The Republican led U.S. House of Representatives wasted taxpayer dollars playing a partisan game on Wednesday, when they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It represented the 33rd time Congress has attempted to repeal the Act, even though the measure is destined for certain defeat in the U.S. Senate. Keith Kelleher, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, uniting 91,000 health care and child care workers, issued the following statement in response:
At a time when Congress should put its full attention on the country’s economic recovery, the U.S. House Republicans squandered a day at the office Wednesday when they voted for a politically motivated and legislatively futile repeal of President Obama’s landmark health care reform.
While average Americans need Congress to focus intensely on policies that will create jobs, make college education more affordable, reduce the federal deficit and generally improve our economic fortunes, the House Republicans chose to spend the day on a blatant political stunt. The attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act is considered dead on arrival in the Senate, so Wednesday’s vote was an exercise in empty symbolism, wasting time, energy and public dollars that should have been marshaled to accelerate our economic revitalization.
In response to today’s vote we will be informing our union members of all Illinois Congressional members who voted to deny Illinois citizens quality, affordable health care.
In the wake of last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, the time has come for opponents of the bill to dispense with partisan gamesmanship and move on to the business at hand: putting more Americans to work.
Congress should let the Affordable Care Act continue to work for the people of the Illinois. According to the Campaign for Better Health Care, the law has already generated the following rewards in Illinois:
- More than 3.6 million residents became entitled to preventative medical services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, without having to pay deductibles or co-pays.
- More than 100,000 uninsured young adults under the age of 26 became eligible for coverage under the parents’ health insurance.
- More than 150,000 seniors with Medicare received a $250 rebate to cover the cost of their prescription drugs once they hit the so-called donut hole.
For all of these reasons, members of Congress who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act must explain to Illinois’ voters why they chose to deny health security to their constituents and why they oppose providing quality and affordable health care for all Americans.