Repealing Health Care Reform Will Hurt Our Country

Sen. Barbara Boxer – Democratic U.S. Senator from California

Posted: January 14, 2011 01:49 PM

Before House Republicans vote next week to repeal our historic health care reform legislation, they should think about Leah Eve McCollister.

The five-year-old from Castro Valley, California, was born with a condition called neutropenia, which makes her very vulnerable to serious infections. When she was born, Leah wasn’t covered under her mother’s health plan – and when her family tried to get coverage, insurance companies repeatedly refused to cover Leah because of her preexisting condition. So the McCollisters, like so many families across America, racked up thousands of dollars in emergency room bills.

That all changed when health care reform legislation passed last year. The law bans insurance companies from denying coverage to a child because of a preexisting condition. In September, the McCollisters finally received a letter from an insurance company agreeing to cover Leah.

If Republicans succeed in repealing health care reform, Leah and her family won’t be the only ones to lose.

If the law is repealed, our seniors will lose. Under the law, nearly 450,000 California seniors, and 3.9 million seniors across the country, will get help with their prescription drug costs over the next decade – with an average savings of $9,000 for every senior. Our seniors can’t afford to lose those savings.

If the law is repealed, taxpayers will lose. Just this month, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing health care reform would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years. And a Harvard economist recently estimated that repealing the health law could “destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade.”