It appears that as one of the first acts of business in the new Congress, the Republican leadership will bring to the floor a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would essentially revoke health care coverage for 20 million Americans who have gained coverage thanks to the ACA. Specifically, repealing the ACA would jeopardize the health care of 249,395 New Jerseyans that have enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace.
Not only does the ACA expand health coverage to millions of Americans that would otherwise go uninsured, it guards and strengthens the health care and financial security of every American, no matter where he or she gets health insurance. For example, up to 129 million people have a pre-existing health condition, including up to 3,847,727 people in New Jersey, that could have been denied coverage prior to the ACA. The ACA also allows for young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance up to age 26, including an estimated 59,000 in New Jersey, who may otherwise be uninsured without this provision. Additionally, the ACA prohibits annual and lifetime limits on policies and provides for free preventative care- like flu shots and cancer screenings.
An estimated 194,000 New Jerseyans have gained coverage through the expansion of Medicaid, improving their access to care, financial security, and health. If the Republican plan to repeal the ACA prevails, not only would millions of Americans lose coverage, but they would once again find health care coverage unaffordable, as many Americans, including 205,242 moderate-and middle-income New Jerseyans, receive tax credits that are available through the ACA to help pay for coverage.
The repeal of the ACA will negatively impact working families the most and take us back to the old days when insurance companies were in charge. I am committed to working with my colleagues to fight for the coverage and protections that millions of Americans rely on.
Congressman Albo Sires 8th District of New Jersey