In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide access to affordable and quality health care to Americans. While not perfect, the ACA provides millions of Americans with access to health care and prohibits those with pre-existing coverage from being denied care. It also provides consumers with essential health benefits that must be covered by insurance companies, including critical services like mental health and maternity care. Unfortunately, since taking control of Congress, the Republicans have attacked the ACA and have been determined to strip health protections provided under the ACA.
For example, the Trump Administration denied funding for the cost sharing reductions to health insurers provided under the ACA that has allowed insurers to keep premiums down. Without these payments, many Americans will see their premiums rise. Republicans also repealed the provision of the ACA that provided for the responsibility of individuals to obtain health insurance, without this mandate, many individuals, mostly younger and healthier, will forgo insurance which in turn could drive up costs. The GOP has also made it easier for health insurers to offer very narrow insurance plans that do not cover essential health benefits.
In addition to rolling back protections under the ACA, since taking control of Congress and the White House, Republicans have proposed policies that attack women’s health, as well as Medicaid. For example, the Administration has allowed for employers to opt out of offering coverage that includes birth control and has continuously proposed to eliminate funding for critical family planning centers like Planned Parenthood. In every budget proposal, Republicans have planned to turn Medicaid into a block grant program and opened the door for states to put extreme restrictions on Medicaid beneficiaries, including work requirements. Both proposals mean less coverage for the most vulnerable. They have also used critical federal health programs, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers, as political bargaining chips in budget discussions.
I vow to continue to fight against Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and restructure Medicaid. I also pledge to continue being an advocate for women’s health and programs that support our most vulnerable populations such as Community Health Services. It is important that these critical programs and continued lifesaving medical research receive the funding they need to ensure the health and wellbeing of communities like the 8th District. I am proud to have repeatedly supported robust funding for programs such as research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Alzheimer’s research, nursing workforce development, Tourette syndrome research, and HIV/AIDS programs.
More on Health Care
While in Washington this week, I participated in a Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials hearing on Positive Train Control and a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing on the Colombian negotiations with the FARC.
(Washington, D.C) - Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding today's Supreme Court decision on King v. Burwell:
"I am relieved that the Supreme Court ruled today 6-3 to uphold subsidies for 6.4 million Americans to ensure that they continue to receive affordable health insurance. Prior to the decision, 34 states, including New Jersey, were at risk of losing access to premium tax credits when purchasing health coverage on the federal marketplace.
During my time in Washington this week, I attended several Foreign Affairs Committee hearings, participated in a roundtable with business leaders from Latin America, and met with several constituent groups.
This week in Washington, I had an interview with students from my alma mater, received input from several constituent groups, and voted on transportation funding.
(Washington, D.C.) - Last week, Congressman Albio Sires introduced H.R. 2241, the Global Health Innovation Act of 2015, to encourage the development of health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to use in low-resource health systems. This bill will require the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to submit a report on the development and use of global health innovations at the Agency.
This week in Washington, I participated in a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing, attended a Joint Session of Congress, met with a foreign ambassador, discussed important topics with several constituent groups, and voted on important pieces of legislation.
(Washington, D.C.) - Yesterday, Congressman Sires voted against the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Republican Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 27) submitted by Representative Tom Price (R-GA) because of its misplaced priorities. The Republican budget ends the Medicare guarantee, repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and guts investments in education and infrastructure.
This week in Washington, I participated in various Committee hearings, discussed important topics with several constituent groups, and met with foreign officials.
Over the past two weeks in Washington, I reintroduced important legislation, participated in several Subcommittee hearings, met with various constituent organizations, and voted on legislation in the House.