LOS ANGELES — Members of the state’s congressional delegation gathered Jan. 16 at the California Endowment headquarters to rally in support of the Affordable Care Act.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was joined by 13 other members of Congress at the rally that had the theme “Health Care Is a Human Right.”
Among those attending were Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Commerce; Nanette Barragán, D-San Pedro; Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles; Judy Chu, D-Pasadena; Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles; Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte; Linda Sánchez, D-Norwalk; and Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.
“Last week, Congress took the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act by passing the catastrophic budget resolution,” Roybal-Allard said. “More deeply troubling is the lack of a plan to replace it.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act is wholly irresponsible, reckless and outright dangerous because over 20 million Americans will lose their health coverage. We have chosen Martin Luther King Jr. Day to highlight the injustice of repealing the Affordable Care Act because Dr. King devoted his life to fighting against injustice.”
Barragan introduced an amendment to the Republican’s budget resolution which clarifies that repealing the Affordable Care Act would be dangerous and irresponsible.
“Even several congressional Republicans have pointed out the reality of taking away health care from millions of Americans with no replacement plan would be disastrous,” she said.
“My colleagues working to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Washington are out of step and out of touch with the people they are elected to serve,” Bass said. “First, the ACA has provided good quality jobs, 63,000 of which will be lost in California alone, even with partial repeal. More importantly, the ACA has saved the lives of real people.
“Real people with real lives will die without this transformative legislation,” Bass added. “This isn’t politics, it’s a matter of life and death for millions of Americans.”
Lieu said repealing the Affordable Care Act without a better alternative plan would destroy families.
“There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the Affordable Care Act,” Rep. Sánchez said. “The reality is 156 million Americans, including approximately 18 million Californians, who currently get their health insurance through their employer, will suffer the consequences of repeal.
“Many of the worst insurance company practices, such as lifetime caps and denials for pre-existing conditions, would make a comeback. I am proud to join my Democratic colleagues in opposing repeal and standing up for the well-being of California’s working families.”
Patty Amato, who signed up for Covered California after her husband died because her family was no longer covered under her husband’s insurance through work, spoke of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
“My husband and I were responsible. All three of us worked, including my son,” she said. “We were careful with our money, and did not make bad life choices. Yet I still found myself in need of the Affordable Care Act. For any of us, life can change in an instant. I ask you please to keep the Affordable Care Act, for my family and other Americans like us.”