US Rep. Paul Tonko hosts "Faces of the Affordable Care Act" round table discussion on Sunday, Jan. 15, speaks with constituents who have benefited from ACA coverage
“’Repeal and Delay’ plan would throw NYS health care system into disarray, leave huge budget shortfalls for Capital Region hospitals & local governments.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25) issued a letter on Tuesday (Jan. 17), signed by all 18 Democratic members of New York’s Congressional Delegation, urging President-elect Donald Trump to reject any Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without an immediate and comprehensive plan to replace it. The letter emphasizes the impact that a repeal of ACA would have on communities across New York state, including 2.7 million people losing coverage and a $24 billion budget shortfall for hospitals statewide.
“New Yorkers reject this starkly ideological plan to repeal the ACA that would throw our entire health care system into disarray and not solve the real problems that families face,” declared signers of the letter, warning, “We will not stand idly by as the President-elect inflicts a great wound on the people of New York that we are sworn to represent and protect. We implore Mr. Trump to stop playing politics with the lives of our constituents and stop efforts to repeal this life-saving law.”
Rep. Tonko has harshly criticized Republican efforts repeal ACA without replacing it. “Repealing Obamacare with no plan to replace it is irresponsible and dangerous,” he said in response to Congressional Republicans’ vote to repeal ACA on Jan. 13. “It shows that, after seven years, Congressional Republicans still have no specific ideas how to improve the Affordable Care Act… Instead of repealing the Affordable Care Act with no replacement, Republicans and Democrats should come together to improve the law by lowering out of pocket costs for care, increasing the small business tax credit, and limiting prescription drug costs.”
Tonko’s office has asserted that repeal of the ACA would also be devastating for Capital Region hospitals, which would face a $723 million budget shortfall. Rural hospitals in the state would be under enormous financial pressure and could be forced to close their doors, leaving many without access to care. In addition, families would again be subject to annual and lifetime limits and could be denied care for a pre-existing condition. Due to a reopening of the donut hole, which the ACA closes, New York seniors would face an increase in prescription drug costs totaling $1,195 annually for each beneficiary.
On Jan. 13, Tonko asserted, “[t]he budget resolution that was voted on today would also balloon the national debt to $30 trillion by 2026. It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking this is better than what we have now.
“Repealing this law will reward special interests at the expense of the vast majority of patients and doctors. It reopens the door to terrible abuses by the insurance industry that have a history of increasing costs and reducing the quality of care. And it explodes the federal deficit, creating budget shortfalls all across the country including $723 million just for the hospitals in my Congressional District alone. It does all of this to slash the taxes paid by the wealthiest 0.1% of taxpayers.
“Instead of repealing the Affordable Care Act with no replacement, Republicans and Democrats should come together to improve the law by lowering out of pocket costs for care, increasing the small business tax credit, and limiting prescription drug costs.”
Text of letter:
President-Elect Donald J. Trump
725 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Dear President-Elect Trump,
As fellow New Yorkers, we write to you today to convey the disastrous consequences repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on our home state. We implore you to consider both the economic and social impacts of repeal on the businesses and families of New York.
There is no doubt that repeal of the ACA would significantly impact the working families in the state. Repeal would cause over 2.7 million New Yorkers to lose health insurance coverage, including more than 218,000 in your home borough of Manhattan alone. Beyond people directly covered through the New York state insurance exchange, repeal would have devastating consequences to our entire health care system. Repeal means that all families could once again be subject to annual and lifetime limits and could be denied care for a pre-existing condition. Because repeal would reopen the prescription drug donut hole, seniors across the state would face higher prescription drug costs of $1,195 annually.
Additionally, repeal will cause a $24 billion budget shortfall for hospitals across New York state. Rural hospitals, in particular, would be under enormous financial pressure and could have to close their doors, leaving many in these areas without access to care. From Manhattan to Massena, New Yorkers reject this starkly ideological plan to repeal the ACA that would throw our entire health care system into disarray and not solve the real problems that families face.
The people of New York look to their elected representatives to protect their wellbeing. As such, we ought to make every effort to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and the progress it has shepherded for the people of this great state. The Affordable Care Act has reduced the burden of health care costs for hard-working families across New York State, and we implore you to discontinue efforts to repeal this life-saving law.
Paul Tonko (D-20)
José Serrano (D-15)
Sean Maloney (D-18)
Adriano Espaillat (D-13)
Grace Meng (D-6)
Carolyn Maloney (D-12)
Gregory Meeks (D-5)
Joseph Crowley (D-14)
Kathleen Rice (D-4)
Louise Slaughter (D-25)
Brian Higgins (D-26)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-8)
Eliot Engel (D-16)
Nydia Velázquez (D-7)
Yvette Clarke (D-9)
Jerrold Nadler (D-10)
Nita Lowey (D-17)
Thomas Suozzi (D-3)