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Bonamici Blasts House Repeal of Health Care Protections

May 4, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC [05/04/17] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) voted against legislation that would take away many important protections of the Affordable Care Act, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits like maternity care, emergency services, and preventive care.

In remarks on the House Floor during the debate of the bill, Bonamici told the story of Arden, a constituent from Gearhart. You can watch the speech here.

“I voted against this harmful health care bill because it would put the most vulnerable people at risk of losing health care coverage, and would be a disaster for Oregonians and Americans. My vote was for the Oregon women who could lose coverage for maternity and prenatal care, the seniors who could be forced to pay more for coverage, and the hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who could lose coverage. TrumpCare will force Oregonians and Americans to pay more and get less, and if they can’t afford to pay more – they are out of luck. That’s wrong.

“TrumpCare throws out the basic lesson from Schoolhouse Rock about how a bill becomes law. We just voted on a bill that was written behind closed doors, without getting input from medical experts and consumers, without a single hearing, and without knowing the price tag. Republican leadership negotiated last minute changes to the bill designed to gain more support in Congress, and then forced an immediate vote without complete information. For this, more American people will suffer. This is not how to make good policy.

“The Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions; this bill does not. It proposes high risk pools for coverage, but those are extremely expensive and don’t work well. Under this legislation people with preexisting conditions could face unaffordable premiums with high deductibles for plans with inadequate coverage. If you have ever had cancer, high cholesterol, or even migraines, insurance companies would be able to charge you more. This is unacceptable.

“And the bill passed today chips away at the essential health benefits guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, which means that consumers could no longer be assured that their health insurance will cover services like mental health care, emergency room services, and maternity care. Without coverage, or with inadequate coverage, working families would be a cancer diagnosis or a heart attack away from overwhelming bills and possible economic ruin.

“I’m deeply disappointed that the House passed TrumpCare. I hope the Senate sees the harm this bill would mean for Oregonians and Americans, and lets it die.”