Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on the Supreme Court Hearing on the Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement on the Supreme Court Hearing on the Affordable Care Act:

“On Friday, America celebrated the two year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act just as the Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the important law. As members of the Congressional Black Caucus, we endured hateful attacks and contentious town halls, but remained steadfast in our commitment and in our efforts to reform our healthcare system. Before the Affordable Care Act, 1 in 5 African Americans lacked health insurance, one of the highest rates for any community.  Since March 2009, 2.4 million African Americans seniors with Medicare have received free preventive services. Another 5.5 million African Americans with private health insurance now have expanded coverage for preventive services at no additional cost.  410,000 African American young adults who would otherwise be uninsured have gained coverage due to the Affordable Care Act. Nearly every aspect of the Affordable Care Act positively impacts minority communities: protecting those with preexisting conditions, ensuring dependent coverage, providing vital preventive services and care, making health care affordable for small businesses, bringing more doctors and nurses to chronically underserved communities, and increasing Medicare benefit coverage. Nearly all of the 44 million Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible to receive preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as annual wellness visits with their doctors.  For African Americans, preventive services are essential.

“We stand at a critical point in our nation’s history as the Supreme Court weighs in on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. I believe not only in the constitutionality of the law, but the right—not the privilege—of healthcare for all. For far too long, access to healthcare has been in the hands of those who value money over lives. The Affordable Care Act provides access to all our nation’s communities and brings compassion back into the healthcare equation.

“From the very beginning, the Republican Leadership attacked the Affordable Care Act, focusing on repealing patients’ rights, and keeping insurance companies in control. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will have a devastating impact on all Americans, especially those in our most vulnerable communities. As I have said before, they seek to defund, and we seek to defend. We will not stand by and allow our communities’ rights to be trampled. We are committed to seeing the full implementation of healthcare reform all across this great nation. It is my hope that the Supreme Court of the land recognizes America’s supreme need for the Affordable Care Act.”


- Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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