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Speaker Prieto Joins Advocates to Protest Republican Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

‘This isn’t about politics. This is about saving people’s lives.’

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Wednesday after joining with advocates such as Citizen Action and NJ for Health Care to protest Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“It’s stunning that Republicans want to strip health care from more than a half-million New Jerseyans and cost the state about $3 billion a year in federal funds. Sadly, though, it’s true, and it’s beyond scary that Republicans are doing so without any viable alternative for those harmed by their reckless politics.

“I continue to be amazed that we have leaders in our nation who are opposed to people having health insurance. It’s appalling to me, and a nightmare to those who stand to lose their health care. That’s why it’s so important that we speak out, and it’s why I laud the advocates standing with me today.

“This isn’t a game. If Republicans accomplish their goal, about 10 percent of New Jersey adults will lose their health insurance. Many of those are low-income workers already struggling to make ends meet as our economy lags the national recovery. The impact will be felt throughout the state, but mostly in urban areas. The state’s budget crisis will get markedly worse. Hospitals will be hurt as they’re forced to treat more uninsured patients. The adverse impacts will be felt far and wide.

“In 2010, 13.2 percent of New Jerseyans lacked health insurance. That number is now at 8.7 percent. Such a drop was once impossible to conceive, before the Affordable Care Act.

“Republicans must change course and do the right thing. If the Affordable Care Act needs fixing here and there, then fix it. Abolishing it with no alternative whatsoever is an affront to the idea that Americans watch out for and take care of each other. This isn’t about politics. This is about saving people’s lives.”