To mark the eighth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) took to the House floor to discuss the law’s impact nationwide and in Wisconsin. Below are Congresswoman Moore’s remarks:
Good morning Mr. Speaker, as you recall, eight years ago this week, the Affordable Care Act became law. And since then, we’ve seen a historic increase in health coverage with millions of people gaining access to better, quality healthcare.
Under the ACA, we saw the non-elderly uninsured rate cut almost in half, from 18 to 9.4 percent. Individuals, previously denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, saw life changing improvements in benefits and coverage. And seniors, who are finally able to spend less on Medicare coverage and prescription drugs, had a chance at a secure and peaceful retirement.
In my state alone, Wisconsin, 224,000 people became covered by ACA exchanges. From 2013 to 2016, the number of uninsured individuals declined by a whopping 42 percent. But we all know, Mr. Speaker, that hardworking Americans were taken advantage of this less expensive superior health care coverage, while, at the same time, the GOP embarked on their all-out war against the ACA. I mean they took no prisoners, hell-bent on sabotaging, butchering, and repealing this law at the expense of our nation’s most vulnerable.
I mean let’s get down to the nitty gritty depths of this depravity. How do you think, for example, Mr. Speaker, that the GOP, this Congress, is going pay for the $1.8 trillion dollar deficit hold created by these tax cuts for the richest Americans and for corporations?
Mr. Speaker, you well know the answer. What we’re going to do is plunder Medicare and Medicaid; we’re going build public sentiment for these actions by demonizing the poor and targeting people who already have limited access to jobs and healthcare. Oh c’mon now, we all know, Mr. Speaker, that you have been dreaming about slashing Medicaid ever since you were drinking at college keg parties—you said so yourself, Mr. Speaker.
Well now, with the help of our president, you’re acting on your dream, your dream is coming true. We’ve already seen an influx of states; including our own state of Wisconsin, submit work requirement waivers. And this administration has already approved three of them, and there are sure to be more.
These attacks are unprecedented. Never has any administration gone this far to kick needy Americans off the only healthcare they have. Our own state’s governor, Scott Walker, is spearheading one of the most restrictive welfare reform proposals in the nation. He wants harsh working requirements, drug testing restrictions, and other barriers to our state’s most at-risk families to access social services. These folks that are being targeted are already struggling to find work, and they’re marginally connected to the workforce—how does throwing them off health care help?
I say we need to uphold the ACA. Thank you for your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, and I yield back.