Healthcare is a Human Right

As of 10:30 this morning, my colleagues and I on the House Energy and Commerce committee had spent 24 hours reviewing the disastrous Affordable Care Act repeal bill introduced by Republicans on Monday. We had to stay up all night because House Republicans crafted this bill in secret and forced a committee vote on it earlier today.


Republicans rushed this bill through our committee hearings because their bill to repeal and “replace” the ACA is bad for the American people, and they know it won’t stand up to scrutiny.


But the American people we represent deserve better than that. The best tool we have to fight to protect healthcare for millions of Americans is our collective voice.The Republican plan would raise costs for families and seniors by allowing insurance companies to charge higher premiums based on age and reduce tax credits for working families.


It would force Marylanders and people across the country to pay more out-of-pocket so that the very wealthy can get a $300 billion dollar tax cut.


The bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, a move that disproportionately harms women, especially poor women and women of color. One in five American women will rely on Planned Parenthood at some point in her life – for birth control, cancer screenings and other care. The move to de-fund it is about politics, not principles.


We aren’t going to give up this fight because people’s lives are in the balance. Our neighbors, friends and families deserve affordable healthcare. The Republicans probably think last night was tough – but they haven’t seen anything yet.



John Sarbanes