Yesterday, all 242 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to repeal health care reform. If the Republicans succeed in the repeal, it would mean that the 1.2 million young adults who gained health care coverage last year through the provision that allowed them to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26 would lose their insurance.
Additionally, Republicans seek to do away with provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and provide tax breaks for small businesses who provide their employees with health insurance. When I returned from London in 2009, I went over a year without insurance. I could not afford coverage during my job hunt, and the small business I eventually began working for could not afford to provide me with insurance until health care reform was passed.
Health care reform has had a significant effect on peoples’ lives, including mine and those close to me. While the Republicans are eager to flex their new-found Congressional muscles, I sincerely hope they keep in mind that their actions will have serious repercussions for the people of this country.
As Representative John Lewis said, “It is unbelievable that with so many people out of work and millions of people uninsured, the first act of this new Congress is to take health care away from people who just got coverage.” All members of Congress can bask comfortably in their insured status, not knowing the reality of having to put off seeing a doctor because they can’t afford it. All we can hope is that they remember that not everyone has that luxury.