As the Senate Judiciary Committee proceeds with confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand addressed the threat of repealing health care for millions of Americans and the future of the Affordable Care Act.Senator Gillibrand spoke with New York constituents with pre-existing conditions and sharply criticized Republicans’ continuous efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions of Americans during a global pandemic and economic crisis, instead of delivering a desperately needed coronavirus relief package to hardworking American families.
“At a time when so many Americans are in need, Senate Republicans have turned their backs on hardworking families to fulfill their agenda of repealing the ACA for millions of Americans. Let me be clear, the confirmation of Judge Barrett will threaten access to health care, reproductive rights, civil rights and so much more,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Instead of helping those suffering from the coronavirus crisis, Republicans are rushing to appoint Judge Barrett in a cruel attempt to rip quality affordable health care from tens of millions of Americans, jeopardize the ability of more than 8 million New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions to access care, and throw the nation’s health care system into chaos during an unprecedented pandemic. It’s time for my Republican colleagues to get their priorities straight and deliver urgently needed relief to Americans.”
“It was already so difficult for me to get access to health care and I am concerned the additional barrier of being denied coverage due to my preexisting condition if the ACA is overturned will actually kill me. Although New York is working to provide relief specifically for insulin dependent people, I’m worried it won’t be enough. If we lose access to health care those who need life sustaining medications will be particularly vulnerable. Everyone needs access to affordable health care, and a health care system that only works for the healthy isn’t a health care system at all,” said Allie Marotta, health care and insulin accessibility advocate.
Allie Marotta is a lifelong New Yorker who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12. Under the Affordable Care Act, Allie was able to remain on her parents’ health insurance until she turned 26. Since then, she has struggled to afford health care coverage as someone with a pre-existing condition and access her insulin. Only after she lost her job and income in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic did she qualify for New York State’s Essential Plan to afford her prescriptions.
Judge Barrett has a record of opposing the Affordable Care Act,which prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions, prohibits an “age tax” on older Americans, allows young people to remain on their parents plans until age 26, prohibits higher premiums for those who are sicker, and guarantees that every plan includes maternity care and mental health care. The Affordable Care Act also expands Medicaid, which provides health care coverage for the millions put out of work by the pandemic. Now, rather than passing bipartisan legislation to help American families recover from the COVID-19 crisis, Senate Republicans are rushing to confirm Judge Barrett just weeks before the Supreme Court hears arguments in a lawsuit — supported by President Trump — to overturn the Affordable Care Act completely.