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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell Joins Michigan United, Parents of Premature & Special Needs Children to Speak Out Against Devastating ACA Repeal Bills

July 5, 2017
Press Release

DEARBORN, MI – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) joined Michigan United and families of premature and special needs children to speak about the devastating impact repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on their lives and families. The ACA repeal bills proposed in the House and Senate would remove important protections and cut funding Michigan families rely upon. The proposals reinstate lifetime caps, gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions, end Healthy Michigan and slash hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid. 

“The ACA and Healthy Michigan have extended critical protections to hundreds of thousands of families across the state, and the powerful and deeply personal stories we heard today underscore how important it is to ensure these protections continue,” said Dingell. “Before the Affordable Care Act, being born premature was considered a pre-existing condition. The Senate and House repeal bills would take us back to a time when parents had to worry about how they would afford their child’s care, whether they would be denied coverage or hit lifetime caps, and whether the medical bills would bankrupt their family. We cannot afford to go back. I want to thank the Bates, Sanchez and Korsak families for sharing their stories today. We will continue to raise these stories up and fight these devastating proposals with everything we’ve got. Lives depend on it.” 

“Congress is debating taking health care away from vulnerable children so that the most fortunate among us can have a tax cut. That’s just wrong. This is generous country where we take care of each other,” said Ryan Bates, director of Michigan United and the father of a child born 14 weeks early.

In addition to the Bates family, participants also heard from the Sanchez family whose son Benicio suffers from autism and benefits from Medicaid programs. Vicki Korsak, an advocate and peer counselor at Hutzel Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU, representing the March of Dimes, also spoke about her daughter who was born 14 weeks premature.  

More than 11 million children in the United States – 15 percent of all children – have special health care needs, and more than half of these children rely on pubic insurance like Medicaid for coverage.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the Republican House repeal bill would slash Medicaid funding by $834 billion over ten years and leave 14 million fewer Americans with health insurance through Medicaid. The Senate bill would harm Medicaid even more profoundly, by further restricting the growth rate for future federal funding. 

Additionally, in Michigan:

• 695,000 people have gained health coverage since the ACA was implemented. 
• Roughly 1.6 million people in Michigan have pre-existing health conditions, and could have their coverage rescinded if the ACA is repealed. 
• Michigan received $3.08 billion in federal Medicaid dollars to implement the Healthy Michigan plan. This revenue could be lost if the ACA is repealed.
• A recent University of Michigan study found that Medicaid expansion in Michigan has boosted our economy and our budget and will continue to do so for the next five years. According to the study, the Healthy Michigan plan has generated more than 30,000 new jobs each year – one-third of them being in healthcare and 85 percent in the private sector. These jobs resulted in approximately $2.3 billion more in personal spending power for Michigan residents. 

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