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Kaine highlights impact of Obamacare in Virginia

tim kaineDuring remarks on the Senate floor on Friday, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine introduced the lead amendment to stop Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and strip health care away from tens of millions of Americans.

Sen. Kaine’s amendment would prevent the Senate from considering fast-track legislation that increases health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Americans, reduces the number of Americans with health coverage, or reduces the benefits provided by private health insurers. During his speech, Kaine shared stories he’s heard from constituents in Richmond and Williamsburg about how the ACA has had a positive impact on their lives.

“There is no reason, while we acknowledge the need for improvement, to repeal the Affordable Care Act outright without having a sense of what the replacement would be. By doing so, we create chaos in the economy, chaos in the health insurance market, and chaos in the most intimate and most important area of people’s lives: their health,” said Kaine. “The ACA was not only about the affordability of care, and not only about the coverage, it was also about the quality of care. Could your coverage discriminate against you because you were a woman?  Could your coverage expire once you get diagnosed with an illness and now have a pre-existing condition? These bill of rights protections for patients were an important and integral part of the Affordable Care Act. The budget point of order we would put on the table would establish a 60-vote threshold for considering any legislation that triggered one of those three concerns: reductions in coverage, increase in costs, reduction in quality.”

The measure would amend the partisan budget that Republicans are bringing to the Senate floor in their attempt to fast-track the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act without offering an alternative health care plan to the American people – a move that would create chaos through the American economy, cause premiums to skyrocket, and hurt middle class families.

Friday morning, Sen. Kaine also led a group of 13 moderate Democrats in a letter urging Republican Congressional leadership to abandon their reckless pursuit of a full repeal of the ACA without a replacement and encouraging them to discuss meaningful improvements, citing the bipartisan reforms Kaine and his colleagues have supported in the past.

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