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VIDEO: Mucarsel-Powell Gives Impassioned Speech On House Floor Advocating For Floridians’ Health Care, While Trump Administration Tries To Tear Health Care Away

Mucarsel-Powell Supports Passing Bill That Builds On ACA To Lower Health Costs & Prescription Drug Prices

Washington, June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), former Associate Dean of Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Health, gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in favor of legislation to lower health care costs and strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Mucarsel-Powell shared the story of a constituent with a pre-existing condition who would lose coverage protections if the ACA were appealed, along with over 8.4 million other Floridians. The House is expected to vote on and pass the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act later today.

“While the president continues efforts to take care away during this pandemic, we are making quality care more affordable and accessible while removing junk plans. We are lowering health insurance premiums and prescription drug costs. And we’re incentivizing states like Florida to expand Medicaid to bring care to millions more,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “It’s because of the ACA that disparities in coverage for Latino and African Americans narrowed. It’s because of the ACA that insurance plans can’t deny or make care more expensive for someone for their gender. And it’s because I watched my colleagues across the aisle try to take the ACA away that I ran for Congress.”

A downloadable video of Mucarsel-Powell’s speech can be found HERE.

A fact sheet on H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act, can be found HERE. The bill would: lower health coverage costs; lower prescription drug prices; press Medicaid expansion on hold-out states; combat inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color; and crack down on junk plans & strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Remarks as delivered are transcribed below:

Thank you, Madam Speaker,

I stand here today as a member of Congress because three years ago, I watched as this body took a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have ripped healthcare away from tens of thousands of constituents in my district and over 2 million Floridians in my home state. 

This was an unconscionable move that would have taken away protections for millions with pre-existing conditions, like my constituent Michelle Garcia, who still suffers after a faulty medical device left broken pieces in her that to this day causes her chronic pain that requires persistent treatment.

It’s because of the ACA that her coverage is protected. It’s because of the ACA that disparities in coverage for Latino communities and African Americans communities have narrowed. It’s because of the ACA that insurance plans can’t deny or make care more expensive because of someone’s gender. And it’s because I watched my colleagues across the aisle try to take the ACA away that I ran for Congress and I’m here fighting to protect their care. 

That’s why today’s vote is so important to me. While the president continues his efforts to take care away much-needed health care, especially during this pandemic, we are making quality care more affordable and accessible while removing junk plans. We are lowering health insurance premiums and prescription drug prices. And we’re also putting incentives for states like Florida so they can expand Medicaid to bring care to millions who need it.

It’s simple - we shouldn’t be taking care away from anyone right now, not ever. We shouldn’t be making quality care more expensive. We need to make it more accessible, we need to make it more affordable. That’s why I’m proud to vote YES on today’s legislation and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

Thank you, and I yield back.

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