WASHINGTON, March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the withdrawal of the American Health Care Act after it became clear there were not enough votes to pass, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:
"Today is a win for working families in this country. The American Health Care Act was on the verge of being jammed through Congress, despite the obvious burden it would place on millions of Americans. Thanks to phone calls, letters, meetings, and protests, the American public let our elected officials know that passage of the AHCA was unacceptable.
"The proposed legislation did not improve the Affordable Care Act; instead it jeopardized the lives of millions who have relied on the ACA for years. The American Health Care Act cut taxes for the wealthy and made healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible to the people who had obtained coverage from the ACA, and would have left more than 24 million people without coverage in 10 years.
"Now that this hastily-made piece of legislation has been defeated, it's vital for our leaders in Congress to take note. The American public has made it clear that we do not want to lose our healthcare, and do not want any more legislation that gives deeper tax cuts to the wealthy few.
"The Affordable Care Act, for all its success, has its faults. But dismantling a system that more than 12 million people rely on now was not the answer. If Congress wants to work together to build a better healthcare system, we are in favor of that, but not in the manner they just tried.
"So, we ask Congress to think about what comes next. If they want to improve the ACA, then we are in support of that plan. If they want to replace it with Medicare for all, we are in support of that plan. But we will never support any legislation that leaves millions without coverage and serves instead as a financial gain for our country's wealthiest."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees