Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement on the second anniversary of the landmark Affordable Care Act. 

“This historic reform to our health care system has led to an obsessive focus from the Republicans to overturning it, diverting attention away from job creation and helping grow our economy. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, it could lead to sick children being denied private health insurance coverage, which would lead to bankrupting hard-working families.  Considering the recent ridiculous debate over contraception, and the senseless attack on women’s health by Republican lawmakers and pundits, it should not be surprising to see them on a quest to deny health coverage to over 30 million people,” said Rep. Engel.

The Affordable Care Act has already accomplished the following:

  • Bars insurance companies from denying children insurance on the basis of pre-existing conditions.  They can no longer rescind coverage for people who become ill; and are prohibited from imposing annual and lifetime limits.  In NY-17, an estimated 42,000 children can no longer be denied coverage.
  • Requires health insurers to permit parents to retain coverage for their children until they reach the age of 26.  In NY-17, approximately 5,000 young adults now have insurance.
  • Provides a 50% discount for prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who enter the Medicare Part D “donut hole” and lose coverage.  In Rep. Engel’s District, some 6,000 seniors have received discounts worth $4.2 million.
  • Provides all Medicare beneficiaries with access to preventive care and services without any co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible.  In NY-17, approximately 62,000 seniors have now received Medicare preventative services.
  • Requires new private insurance plans to cover preventive care services without any co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible.  Locally, approximately 31,000 children and 110,000 adults now have insurance covering preventative services.
  • Provides new tax credits to small businesses worth 35% or more of the cost of providing health insurance to their employees.  Locally, 510 small businesses have received tax credits.

“I believe these numbers highlight the success of the Affordable Care Act, and over time, the benefits of the law will drown out the naysayers who have fought tooth and nail on behalf of the status quo,” said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health.