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Senator Robert Menendez's picture

A big thank you to MomsRising for sharing Susan and Gertrude’s stories about how their families are struggling with health care costs and coverage, and how they benefitted from the young adult coverage in the new law.  Unfortunately, it pains me to say, they’re not alone.  This is why I proudly supported the new healthcare reform law…to help Susan and Gertrude and all the other families making the same sacrifices just to get health coverage.  My colleagues and I fought hard to ensure that young adults could stay on their parent’s plans.  We set out with the goal of decreasing the costs to families and ensuring that everyone could access care, and it is great to hear that this goal has become a reality for you two and others.  This new law will reduce the cost of health care for middle class families, ensure health security for our seniors, and provide tax credits to small businesses and individuals to further reduce the cost of health coverage.  I believe that this new law will ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

During the health care debate, I heard the heartbreaking stories of so many New Jersey families like Susan and Gertrude about the dire need for improvements to our healthcare system.  As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I worked tirelessly with my Senate colleagues and leadership to create a new system that helps level the playing field for families when it comes to paying for care and to taking on insurance companies who deny them the coverage they have paid for.  And we succeeded in changing the way insurers do business, like prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for pre-existing conditions, health status, and gender.

In 2014, the new law also creates new health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can go to purchase affordable health care coverage.  In these exchanges, low- and middle-income families will be able to get help with the cost of their health care premiums and cost-sharing.  As a result, the 1.5 million uninsured New Jerseyans and the 326,000 who purchase more expensive health insurance through the individual market will have access to affordable options.  Of those, approximately 850,000 New Jerseyans could get assistance, bringing $13.9 billion in premium and cost-sharing tax credits into New Jersey during the first five years of the health insurance exchange…the largest health care tax cut in history.

Unfortunately, despite all of the good benefits families are already receiving, Republicans have already begun attempts to repeal the law. Approximately 27,800 young adults in New Jersey would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans if Republicans get their way and repeal the new law.  I want to ensure you that I know how important this law is to families like yours, and I will fight against repeal as strongly as I fought for the new law. I will not allow them to strip benefits from American families just to score a few political points.  Repealing health care means siding with big insurance companies and against people with pre-existing conditions who would again be denied coverage.  It means favoring big insurance companies over the health of America’s families.  It means going back to the days when insurance companies canceled policies on people who got sick and limited lifetime coverage. Simply stated, a vote for repeal is a vote against the American people.

On behalf of Susan, Gertrude and all the American families who deserve access to affordable health care -- I promise to work tirelessly to stop repeal and ensure that this law continues to be enacted in its entirety.  I am ready to have this fight for New Jerseyans!

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