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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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When it Comes to the ACA, Our Lives Are on the Line

Mar 1, 2017
Editorial

It’s time to fight because our health is on the line. For years, Congressional Republicans have been chomping at the bit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip 30 million Americans of the everyday security of health insurance.

If they succeed in repealing the ACA, experts estimate 43,000 Americans will die every year. Given the powerful and positive impact of the ACA in our community, a disproportionate number of these deaths will be African-Americans.

In fact, the Affordable Care Act is the most successful health legislation in a generation. It nearly halved the national uninsured rate and more than halved the number of African-Americans without health insurance.

It’s clear why this law was one of President Obama’s crowning achievements.

We know it’s saving lives, so why are President Trump and Congressional Republicans hell-bent on ending it?

A recent report from the American Cancer Society, a non-political group dedicated to fighting cancer and supporting patients and their families, showed that cancer deaths have declined by 25 percent since peaking in 1991.

In their report, the American Cancer Society specifically notes that the ACA is driving “these shifts [that] should help to expedite progress in reducing socioeconomic disparities in cancer, as well as other health conditions.”

The report also lauds the ACA for helping to decrease the ‘excess risk of cancer death’ facing African-Americans.

We know the real health benefit that the ACA offers to families all over the country. But, it’s also a fiscal positive. Repealing the ACA would add $29.1 trillion to the national debt by 2026.

But the Republicans aren’t just planning to run up the deficit, they are going to raise your taxes too.

A GOP Senate bill and recently leaked audio from the Republican retreat confirms that Congressional Republicans are plotting to make employer-provided health insurance a taxable benefit.

If you, like the majority of Americans, get health insurance through work, Republicans are plotting to give you a bigger tax bill. For a family of four earning $150,000 a year, that’s a $1,500 tax hike.

We have two options before us.

Allow the misguided Republican leadership to undo President Obama’s legacy, imperil and kill thousands or we fight back. We fight back for ourselves, for our families and for our community.

To me, there is no option other than fighting back – too much is at stake.

Step one of fighting back: Add your Senators and Congressperson’s phone numbers to your speed dial or call the switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Calls are the most effective way to influence your elected officials. Remember, we work for you.

If your representatives are on the right side of history, get friends and family to call theirs. Seriously, it works.

Together, we can fight back and stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We can and must do this because our lives are on the line.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly represents Illinois’s 2nd Congressional district; she chairs the Congressional Black Caucus’s Health Braintrust.

Read the original at AFRO.com.

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