Thursday, March 9, 2017

News From Congressman Eliot L. Engel

Engel Opening Statement During ACA Repeal Mark-Up

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, offered the following opening statement during today’s mark-up of the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Below is the statement as prepared for three-minute delivery (Committee Republicans reduced Members' time allotment from three minutes to one minute): 

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

“I had the privilege of sitting on this Committee when we passed the Affordable Care Act. We had an ambitious goal: to afford the American people more affordable, higher quality health care. It was a long road. And I’m sure I’m not the only one of my colleagues to look back on our efforts and ask, ‘How did we do?’

“Well, just looking at my own district, I think the numbers speak for themselves. Just in NY-16, more than 100,000 people have gained coverage through the Marketplace or the Medicaid expansion. In fact, every single Congressional district’s uninsured rate has dropped since the ACA went into effect. That’s true for Democratic and Republican districts alike.

“I had hoped that stakes like these might give pause to Republicans. Or, at the very least, that they’d engage in a process that gave Americans a real opportunity to understand their proposals and what they mean.

“But here we are.

“Republicans had seven years to lay out their promised ‘better way.’ Yet they chose to shield their repeal bill from public view, until just 40 hours before pushing that bill forward. I said ‘I’d hoped’ Republicans wouldn’t do it this way. But really, I didn’t actually believe they’d do it this way.

“Like me, I think Republicans will look back on their work today and ask themselves, ‘How did we do?’ They gave Americans less than two days to evaluate a bill that will radically restructure the Medicaid program…shift trillions of dollars onto states, forcing them to ration care…and rip health coverage away from 30 million people.

“I think my Republican colleagues will also find that the numbers will speak for themselves.

Engel: GOP Not Waiting for CBO Score Shows Their Health Bill Won’t Work

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, offered the following statement during today’s mark-up of the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

“Republicans’ decision to charge ahead on this bill, less than two days after its introduction, is an affront to their constituents who are wondering how the bill would affect them. But it’s also an indication that they’re quite content to break one of the White House’s central promises: the promise to, quote, ‘come up with a new plan that's going to be better health care, for more people, at a lesser cost.’

“The mere fact that this markup is taking place shows that our Republican colleagues either aren’t concerned with providing health care for more people at a lesser cost, or they know they can’t do it. Why? Because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to determine how much this bill would cost, or how many Americans it would cover. Without that analysis, there is absolutely no reason to believe that this bill would achieve those goals. Because if it did, Republicans would have held this markup with a readout from CBO in-hand, ready and willing to show Americans how their repeal bill works for them.  

“Now, I’ve heard suggestions that CBO’s process is too lengthy, and that we can’t possibly wait to see a CBO analysis before moving forward.
Republicans have been promising a better way for seven years.

“I have never heard of a CBO analysis taking that long.

“If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle wish to move forward without knowing what their bill costs, or how many Americans it would cover, that is their prerogative. But perhaps it’s time to be upfront about it: they aren’t waiting for a CBO score, either because they aren’t concerned with giving better health care to more people at a lesser cost, or because they know that this bill can’t do it.

Local Advocates Rally Outside Rep. Engel’s Office to Say “Thank You” for Protecting Women’s Health

A group of local Planned Parenthood advocates rallied outside the Bronx district office of Congressman Eliot Engel on Tuesday to thank the Congressman for his continued efforts to protect and preserve women’s health and reproductive rights in Congress.

“I want to thank the individuals who came to my office yesterday sporting signs of support and encouragement—I am deeply humbled by the gesture” CongressmanEngel said. “The new Administration’s radical agenda has taken direct aim at women’s health, and in these uncertain times its more important than ever that we stand together to ensure our collective voices are heard. I find it ironic that as we celebrate International Women’s Day, during Women’s History Month, we are simultaneously watching the Republicans in Congress try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has provided vital care to millions of women across the country. We cannot allow the GOP to undo the progress we have made over the last 8 years and I intend to fight their repeal process tooth and nail in the coming days and weeks.

“There has been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm at the grassroots level since November and it’s pretty inspiring. I don’t think I’ve seen this much political activism in decades. We need to keep this momentum going and I will continue to do all I can to fight for the issues we hold dear down in Washington.”  

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