House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee led that hearing, which focused on the testimonies of seven witnesses who testified against repealing the Affordable Care Act. One of those included a Pennsylvania mother of twin 12-year-old daughters who are leukemia survivors and who attended the hearing.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said he is "willing and eager" to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act.
"But we can't go backward," Obama said. "Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can't deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway healthcare costs.”
“Republicans have closed off the process by not having hearings to hear these voices,” Pelosi said at the start of the hearing. Pelosi cited findings in an HHS report released on Tuesday that said up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions could lose coverage if the health reform bill is repealed, and she also highlighted a report—also released Tusday—that offered a district-by-district analysis of the effects of a repeal bill from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).
Meanwhile, at a briefing with reporters, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Republicans finished their weekend retreat in Baltimore “laser-focused” on two things: cutting spending and growing the economy. In response to a question about the new HHS report that asserts up to 129 million Americans could lose healthcare coverage if the ACA is repealed, Cantor said: “That's where the replacement effort really becomes imperative.”
House members are expected to vote on a repeal bill tomorrow and start consideration on a resolution to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. As part of that process, several House committees have been directed to work on a bill that fosters job creation, lowers premiums and eliminates duplicative government programs and wasteful spending. Cantor said the committees need to “get up and running” and that they will emphasize the doctor-patient relationship.
Cantor also said more than once that if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is so confident that the repeal bill will die in the Senate, than Reid should bring the matter to a vote.