WATCH: Pallone warns Trump: Hands off Obamacare
It was different on the campaign trail. Now, President-elect Donald Trump is near the point in which he can carry out his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If he does, shore Representative Frank Pallone (D-6) appears ready to cross swords.
The Long Branch Democrat took the House floor to air his issues with any attempt to meddle with one of President Obama's legacy programs, lauded by Democrats as bringing health care to some 20,000,000 Americans who couldn't previously pay for it, and reviled by Republicans for high maintence costs, business-cost impacts, and replacement of full-time workers with part-time or per-diems to shore up expenses.
The core of Pallone's comments:
"As a chief architect of the law, I am proud to report that the percentage of Americans uninsured is at a record low, more than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare, and a million additional enrollees are expected next year.
In my home state of New Jersey, the uninsured rate has fallen from 14.9% to less than 10% in just two years. More than half of New Jerseyans enrolled through the Healthcare Marketplace this year had less than $100 per month. More than 400,000 New Jerseyans have benefitted from Medicaid expansion.
The Affordable Care Act is working.
Reports have surfaced that the President-elect’s plan to dismantle Obamacare would eliminate the subsidies that have enabled more than 70 percent of consumers to find plans at less than $75/month. Any effort to eliminate subsidies would lead to unsustainable cost increases and a loss of healthcare coverage for people nationwide.
There is also a threat to undo the Medicaid expansion under which almost 16 million Americans have been insured. With children representing about half of all Medicaid recipients, the elimination of that expansion would be disastrous for the most vulnerable Americans.
Democrats stand ready to work to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, but we will continue to stand resolute against any effort to dismantle it. For the sake of the American people, we can’t get this wrong.”
Trump, post-campaign, has intimated that he wouldn't trash the entire Affordable Care Act, but would keep sections that have borne success in practice.