Monday, March 6, 2017

News From Congressman Eliot L. Engel

Engel Statement on Republican Plan to Force Radical Health Care Agenda Through the Energy & Commerce Committee

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement regarding House Republicans’ plot to force their health care agenda through the Energy and Commerce Committee:

“New reports tell us that House Republicans plan to push their clandestine ‘replacement’ for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Energy and Commerce Committee this week. As of today, neither the public nor a single Democratic member of the Committee has had an opportunity to even see the Republican bill – let alone assess the full impact it would have on the American people and our economy.

“Before enacting the ACA, Democrats held 79 hearings and markups over two years. In contrast, Republicans have chosen to hide their draft in a basement. If they were proud of their efforts, they’d be out there championing them. But that’s far from the case.

“It’s not hard to guess why. First, after seven years of promises, Republicans have been astoundingly incapable of forming a consensus within their own party as to how to act on the ACA. But, most importantly, the GOP is embarrassed to reveal just how inadequate their proposal is in comparison to the ACA’s achievements.

Here are some successes just in NY-16 that Republicans are putting at risk:

·         78,700 individuals in the district who are covered by the ACA’s Medicaid expansion now stand to lose coverage if Republicans eliminate the expansion. In addition, 21,900 individuals who have purchased Marketplace coverage now stand to lose their coverage if the GOP dismantles the Marketplaces.
·         421,800 people with employer-sponsored health insurance are at risk of losing important consumer protections, like the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits.
·         371,000 people who now have health insurance that covers preventive services, like cancer screenings and flu shots, without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles stand to lose this access if Republicans eliminate ACA provisions requiring health insurers to cover important preventive services without cost-sharing.

“These ramifications aren’t limited to the health care sector. Repeal would cause New York to lose 130,700 jobs in 2019 alone. The U.S. overall would lose 2.6 million jobs. In addition, repealing the ACA would shrink New York’s economic output by more than $89 billion from 2019 to 2023.

“And the outlook isn’t just grim for New York. In fact, every single Congressional district’s uninsured rate has dropped since the ACA went into effect – meaning, every Republican Member of Congress that votes to repeal is voting to erase gains in his or her own district.

“Given this bleak forecast, it’s no surprise that Republicans are hiding their bill from view. What is surprising, though, is the about-face Republican members have made since Congress considered the ACA.

“Members who once decried any negotiations they felt were hasty or opaque have been silent on their leadership’s refusal to share drafts publically. During the 111thCongress, Democrats posted the original ACA text online a full month prior to the first committee markup – because that is the openness our constituents deserve.

“I joined my Democratic colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee in calling on Chairman Greg Walden to post the text of their repeal bill at least 30 days before moving to a markup. At a very minimum, Republicans ought to afford their colleagues – and their constituents – that courtesy.”


  Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“A bad policy that’s been polished by lawyers and spin doctors is still a bad policy, and the President’s new Muslim and refugee ban is just the same story on a different day. We all know what Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani admitted: this Administration is trying to keep as many Muslims as possible out of the country while scraping past legal muster. Any way you cut it, that’s discriminatory, dangerous, and unconstitutional.

“The Muslim and refugee ban won’t make us any safer. In fact, even the President’s own Homeland Security Department says that banning people based on their home country won’t stop terrorism and only harms our nation’s security. This ban will cut off avenues of cooperation with important partners in the fight against terrorism.  The very people we need to combat violent extremism live in the communities targeted by this ban’s discriminatory measures.

“The President should learn a lesson from America’s past. The United States is a country of immigrants and must remain a haven for those fleeing persecution.  Mr. Trump should listen to the thousands who flocked to our country’s airports to protest his first attempt at this ban. Slamming the door on people because of their religion violates our laws, betrays our values, and ignores our history.”

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