I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy, and continuing to wear masks and practice social distancing. As we get closer to Thanksgiving and the Holidays, we can’t forget the importance of protecting our health and that of our loved ones.
Like so many of you, I am outraged by the hasty, unprecedented confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. According to the standard set by Mitch McConnell in 2016, Donald Trump had no right to make this nomination and the Senate had no obligation to consider it. This phony confirmation process was a shameful power grab, and it will not be forgotten.
But even more disturbing than the corrupt nature of the confirmation process is the sinister motive behind it. The president has openly admitted that his goal when making nominations to the Supreme Court is the ultimate destruction of the Affordable Care Act.
Right now, in the midst of the worst public health pandemic in 100 years, the Trump Administration and Republican allies are suing to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in a case destined for the Supreme Court. Make no mistake: Amy Coney Barrett was nominated and confirmed because she is willing to destroy the Affordable Care Act and the lifesaving protections it provides for millions of Americans.
We cannot let that happen. My vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 is among the proudest moments of my life. I have consistently opposed Republican efforts to repeal the law, and I won’t stop fighting.
Health care is a deeply personal issue, and there is nothing more important to all of us than the health of our families. We should build upon the Affordable Care Act, not dismantle it.
If Republicans succeed in their crusade to dismantle the Affordable Care Act:
- 19.9 million people would lose coverage, raising the nation's uninsured rate among nonelderly individuals from 11.1 percent to 18.3 percent.
- 135.4 million people with preexisting conditions could face higher premiums and benefit exclusions, or be denied coverage altogether if they ever needed to turn to the individual market for coverage.
- Insurance companies would no longer be required to issue rebates when they overcharge Americans. Last year, insurance companies returned $1.37 billion in medical loss ratio rebates to policyholders in the United States.
- The tax revenue that funds the ACA’s expansion of health coverage would go back into the pockets of the wealthy, with millionaires receiving tax cuts averaging $46,000 each.
Here in Virginia, half of us are currently living with a preexisting condition, including 444,000 children and 741,000 individuals between the ages of 55 and 64. If the ACA is repealed:
- 642,000 people would lose coverage in Virginia, raising our uninsured rate among nonelderly individuals from 8.9 percent to 17.4 percent.
- 3.6 million Virginians with preexisting conditions could face discrimination or lose coverage altogether.
- The Commonwealth stands to lose $4.7 billion in federal funding for health coverage, including the marketplaces, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
As staggering as these figures are, they still do not account for the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our health care system. Nearly 100,000 Virginians are projected to lose coverage in the COVID-19 era, in addition to the 642,000 whose coverage would be gone with the repeal of the ACA.
Access to health care for millions of Americans is at stake in this fight and I will not back down.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other, and remember that my office is here to help. Be sure to visit the COVID-19 page on my website for more information and resources. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you need assistance, please don't hesitate to call us at (703) 256-3071.
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress