Advocates demand Tenney end GOP crusade against Affordable Care Act and defend constituents’ healthcare

Advocates demand Tenney end GOP crusade against Affordable Care Act and defend constituents’ healthcare

On eighth anniversary of Affordable Care Act, Citizen Action and allies call on Tenney to protect millions of New Yorkers insured under ACA

Local residents and advocates rallied outside Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office in Binghamton Thursday for the eighth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage, demanding she stand up for her constituents and help end the GOP’s ongoing crusade to repeal the ACA.

Under the disastrous repeal and replacement plan proposed by Congressional Republicans in 2017, 1.2 million New Yorkers — nearly 38,000 residents in Rep. Tenney’s district alone, and more than 82,000 who receive insurance under the Medicaid expansion — would lose healthcare. Rep. Tenney has consistently supported the GOP’s war on the ACA, and has repeatedly committed to voting in favor of future repeal efforts. Despite their failure to pass a full repeal last year, the GOP and federal government continue to try to dismantle the ACA through administrative efforts, including omitting critical market stabilization measures to control healthcare premiums in the FY2018 spending package Congress is set to vote on later today.

“Eight years later, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for New Yorkers could not be clearer. Almost 1 million people in New York now have health insurance thanks to the ACA, and more than 8 million New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions continue to be protected,” said Leona Perreault, volunteer leader for Citizen Action. “It is unacceptable for Rep. Tenney to claim to serve the best interests of her constituents while trying to strip millions of critical health insurance coverage. We ask her to finally stand up for access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage for every American.”

Citizen Action was joined at the rally by representatives of Indivisible Binghamton, Greater Binghamton Labor and Religion Coalition, Justice & Peace Advisory Council and the New York State Council of Churches. Several of Rep. Tenney’s constituents who have relied on the ACA for critically-needed health coverage also spoke about the importance of the law for maintaining access to their life-saving care.

“Under my old health insurance I would have hit my lifetime cap due to my kidney transplant, and would have been left on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical expenses,” said Chuck Reavis. “I absolutely would not have been able to afford the care that made the difference between life and death.”

Melissa Sorensen, a working mother of two children, is still trying to pay off medical bills incurred before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

“Because my children both suffer from chronic conditions, we are still digging our way out from the debt that piled up when I simply couldn’t afford coverage for our family,” said Sorensen. “With the Affordable Care Act, my children are finally fully insured, and I know they will get the care they need to live healthy lives. Without this law, my family would face insurmountable medical debt, and my children would not be able to access all the care they need.”

According to an analysis by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, the GOP replacement for the ACA would have cost hospitals in Rep. Tenney’s district more than $28 million, and put nearly 331,000 local hospital patients in danger of losing their care. Since the passage of the ACA, the number of uninsured residents in Rep. Tenney’s district has fallen 3.3 percent, from 8.4 percent to 5.1 percent – a tremendous achievement that could quickly be undone by a full repeal of the law. Rep. Tenney also voted in favor of the GOP’s tax plan in December, which stripped the individual mandate from the ACA and is expected to cause a double-digit rise in insurance premiums.

Despite the GOP’s failure to repeal the ACA last year, the ongoing Republican assault on healthcare is expected to cause New Yorkers to face average premium hikes of 8.8 percent in 2019, and roughly 94,000 more New Yorkers will lack comprehensive health coverage altogether.

1 comment to Advocates demand Tenney end GOP crusade against Affordable Care Act and defend constituents’ healthcare

  • Paula Davidson

    Tenney – It’s time you started to pay attention to your constituents and their needs and NOT blindly following the GOP mantra.

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