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Engel Opening Statement During ACA Repeal Mark-Up

Engel Opening Statement During ACA Repeal Mark-Up

Washington D.C.—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.

“I yield back the balance of my time.”