace coverage during December 2015 was at an all-time high.  Health care costs are lower than expected when the law was passed, and health care quality is higher — with improvements in patient safety saving an estimated 87,000 lives.  Health care has changed for the better, setting this country on a smarter, stronger course.

The Reconciliation Act would reverse that course.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million after 2017.  The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that this reduction in health care coverage could mean, each year, more than 900,000 fewer people getting all their needed care, more than 1.2 million additional people having trouble paying other bills due to higher medical costs, and potentially more than 10,000 additional deaths.  This legislation would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve.  Reliable health care coverage  would no longer be a right for everyone:  it would return to being a privilege for a few.

The legislation’s implications extend far beyond those who would become uninsured.  For example, about 150 million Americans with employer-based insurance would be at risk of higher premiums and lower wages.  And it would cause the cost of health coverage for people buying it on their own to skyrocket.

The Reconciliation Act would also effectively defund Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood uses both Federal and non-federal funds to provide a range of important preventive care and health services, including health screenings, vaccinations, and check-ups to millions of men and women who visit their health centers annually.  Longstanding Federal policy already prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the woman would be endangered.  By eliminating Federal Medicaid funding for a major provider of health care, H.R. 3762 would limit access to health care for men, women, and families across the Nation, and would disproportionately impact low-income individuals.

Republicans in the Congress have attempted to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act over 50 times.  Rather than refighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, Members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle-class families, and create new jobs.  Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst also erleset a statement in response to the veto:

Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst

“I’m disappointed that the President continues to ignore families and small businesses who have been hurt by the painful effects of ObamaCare, from rising costs, to losing access to doctors, to hampering businesses’ abilities to hire new employees. The President has once again chosen to put his failed agenda ahead of Iowans and replaced choice with one-size-fits-all mandates and taxes. I will continue to fight for Iowans to have affordable, patient-centered options that constrain costs, maximize flexibility, and allow them to have a voice over their own health care decisions.

“Additionally, this bill would have redirected funds from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities like community health centers.”

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3 Responses to Congress sends rebukes of Affordable Care Act and funding of Planned Parenthood to Obama’s desk; he promptly vetoes

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    My Ins has doubled since Obama care

    • Avatar

      Bodacious Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      It might have tripled. This was just a monumental waste of our money. Again.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 9, 2016 at 11:59 am

        it’s just DBV. Dumbocrats Buying Votes with other peoples money.