On Anniversary of ACA, Members of Massachusetts Delegation Issue 180-Page Report Sharing Stories of Its Positive Effects for Health Care in the Commonwealth
Text of the report available here (PDF)
Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives Richard E. Neal, James P. McGovern, Michael E. Capuano, Niki Tsongas, William R. Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Katherine M. Clark, and Seth Moulton today issued a report sharing perspectives from across the Commonwealth about the importance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in providing affordable, accessible health care in Massachusetts.
In the lead-up to today's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace the ACA, members of the Massachusetts delegation surveyed more than 100 hospitals, community health centers, organizations working in the area of behavioral health, insurers, patient advocates, health care providers, and individuals from across the state. The resulting 180-page report includes stories and statements about how the ACA has impacted health care in Massachusetts.
"Throughout the state, individuals, health care providers, hospitals, insurers, Republicans and Democrats have a shared value: that everyone should have affordable, high-quality health insurance coverage," wrote the members of Congress. The Commonwealth has a long history of commitment to improving access to high-quality health care. Since adopting major health care reform legislation in 2006, and with the passage of the ACA exactly seven years ago, Massachusetts has achieved near universal health insurance coverage of 97%, the highest rate in the country.
The report presents constituent views on a number of benefits for Massachusetts resulting from the implementation of the ACA and Medicaid expansion, along with the state's own comprehensive health care reforms, including: increased access to care and preventative health services for children; improved health care for women; guaranteed and enhanced care for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions; better integration of mental health services; and additional support for opioid and other substance disorder services in Massachusetts.
"The current plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will roll back a decade of progress in Massachusetts, leaving hundreds of thousands of people across the state without access to health care," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "We asked Massachusetts families and organizations across the health system to tell us their stories about health care in the Commonwealth and the accounts that poured in spoke with one voice. High-quality, affordable health coverage matters - and we're not going to let Republicans rip it away."
"This report reflects what we have known to be true in Massachusetts for more than a decade: affordable, comprehensive health coverage is fundamental to improving health and saving lives," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "The Commonwealth is proof that you don't have to choose between a strong economy and universal health care. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would be a bad prescription for Massachusetts, and we will fight this heartless Republican effort to strip away the right to health care."
"The Affordable Care Act has provided quality, affordable health care to millions of folks in Massachusetts over the past seven years," said Congressman Richard E. Neal. "The Republican plan to rip away health insurance from hardworking Bay Staters, charge them more for worse health care, and severely harm our local hospitals and health centers is not acceptable. Families and entire communities throughout Massachusetts have benefitted tremendously thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and our delegation will work tirelessly to protect middle-class families from these harmful Republican efforts."
"Massachusetts has been on the front lines of expanding health care access and the Republican bill would be devastating for families across Massachusetts who would lose healthcare and face higher costs," Congressman Jim McGovern said. "Today I'm proud to join Senator Warren and our delegation in releasing this report that highlights the stories of Massachusetts families who would be hurt by Trumpcare. Health care should be a right in this country and we're going to fight like hell to protect and strengthen access to affordable health care for all Americans."
"We must provide care for all Americans, not just those who can afford it," said Congressman Mike Capuano. "The Affordable Care Act provided a path to do just that. Willfully backing away from that commitment, as Trumpcare does, is not an option. Trumpcare will deny quality, affordable health insurance to those who need it most."
"Massachusetts has led the way in health care reform and under the ACA continues to be a pioneer in medical innovation and in efforts to provide greater access to health care for all its residents. But we would not be immune to the negative impact of the Republican effort to repeal and replace the ACA with their devastating health care plan. I have heard numerous emotional stories from Third District residents who desire to build upon the ACA, not dismantle its progress with the irresponsible and harmful GOP replacement" said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.
"Plain and simple, the people of Massachusetts will be devastated by the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act," said Congressman Bill Keating. "Regardless of age, and regardless of income, the Affordable Care Act has helped my constituents obtain the health coverage that works for them. We have made life-changing progress by ensuring access to addiction treatment, prohibiting lifetime coverage limits, expanding Medicaid to reach those most in need, and much more. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in defense of comprehensive health coverage for everyone in Massachusetts and throughout the country."
"Tearing down the progress made by the ACA will abandon millions of Americans at the very moment they need the protections of our health care system most. More than just stories, the voices included in this report are evidence of lives saved and families protected. They cannot and will not be ignored," Congressman Joe Kennedy III said.
"In the Commonwealth, we've fought long and hard to ensure health care as a right, not a privilege," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "With the passage of health care reform in Massachusetts, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we led the country in guaranteeing that right. I'm proud to stand with our delegation to fight the Republicans' shameful attempts to rob lifesaving care from hundreds of thousands in Massachusetts."
"Every day I hear from people in the Sixth District whose lives were saved by the ACA and whose families were kept out of bankruptcy because of it. This report is a powerful testimonial of how far we've come, and I refuse to let us go backwards," said Congressman Seth Moulton. "We cannot let Republicans push forward a bill that strips health care for 24 million of us. The American people deserve better."