The Benefits of the Affordable Care Act on Display during Republican’s Failed Effort to Repeal the Law

Mar 29, 2017

The facts got in the way of Republican efforts last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with a wholly inadequate substitute.   The Congressional Budget Office estimated that under the Republican plan 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage by 2026 and older Americans would pay more for coverage.  When they moved to strip the 10 essential benefits that the ACA required insurance companies to cover they lost even more support. These benefits included mental health, maternity care, hospital coverage and prevention and illustrate the value of the ACA and the protections it provides.

Rep. Levin hosts Healthcare Forum
On Saturday, Rep. Levin held a lively discussion on healthcare, just one day after the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed.  Rep. Levin was joined by healthcare experts Megan Foster Friedman from the U of M Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, Dr. Michael Gratson from Beaumont Health Systems and Oakland University, and senior activists Jim Whipple and Carl Weiler.  The panelists lead a discussion and answered questions about the impact of the ACA in Michigan and what repealing it would mean to the nearly 1 million people in Michigan who have insurance through the law.

Ways and Means Committee Markups Resolution to Obtain President’s Tax Returns
On March 28, 2017, the Ways and Means Committee considered H.Res. 186, a resolution of inquiry cosponsored by Rep. Levin, that would require the Secretary of the Treasury to provide copies of President Trump’s tax returns and other financial information to the House of Representatives.  Since the 1970s, every president, Democrat and Republican, has provided tax information voluntarily.  Disclosing this information would allow the public to know whether the President has conflicts of interest, better understand connections between business ventures and Russia, as well as any other foreign governments or enterprises.  As tax reform is a priority for the President, releasing tax returns would enable Americans to also see how how the president could benefit from any tax reform legislation he signs into law.  Unfortunately, the resolution failed on a party-line vote, with Republicans blocking the resolution.

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On the Floor of the U.S. House this week:
This week the House will consider a resolution of disapproval to undo a Federal Communications Commission rule that requires internet service providers to obtain customers’ permission before collecting and selling their sensitive personal information and take reasonable measures to protect customers’ data.  Undoing this rule will compromise consumers’ privacy and security in the event of data breaches (S.J.Res. 34).  The House is also considering legislation that continues the Majority’s assault on the Environmental Protection Agency by making it more difficulty to use the best available science to issue rules and respond to environmental emergencies (H.R. 1430).