January 12, 2012
SHARKEY, LEGISLATORS SUPPORT NATIONAL HEALTHCARE ACT
Join leaders from across the nation defending the constitutionality of health law
Hartford – State Rep. Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) joined the legislature’s Public Health Committee Co-Chair State Rep. Betsy Ritter (D-Waterford/Montville) and several other state lawmakers at a press conference in support of a U.S. Supreme Court filing defending the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case will be heard by the high court in March.
From left, Rep. Sharkey, Victoria Veltri, Rep. Lemar.
In conjunction with the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform, hundreds of lawmakers from across the nation joined forces to announce and demonstrate their support of the Amicus Brief. The legislators’ brief argues that the Constitution gives broad power to the federal government to act in cases where a national solution is necessary. The ACA capitalizes on state innovations by setting a minimum coverage floor and giving states considerable policy flexibility.
The ACA has already provided benefits to children with pre-existing conditions, who can no longer be denied health insurance; individuals who cannot be kicked off their policies when they get sick; and young adults who can stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. More residents will save money on their health care when the law is fully implemented in 2014.
“It is time to stand strong and support the Affordable Care Act law that has brought much relief to Connecticut residents as well as American citizens across our nation,” Ritter said. “We cannot afford to lose the progress already made by giving in to political pressures that in the end will only hurt working families, small businesses and seniors. We will continue to push forward in implementing the Act so that our families can get the care they need.”
"We have been working hard in Connecticut to achieve the goals of federal healthcare law and coverage for all our citizens. We are fortunate that the federal government has formulated a national solution," said Sharkey. "Everyone should have access to healthcare by having health insurance.”
Victoria Veltri stated, "The Affordable Care Act puts consumers first, and I am proud, as the State’s Healthcare Advocate, to stand by that legislation today. Connecticut consumers benefit from reforms that go beyond the ACA’s insurance reforms to include broader healthcare reforms such as patient centered medical homes, health information technology and healthcare work force initiatives. OHA’s consumer assistance program grant under the ACA is directly responsible for putting an additional $5.7 million put back into the pockets of Connecticut’s healthcare consumers and educating hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents about their healthcare rights."
The show of support for the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut was part of a larger demonstration of support for the law across the nation this week, as over 500 state legislators representing all 50 states signed on to the Amicus Brief defending the law. The brief will be filed this Friday and was prepared in conjunction with the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform (a national group of state legislators working to advance health reform and implement the Affordable Care Act), Progressive States Network, and the Constitutional Accountability Center.
The full text of the Amicus Brief will be available at: www.progressivestates.org/ACAamicus
J. Brendan Sharkey is State Representative from Hamden’s 88th District and serves as the House Majority Leader.