Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742
Washington (October 30, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) released the following statement after President Barak Obama's speech on the Affordable Care Act at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall.
"Before the Tea Party Republicans came up with their blueprint to defund the Affordable Care Act, there was a Massachusetts blueprint that helped create this historic health care law.
"The blueprint for universal health care was born in Massachusetts. It was bipartisan, supported by Republican governor Mitt Romney and the legendary Senator Ted Kennedy. Some people call the blueprint 'Romneycare' we in Massachusetts just call it successful.
"Many of the core fundamentals of the national law were based on what worked in Massachusetts. Creating a marketplace so insurance companies compete for customers. Expanding Medicaid to cover more lowincome residents of our state. Helping lower and middle income people buy insurance with tax subsidies. Encouraging people and businesses to buy in so we're all splitting the costs and sharing the benefits.
"And the results have been indisputable.
"Before the Massachusetts plan, more than 400,000 citizens had no health insurance. Now, 98 percent of adults and 98 percent of children are covered.
"The rate of employer health insurance has increased from 70 percent to 76 percent. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees offering health insurance has increased from 45 percent to 59 percent.
"And Massachusetts residents are healthier. More than 33,000 Massachusetts adults on MassHealth have quit smoking, thanks to coverage for cessation treatments and counseling. Cancer screenings, preventive care visits, and diabetes treatments have gone up. And health disparities among women and minorities are down.
"Massachusetts residents really like their health care. In a recent poll, 84 percent of residents said they were satisfied with their health care.
"Yes, there are some unacceptable problems with the healthcare.gov website. They need to be fixed immediately. And there were some challenges when the Massachusetts website was implemented too. But we don't need a firing squad for the Affordable Care Act. We just need the geek squad to fix the website.
"And once it is up and running smoothly, it will be time to move on from failed Republican efforts to defund the law. It will be time to give the law a chance to work. And then the Tea Party can call it Obamacare all they want. It won't make one bit of difference because Americans will simply view is as their health care, and they won't want anyone to take it away from them."