Lowey Hosts Roundtable on Devastating Consequences of Repealing the Affordable Care Act
Health Care Reform Has Cut the New York Uninsured Rate Nearly In Half
Repeal Would Strip Coverage from 2.7 Million New Yorkers, 130,000 in Westchester and Rockland, and Cut 130,000+ New York Jobs
White Plains, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, on Monday was joined at White Plains Hospital by constituents from Westchester and Rockland, medical providers, hospital administrators, and advocacy organizations for a roundtable discussion on the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act. This proposed repeal would throw our nation’s health care system into chaos and devastate Lower Hudson Valley families, doctors, and hospitals.
“Let me be perfectly clear: this Republican attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize the financial security of New York families and put lives at risk,” said Lowey. “In the last seven years, we have made great strides toward ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. Still, we have work to do, and New Yorkers want results, not partisan pandering. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work with my colleagues from all sides of the aisle to find responsible solutions to improve our health care system so that all Americans receive the care they deserve.”
Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, more than 20 million Americans across the country have gained health care coverage. In New York, the uninsured rate in New York has dropped nearly in half, to the lowest level on record.
Repealing the ACA would strip insurance coverage from 2.7 million New Yorkers, including over 130,000 in Westchester and Rockland. New York State would lose 130,700 jobs and experience a direct budget cut of $3.7 billion. Westchester and Rockland would lose $19.1 million in federal funding that goes directly to counties. Yet, Republicans in Congress continue working to undo health reforms that help millions of New York families, without even offering a replacement plan.
Constituents shared their fears about the repeal of ACA. “The Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, like my son who was born with congenital heart disease,” said Judith Tanen of White Plains. “If this law is repealed, I’m extremely worried that my son’s heart anomaly will preclude his access to health insurance, not to mention limit his employment options, and keep him out of work."
Local health providers shared concerns about the impact on their ability to provide care and on the local economy. “Any contemplation of repeal of the ACA in whole or in part must include a simultaneous and thorough plan for replacement that is meaningful for patients and providers,” said President and CEO of White Plains Hospital Susan Fox. “I am grateful to Congresswoman Lowey for her leadership on this issue and for providing the opportunity to discuss it thoughtfully with healthcare leaders and constituents.”
“Nita Lowey has always been a health care champion for her constituents and the hospitals that care for them, and she understands that repealing the Affordable Care Act without an immediate and adequate replacement will severely harm insurance coverage, hospitals, and health care funding in the New York State budget,” said Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth E. Raske. “The hospital community is deeply grateful for her leadership on this critically important issue.”
“The Affordable Care Act has been so important in reducing rates of uninsurance from historic highs pre-ACA; this has given millions and millions people peace of mind and life-saving coverage,” said Open Door Family Medical Centers President and CEO Lindsay Farrell. “Further improvements in benefits packages, including reproductive health coverage and preventive care, have benefited even more people. While there are challenges in the individual market in areas of the country, improvements can be made without wholesale ‘repeal and replace.’ It will be important to maintain the Affordable Care Act with fixes. The good outweighs the bad. The uncertainty and the fear on the part of insurance companies and providers could really mess up all of the improvements we’ve made thus far.”
Additional benefits of the Affordable Care Act to New Yorkers:
- More than 8.6 million New Yorkers with private health insurance can go to the doctor for preventative services without co-pays or deductibles;
- More than 6.4 million New Yorkers no longer have to fear that the next illness or accident could bankrupt them because of an annual or lifetime limit; and
- More than 3 million New Yorkers have gained the comfort of knowing that their preexisting condition will not prevent them from gaining coverage, or that they will be charged more based on their medical history.
Congresswoman Lowey has spent her career fighting to improve our nation’s health care system so that it works for all Americans. She supported the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and is a tireless advocate for expanding women’s access to health services and family planning. Lowey has worked successfully to nearly triple the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget since she joined the House Appropriations Committee, and, as Ranking Member, continues to fight to increase federal investments in groundbreaking medical research to improve treatments, decrease health costs, and grow our economy.
Congresswoman Lowey is asking constituents to join the fight to save the progress America has made. Through her website, she is collecting stories from constituents who have been helped by health care reform and will be publishing selections from them on her social media pages.
Photos will be available here