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The Affordable Care Act

(Ms. PINGREE of Maine asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)

Rep. Chellie Pingree

legislator photo

Madam Speaker, in the 2 years since its enactment, the Affordable Care Act has truly improved health care for families in Maine:

It has given 190,000 seniors access to free preventative care and saved them over $5 million in prescription drug costs; it has allowed 7,000 young adults to stay on their parents' insurance; and, in Maine, it has helped 1,300 small businesses provide their employees with health coverage.

More critical benefits are on the way, including banning insurance companies from charging women more simply because of their gender.

Yet here we are again, debating how to undo these successes, debating how to block women's access to contraceptives, and, this week, considering proposals to dismantle Medicare and shift the cost back to seniors.

This must stop. We can't afford to go back to the status quo--denying women equal access to care, or telling seniors they're on their own, or letting families go bankrupt just because someone got sick.

We must let the Affordable Care Act stand so more Americans have the chance to reap the benefits of true health care reform.