Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the controversial health care bill.
To commemorate the anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, supporters of the law spoke out Wednesday during a press conference at the Arizona Capitol. Lawmakers, retirees, an emergency room doctor and an ASU student led the event by saying the health care law gave much-needed medical aid to Americans.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, addressed the crowd of about 25 supporters and the media.
“The Affordable Care Act helped put people back to work, and ensures the people can afford to have the health care they need for their families, for their employees, and for their children,” Sinema said.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, said the act is helping veterans who may not be on TRICARE, the military insurance program for active duty and retired veterans.
“Like any other community, veterans have preexisting conditions,” Gallego said. “Because of this bill, you will not be denied health care because of your preexisting conditions.”
Sustainability senior Johnny Urrea said during the press conference that the law allows him to stay on his parents’ health care plan until he is 26 years old.
“This will give me the time that I need to find a full-time job and take care of myself,” Urrea said.
He urged supporters to contact their legislators and speak out in defense of the law.
“…we need to make our voices heard so that students and graduates like me can have health care,” Urrea said.
The act contributed to Republicans taking back control of the House in November’s elections. The GOP-controlled body approved legislation in January that would repeal the act, coined “Obamacare” by opponents.
The law continues to create a partisan split between lawmakers, and freshman Rep. David Schweikert, R-Scottsdale, released a statement Wednesday citing the need for increased opposition for the law and the $670 billion in new taxes that Republicans contend go along with it.
Schweikert won his election last November against incumbent Democrat Harry Mitchell with a strong anti-“Obamacare” platform.
“House Republicans have pledged to replace this misguided legislation with common-sense solutions that reduce costs, make health care more accessible, and will not hurt our economy by destroying jobs,” Schweikert said. “Thanks to the voice of the American people, this fight is not yet over.”
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