Press Release ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
June 25, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined a press call today to discuss the briefs being filed in the Supreme Court by Republicans in support of their lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), Little Lobbyists Executive Director and Co-Founder Elena Hung, and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach also spoke on today’s call. Below is a transcript of Leader Hoyer’s remarks:

“Thank you very much Leslie [Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care], and thank you for what your group, Protect Our Care, is doing to do exactly that – protect our care.

“It’s important, I think, and Senator [Ron] Wyden, of course, said it very well, but it's important to remember how this Administration started. On the stump, campaigning for President of the United States, [President Trump] savaged the Affordable Care Act and said, and this is essentially the quote: I’m going to present a program which will include every American – universal coverage in other words – at a lower cost and higher quality. We are now three and a half years in this Administration’s tenure, and they have not offered a bill to do that. They did support a House bill, and they had a big celebration at the White House. The President lauded that bill, and two weeks later... the President said ‘I’m not for that bill, it’s a mean bill.’

“Now, what happened? What happened is the people, the press, the advocacy groups saw exactly what that bill did. It cut people off insurance, cut people out of health care affordability and accessibility. And so, after three and a half years of not offering a bill to do what he said he was going to do – all people covered, lower cost, higher quality – they are suing and arguing to take away health care coverage for all Americans. Now, that doesn’t mean every American would lose their health insurance, but they would not have access to affordable, quality alternative if their employer was not providing it or they were not buying it on their own.

“So today, Republicans are filing, as has been said, their briefs in support of their lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act – with no substitute – in its entirety, along with its protections for those with pre-existing conditions, even though they say they are for [protections for] pre-existing conditions. That’s their talk. Their walk is to take away such protections. That is a stark, stark contrast to the work that House Democrats are doing to protect and enhance the Affordable Care Act.

“Yesterday, we unveiled legislation to strengthen and expand the ACA, which we will pass... on June 29, next Monday... We have passed a number of bills to protect [Americans with] pre-existing conditions, protect accessibility, protect affordability, and bring costs down. Those bills sit unattended in the United States Senate. And so, we’re passing another bill and this will bring costs down for Americans, which is very important. Our bill will strengthen the law by, one, encouraging every state to expand Medicaid eligibility. That will add millions of people to be covered. We’re going to lower monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs by providing more generous cost-saving subsidies and tax credits to help people better afford – that’s important – to help people better afford coverage under marketplace plans. Next, we’re going to address the racial disparities in health care that have come into full view as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional systemic racist policy, which may not be intentional, but certainly unintentionally disadvantages minority communities. 

“President Trump and Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, want to take away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. That is 135 million Americans who will not be [covered]. Under the present law, insurance companies cannot deny them coverage because of pre existing conditions. President Trump and the Republicans want to take that away. They want to raise costs and impose an age tax on older Americans. In other words, they will pay a lot more in a time when they can’t afford as much. And this all, as Senator Wyden pointed out, in the middle of a pandemic. That is cruel, and it will cost lives. I hope House Republicans will do the right thing and join us in voting for this bill, and I urge the Senate to take it up without delay once it has passed the House.

“I want to say to Senator Wyden: thank you for your courageous, steadfast, and untiring efforts to make sure the Affordable Care Act is not only preserved but is expanded. The Affordable Care Act is, of course, modeled under the Massachusetts plan, which was adopted when George Romney was the governor of that state and when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate. It was a bipartisan bill. We based the Affordable Care Act on that model. And in Massachusetts today, 100 percent of children are covered and 98 percent of adults [are covered]. So, that is where we’re moving, that’s where we want to go, universal coverage at a cost that people can afford to make sure they are healthy and that our nation is a nation that takes care of its people. So, let’s hope that the American people, who overwhelmingly support that objective, will be steadfast today, tomorrow, and in November.

“I thank Protect our Care for their tireless commitment to protecting and expanding access to health care, our Committee Chairs who led this legislation, and our freshman Members who came to Congress on a pledge to protect health care access and lower costs. We’ll do so on Monday. Thank you very, very much, and now I know [Rep.] David Cicilline is going to come on and make sure that our message resounds and the truth of our message is known to the American people. Thank you, Leslie.”