On September 24, 2013 Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont ask for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act.
“Let’s think about what defunding and repealing the Affordable Care Act would really mean: Our country would return to a time when insurance companies could deny coverage because of a preexisting health condition. Benefits would be stripped for those who get sick. And seniors would pay more for prescription drugs. Tens of millions Americans are currently without health insurance, but the health insurance marketplaces opening next month will provide access for these Americans to obtain coverage. And while we often hear that this is a “job-killing” bill that is adding trillions of dollars to our deficit, that rhetoric could not be farther from the truth. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would actually add to our deficit, because the reforms we put in place more than three years ago are designed to save health care costs in the long run.”
“Beyond that damage, the House continuing resolution also would drastically affect current Medicare beneficiaries. The House bill would eliminate free wellness visits, which this year alone have helped 16.5 million seniors gain access to quality preventative care. The House’s short-sighted CR would also stop Medicare prescription drug coverage and discounts known as the “donut hole” forcing seniors to pay more out-of-pocket for their prescription drugs. And sadly, seniors are not the only ones who would be harmed by this cynical House legislation. Community Health Centers, which provide necessary care to our rural communities across the Nation and especially in Vermont, would be hit with a 60 percent reduction in Federal funding. Lifesaving nurse visitation programs to help low-income mothers carry healthy babies to term would be eliminated, and more than 92,000 individuals who currently have coverage under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program would be dropped. The list goes on”, said Senator Leahy (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov).