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Congresswoman Waters Opposes Patient’s Rights Repeal, Stands Up for Americans with Health Disparities

January 19, 2011
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) voted today against H.R. 2, the Patient's Rights Repeal Act, the Republicans' bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care reform law that was enacted with her support last year.

"The Affordable Care Act protects the rights of all Americans to access health care, to receive important screenings and preventive services, to pay competitive and fair prices, and to keep their health insurance when they get sick and need it most.  Repeal of this law will impact all Americans, but especially harm the least of these – women, children, people of color, the poor, the homeless – people who often lack a voice and whom I have championed during my four decades in public service," said Congresswoman Waters.

People of color are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to health insurance.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health, 20% of African-Americans were uninsured in the United States in 2007, and 32% of the Hispanic population was uninsured. 

People of color are also disproportionately impacted by pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS.  For example, the Office of Minority Health reports that both African-American and Mexican-American men are 30% more likely to die from heart disease than White Americans, and the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that people of color make up an astonishing 65% of new HIV infections.

"Quality health care must be available for all Americans regardless of race, level of income, gender, or the existence of a pre-existing condition. That's why the Affordable Care Act specifically addresses these disparities and other pre-existing conditions and makes it illegal to be denied health insurance because of them; and that's why I am so strongly opposed to the Patient's Rights Repeal Act," said Congresswoman Waters.