Vote Explanation for S.Con.Res. 3 — A concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2018 through 2026.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which became law in 2010, is in part based on a successful model first implemented in Massachusetts. As a result of the law, 12,000 residents in Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District who were previously uninsured now have quality, affordable health coverage; nearly 40,000 children with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies; and more than 150,000 seniors can now receive preventative services through Medicare at no cost.
The ACA has been vital in increasing access to care and lowering healthcare costs, but no law is perfect. Most of my Democratic colleagues agree that we can make meaningful reforms to the health care law to make it less costly and more effective for the American people. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have been unwilling to work with Democrats in this effort, and instead are pushing forward with repealing the ACA without offering a comparable or better replacement.
I voted against S.Con.Res. 3, legislation that would pave the way for repealing large portions of the ACA. According to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the health care law without a replacement would lead to 18 million people losing coverage in the first year and insurance premiums in the individual market immediately rising by 20 percent to 25 percent compared with the status quo. The number of uninsured would rise to 32 million by 2026 once the expansion of the Medicaid program for low earners is reversed, and costs would go up for everyone.
In Massachusetts, ACA repeal means that 369,000 fewer people would have health insurance by 2019 and $22.5 billion in federal funding would be lost. These funds are vital in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and other public health crises.
To press forward with repealing this important health care law without a replacement is simply irresponsible and inhumane. That is why I was proud to join Senators Warren and Markey, Mayor Walsh, and my colleagues from the Massachusetts congressional delegation at our #SaveACA rally this past weekend. Together, we will continue to oppose efforts to take health care away from millions of Americans.