In response to Senate Republicans’ recent failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, State Innovation Exchange (SiX) Executive Director Nick Rathod released the following statement:
“I had the honor of working on the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act when I served President Obama in the White House. One of the roles I had was to go into states and listen to the stories of people across the country, then bring those stories back to help shape the ACA. I still vividly remember the personal account of a woman I met in York, Pennsylvania. She had a bone marrow disorder and had gone through two bouts ofcancer. The day I met her, she had lost her job and was sobbing in fear. Like so many of us, her health insurance was tied to her job. And because she lost that job, the likelihood of finding affordable health care was slim to none; insurance companies at the time were still allowed to discriminate against people who they believed had a preexisting condition. Sadly, her story was consistent with what we heard from so many Americans throughout the country, due to the insurmountable challenges they faced within the previous health care system.
“The ACA changed all of that. It is not a perfect law, but because of it, that young woman in Pennsylvania and so many others like her all over the country no longer have to worry about insurance companies discriminating against them due to their gender or a preexisting illness. But this is exactly the type of protection that would have been lost had Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump had their way this week. On top of that, their efforts would have further increased premiums and stripped insurance from millions of Americans—disproportionately impacting women, individuals with disabilities, older Americans, and those living in poverty. Thank goodness for the many activists, organizers, and everyday citizens—along with progressive legislators in all 50 states—who stepped up and spoke out during this fight, and who pressured their elected leaders in Congress to do the right thing.
“Our health care system is not flawless, and there’s much work to be done to increase access to quality, affordable insurance, reduce health care costs, and improve health outcomes for all. Let’s hope that moving forward, leaders on both sides of the aisle can work together to develop a process that respects all Americans, helps identify the gaps within the current system, and addresses those issues in a bipartisan manner—rather than shoving ill-conceived ideas that haven’t been vetted down the throats of the American people under the cover of night.”