Our top priority must be working to bring quality, affordable health care to all Americans, while constantly seeking economies and efficiencies to bring down the overall costs of the health care system.
Too often we’ve seen Republicans trying to score political points by attacking President Obama and the Affordable Care Act rather than help working families access affordable care.
We spend more on health care than any other nation, and still do not have longer life expectancies or healthier lifetimes. Prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, Americans’ health care costs were rising far faster than inflation. People with pre-existing conditions could not get affordable insurance coverage, and too many people faced the double tragedy of financial ruin caused by unexpected medical expenses. That’s why I fought, and will continue to fight, to protect ACA from the repeated attacks of the Republicans who still routinely talk about repeal.
There are vitally important parts of the Affordable Care Act that need to be protected against Republican attempts to repeal it. We cannot afford to go back to a time when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition or kick entire families off of their insurance just because someone got sick. The Affordable Care Act stopped insurance companies from charging women more for their care, and young adults can now stay on their parent’s insurance plan until age 26—a policy that will help many young people finish their education and start their careers without worrying about their health care coverage.
But we also need to continue to make important changes to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act. In Congress, I worked to bring greater transparency and oversight to the new health care law, and I voted to make sure that families could keep their current coverage beyond 2013. I worked to eliminate taxes that stand in the way of much needed technological innovation. These are just some examples of important, common sense changes Congress should be working on to improve health care reform and make sure it is working for Illinois families.
Republicans in Congress have repeatedly wasted taxpayer time and money, and even shut down the government, in their endless efforts to completely repeal the health care law. We simply cannot afford this kind of dysfunction and gridlock. That’s why I consistently voted against repeal and continue to focus my efforts on working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to find ways to fix and improve the law. I have no doubt that if we come together and focus on improving our system in smart, sensible ways, we can make our health care system once again the best in the world.