News from Representative Heck

   




The Senate's repeated efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act appear to be over, but the need for a bipartisan approach to health care still endures.

After months of back-room deals and revisions, the Republican's latest attempts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to get off the ground last night (early in the morning in DC). Several different legislative proposals before the Senate threatened to strip health insurance from 16-32 million people, gut Apple Health, shorten the life of the Medicare trust fund, roll back protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, and allow insurers to sell junk insurance that provides no protection against financial ruin. To put it simply, these changes would have made middle class families and less healthy individuals pay more for insurance that covered less.The fallout from this would have been devastating, and I was glad to see these harmful bills defeated.

Two weeks ago, I spoke with folks back in the South Sound about how a repeal of the ACA would affect them. Tune in to hear what they had to say.
 
 

During the past few months, I've been working hard to fight back against this ill-conceived push, all the while hearing from people like you. Since the first House bill was released back in March, I've received more than 1,400 calls and nearly 1,700 letters in opposition. And be it at my March 4 Health Care in Tacoma, my Facebook Live roundtable with individuals from around the South Sound, or one of my talks with Puyallup native Kelty Pierce, I've heard the stories of scores more Washingtonians who would have been hurt if Congress turned back the clock. I've had the opportunity to share some of these stories with my colleagues on the House floor. The resounding message was that access to affordable, quality health insurance makes a real difference in the lives of South Sound families.

Let us be clear-eyed about the road ahead.There will be future, malicious attempts to repeal the ACA, which is concerning. But I'm also worried about the prospect of doing nothing. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the ACA is not, and has never been, perfect. I represent people who have benefited from the ACA, as well as people who are struggling to find the care they need or who are paying steep medical bills. We cannot ignore these folks as we move forward.

To start, I have added my signature to a letter to Speaker Ryan with four concrete steps we can take now to improve the individual market and make it more affordable for those who depend on them. I will support these proposals at every opportunity.

My constituents in the South Sound sent me to Congress to pass good legislation, block bad legislation, AND fix the laws that aren't perfect. The ACA falls in that third category. Instead of placing blame or throwing up our hands in exasperation, it's time to reach across the aisle, have honest policy discussions, and advance solutions built on consensus. This will not be easy, but it is the right thing to do. I will take every opportunity to work with my colleagues to bring stability into the insurance markets and drive prices down for people like you. 

Sincerely,

Denny Heck
Your Member of Congress

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