On October 1st, 2013 Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding “ObamaCare.”
“Mr. Speaker, well, today is a historic day in our country. Despite a Republican-led government shutdown that was completely unnecessary, we are celebrating the opening of the Affordable Care Act or, as I affectionately call it, ObamaCare.”
“You know, after almost 100 years of fighting to expand universal access to health insurance coverage in the United States of America, in 2010, Congress finally passed, the President signed, and the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare as the law of the land. And starting today, Americans will be able to learn about the health plan choices and the financial assistance that is going to be available to them. An army of in-person assisters have been trained and stand ready to help Americans understand their options and enroll in coverage that best meets their needs. Americans can go to healthcare.gov, or in Illinois, where I’m from, getcoveredillinois.gov is up and running. Now I have heard from colleagues on the other side, all these scare things about how terrible ObamaCare is going to be for the country and for individuals”, she said.
“Let me read to you some constituent letters that I have received.
This is from Gayle Weiss. She says:
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1997 and have consistently been denied affordable insurance since that time.
I am so excited that our President has taken steps to help all Americans with access to health care. It’s so fitting that tomorrow is my 59th birthday, and what a fantastic birthday gift. Finally, I won’t have to worry about losing everything I’ve worked so hard for if, God forbid, I suffer a catastrophic health issue. No one should have to risk their future for something they have no control over, like illness.
I heard from David Zoltan. He is 34 years old. This is what he writes:
One week before Lehman Brothers went under, I was laid off from my job at the time and spent the next 2 years without health insurance. As a diabetic, the scariest thing in the world is to go without health insurance. Insulin averages around $100 to $120 per bottle, and I need approximately three bottles each of two kinds of insulin every month to live. I had to rely on my doctors to help me apply for any charity care program we could find or beg for the very medicines I needed to survive on a daily basis. Even so, I had to visit the hospital emergency room several times just to get insulin when my doctors couldn’t get me free medication.
ObamaCare gave me the preexisting condition plan pools as a lifeline until better solutions were available.
ObamaCare has done so much for me, and I’m proud today to see the beginning of the largest expansion of health care in my lifetime. There will be problems to fix, but we are America. We will fix these problems. We will give the precious necessity of health security to our citizens. We will prevail.
And then I also heard from Eva Strobeck. She said:
I used to get insurance from my husband, who retires in January. I am one of those people for whom it is impossible to get insurance independently. I have three illnesses. ObamaCare makes it possible to get insurance at an affordable rate, which I cannot do without. My psychological medications alone cost about $5,000 per month. I can’t survive without ObamaCare. It must be funded by Congress”, said Rep. Schakowsky.
So I want to say that this effort to defund something that will bring lifesaving health care to millions of Americans, about 30 million Americans who either have to go bankrupt, who have to pay exorbitant prices, or simply have to do without health insurance, who would be against that? Are there going to be glitches in the program? Of course there are. Medicare part D had news article after news article talking about the problems of this health benefit for the elderly. Let’s get on with it and provide health care for all Americans starting today”, said Rep. Schakowsky (source: Congressional Record: http://thomas.loc.gov).