6 Years and 60+ Votes Later, Still Going Strong
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley, Calif.) released the following statement on the 6th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act:
“Six years ago today, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Because of the hard work of President Obama and Democrats in Congress, more than 20 million previously uninsured working Americans are finally able to see a doctor. Included among those 20 million are the thousands of San Fernando Valley families who have attended my health care workshops and have signed up. Their children are covered through age 26, their quality of life is improved, they can’t be dropped from insurance when they get sick, and they can go to bed each night without the fear of a cold or injury wiping out their family finances.
“Six years ago, sixteen out of every one hundred Americans were not covered. Today, for the first time in history that number is down to nine.
“Unfortunately, some here in Washington are more focused on playing politics and wasting time than ensuring families have access to quality, affordable health care. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have voted again and again to repeal a law that has been upheld as the law of the land by the United States Supreme Court and endorsed by the American people. Since its enactment, Republicans have attempted to repeal or undermine the ACA 63 times, refusing to focus on what is important right now, which is implementation of this vital law that saves lives and reduces costs.
“While I understand that the ACA may not be a perfect law and more needs to be done to lower premiums, it genuinely begins addressing the problem of equal access in our society.
“No family should have to choose between putting food on the table and visiting a doctor. No worker should ignore treatable ailments until they are forced to the emergency room for much more serious and expensive care.
“Preventive care is particularly important for the Latino community. Latinos are more likely to die from complications of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, AIDS, and work-related injuries, among other causes. Although my community would benefit from many other resources – such as access to nutritional foods, education, language accessibility and safe housing –access to affordable, quality care remain critically important.
“This lifesaving law directly tackles these issues. Most importantly, the ACA expands health access to 4 million Latinos through the expansion of Medicaid, tax credits available through the health insurance marketplaces, and the ban on discrimination by insurance companies against individuals with preexisting conditions. It ensures Latinos have access to free preventative services, which save lives and billions of dollars by protecting against illness before the need for more costly treatment.
“I am proud to defend the Affordable Care Act and to help implement it in the San Fernando Valley. If I had been in Congress in 2010, I would have been even more proud to vote for it. The ACA is the biggest change to American health care in the past 70 years. It is bringing down costs, covering more Americans and dramatically changing how our nation views health care.”