Albany, N.Y.—Just an hour before the presidential inauguration, advocates, local lawmakers, health care professionals, faith leaders and impacted families joined the National Save My Care Tour Bus outside the New York State Capitol Building to demand that any action to change the health care system provide better coverage for more people. If Congress simply repeals the Affordable Care Act, 2.7 million New Yorkers will lose coverage, risking their health and livelihood. Repealing health care reform would also result in a $3.7 billion loss to the state budget and a $600 million hit to counties across the state.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act will leave more than 11,000 City of Albany residents without health insurance,” said City of Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Without affordable health insurance, many residents will be forced to decide between visiting a doctor when they are sick or feeding their families. It is crucial that those who rely on the Affordable Care Act are not abandoned.”
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have devastating consequences both here in New York and nationally,” said State Senator Neil Breslin. “Almost 3 million New Yorkers would lose their health insurance while New York State would incur an almost $4 billion hit resulting in less funding for our schools, infrastructure and other meaningful programs. It is imperative that we stand together and let Congress know how important keeping the Affordable Care Act in place is for the health of so many New Yorkers.”
“To me and my family, it would be a disaster if the Affordable Care Act were repealed,” said Elliot Easter, a resident of Albany. “As a person between jobs, I needed to maintain health coverage to have access to doctors to control my diabetes. My coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace is at an extremely reasonable cost for me and I know that it would be thousands more if I have to buy coverage through the private market if the Affordable Care Act were repealed.”
“We won’t allow for our families’ and communities’ health to be sacrificed for the sake of CEO profits,” said Ivette Alfonso, President of Citizen Action of New York. “The Affordable Care Act has erased the insurance gap between white children and Black children and narrowed the gap among adults. We can’t go backward.”
“If there was ever a time when communities of faith need to lift up their voice, it is right now,” said Reverent Peter Cook, Executive Director New York State Council of Churches. “As pastors we remember the bad old days when our parishioners and community members were financially and physically devastated because they could not get health coverage and were rejected from coverage for pre-existing conditions. Never again! Our faith leads us to stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act while advocating reform to make health care even more accessible, comprehensive and affordable not less.”
“Instead of coming up with a real health care reform plan, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have decided to destroy Medicare and wipe out millions of Americans’ access to health insurance,” said NYSNA Political Director Tara Martin. “The only people who think this is a good idea are big insurance companies, who are now set to get even richer and more powerful.”
“It’s time to improve health coverage, not to take away important benefits,” Deb Riitano, Board Member, NY StateWide Senior Action Council. “The Affordable Care Act reformed the health care system, reducing unnecessary, preventable hospitalizations, and giving seniors and people with disabilities a choice of staying at home versus going into a nursing home. It makes Medicare’s prescription coverage more affordable. For seniors, the Affordable Care Act has improved their coverage and saved them money, that’s not a promise to take lightly.”
Despite growing public opposition and the clear lack of any plan for protecting our country’s health care, both the Senate and House this week took the next step down a dangerous path ?that will take health coverage away from 30 million people and raise health care costs for millions more. With no substantive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, Congressional Republicans instead are floating a number of “Band Aids” and legislation gimmick that would raise taxes on working Americans, undermine quality of care for everyone and destroy Medicare.
Today’s event in Albany was part of the Save My Care’s two month long, cross-country bus tour. The tour is stopping in communities across the country to highlight the stories of the 30 million Americans who will lose their health care under Congressional Republicans’ dangerous health care plan.