Himes working to protect, improve ACA
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Himes released the following statement on his work to protect the Affordable Care Act after the 63rd attempt to dismantle it this week, successes across the US and Connecticut, and the need to continue striving for improvement:
“I came to the issue of health care reform from a fairly straightforward position: people in the United States deserve access to quality, affordable health care. Because of this belief, I supported the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. This week, I voted against the 63rd attempt by Congress to defund, dismantle, or cripple the ACA, because, while I believe that we can make improvements to the law, it has had an overwhelmingly positive effect.
“Since the ACA took effect, 18 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage since the law went into place including around 10 million in the insurance marketplace, 5 million in expanded Medicaid programs and 2-3 million young people under 26 staying on their parents’ plans. Across the country, the uninsured rate has dropped significantly, from 17.1% before 2013 open enrollment to 11.9% at the end of 2015.
“The results are even better in Connecticut. The uninsured rate in our state was below 5% at end of 2015, down from 12.3% in 2013, one of the lowest in the nation. Over 110,000 people enrolled in private plans through the exchanges. Connecticut is healthier, and we are no longer subject to lifetime limits on health care, denied insurance because of preexisting conditions, or overcharged for preventative care.
“But, to the 5% of people in Connecticut without insurance, or others for whom the system is not working, these statistics are of little comfort. Since the ACA implementation, I’ve heard from people, including at town hall meetings I held a few weeks ago in Monroe and Wilton, who are still unable to afford care or navigate the system to find a plan that works for them. My office can provide assistance in many of these circumstances, but we must also address the underlying obstacles and complexities. This week, I met with representatives from Access Health Connecticut and discussed not only what’s going well, but how we can make the system work better for the people of Connecticut by expanding and improving coverage and, most importantly, controlling costs.
“The ACA has done too much good for too many people for anyone to seriously consider ending it, but I am committed to working with any doctors, citizens, advocates or elected officials, regardless of political party, to ensure it works for families in Connecticut and across the country.”