WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) joined Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (CA-11), Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (CA-33), Assistant Democratic Leader Joe Neguse (CO-2), Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to celebrate fourteen years since House passage of the Affordable Care Act.  

"Thank you, Senator. What an honor and a privilege to be here on this day of celebration.

"14 years ago, America became a more just and a healthier place to live. And we have so many colleagues who we are indebted to for their work. The late great Senator Reid, the work of all my colleagues, but none more than Speaker Pelosi, who gaveled in health care justice with the Affordable Care Act. And when she did that, she also gaveled in justice for American women.

"Before the ACA, you could be denied health care coverage just for being a woman in this country. If your insurance had a lifetime cap, you could be on the hook for millions when you got sick.

"Breast cancer screenings, birth control, maternity care — they were all priced like luxuries, not like the basic necessities that they are. And today, they are recognized as basic preventive health care. And under the ACA, nobody is subject to a lifetime cap, and being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition.

"That's the difference between Democratic leadership, that is in tune with the needs of the American people, and Republican extremism.

"14 years ago, we made clear that we would not accept a system that treats women as second class citizens, that treats health care as a privilege for the wealthy.

"And under President Biden, Democrats fought to protect the ACA — and won. We took on Big Pharma — and won. We worked to get more people covered — and we enrolled more Americans than ever before. And today, 21 million Americans have the quality health insurance they need for their families through the ACA marketplace.

"But here we are once again facing a second class of health care for American women — as we see the GOP not only vowing once again to undo the ACA, but pursuing their march towards a nationwide abortion ban. To undoing the delivery of lower costs, undoing that cap on insulin, doing everything they can to obstruct the negotiations with Medicare to lower the costs of prescription drugs.

"We are here to say that we will not let them. We will continue to fight to expand coverage and to make sure that we defend reproductive freedom in this country and continue to lower costs.

"I remember in the Trump administration — the last attack on the ACA — you could hear the phones ringing as I walked through the hallways of Longworth. The phones ringing from the American people saying, 'We will not go unheard. We will insist that you respond, that you make sure that we continue to have the coverage we need for our families — the security that the ACA gives us.'

"We answered their calls, and we're going to answer their calls to any future threat to this.

"I am so grateful to my colleagues for being here, and it is my pleasure to turn the microphone over to Chairwoman Stabenow."

Photos of the event can be found HERE. The full event can be viewed HERE.

# # #