In a speech at the National Press Club, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell explained that she was continuing the presidential administrations’ conversations about national health care. In it, the secretary expounded on the virtues of access, quality, and affordability in a national system capable of reaching millions of Americans. 

Her takeaway point was that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as Obamacare, would cause irreparable damage to the system and endanger the lives of millions of Americans. She warned against the incoming Trump administration’s plans to overturn the ACA.

In an effort to drive her point home, Burwell added that, “With no replacement, experts have estimated that 30 million American would lose their health insurance—10 million more than the number who have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act. That’s because the congressional repeal plan could lead to the unraveling of the individual market.” 

Burwell continued, “Our only chance of not going over that cliff depends on opponents of the law doing in the next two years, what they haven’t done in the past six: develop a comprehensive replacement plan. We face serious consequences. But delaying tough choices isn’t what Americans do in their own lives, and it’s not what they deserve from Washington.”

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