LT. Governor Wyman Statement on Republican Healthcare Bill
Thank you Senator Blumenthal for bringing us together today, and for all of you here who are standing up for the 20 million-plus Americans who rely on the Affordable Care Act—hundreds of thousands of whom live in Connecticut.
I’m sorry I’m not able to be with you today, but, as the chair of the Board of Access Health CT, I can tell you that the ACA, while not a perfect law, is a very, very strong beginning.
For months, I’ve called on Washington to work with us to make this system better. Instead, all of the legislation we’ve seen appears determined to tear insurance out from under our own citizens.
As the head of the state’s efforts to implement federal health reform, I’ve heard hundreds of stories about how the ACA has saved lives, bolstered our healthcare workforce and our economy, and removed the terror of bankruptcy due to medical bills.
I’ve talked to seniors who now have prescription drug coverage because the ACA protects them against the Medicare donut hole, and women whose access to healthcare means they are planning their families at the best time for them.
I’ve talked to young people who are grateful that they can stay on their parents’ insurance as they begin their careers, and low-wage earners who can finally afford healthcare coverage, many for the first times in their lives.
Right here in Connecticut our healthcare costs have risen more slowly thanks to healthcare reform efforts.
Still, these costs are too high for some. It’s with an eye on the people still priced out of the market that we must continue work to make care more affordable.
But that’s not what’s happening in Washington.
The CBO score on the House bill revealed just how bad it was for consumers. It wasn’t a healthcare plan, it was a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. One that comes at the expense of everyone else.
We must work together to improve the ACA, not retreat to partisan corners, and not bring to vote a bill that increases costs for citizens with pre-existing conditions, or older adults that don’t yet qualify for Medicare, or women, or low-wage earners.
At the very least, 51 percent of the population is women, we should be at the table in crafting the bill.
Connecticut has 100,000 citizens insured through the exchange and 217,000 on Medicaid expansion. We have a billion dollars in federal funding for Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, we have slowed the growth of healthcare costs and strengthened our healthcare economy as a result of the ACA.
Healthcare is a major policy priority and the discussion should include all of us.
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman