Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Republican presidential candidates promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act are misleading voters. Sebelius made the comment in a speech yesterday at a luncheon marking the 10th anniversary of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Sebelius headed HHS when the health reform law was passed, and she presided over its problem-plagued rollout.
Now, she says, the law is working better. It’s covering millions of previously uninsured Americans and it’s reforming the health care system.
Those changes, she says, make it virtually impossible to go back to the old system, regardless of what GOP presidential candidates are promising.
“Anybody who stands up and says we’re going to repeal this law is just not telling the truth, because frankly there isn’t anything to go back to,” she says.
Sebelius says instead of repealing the law, GOP presidential hopefuls should be talking about ways to improve it, including fixing problems like the so-called “family glitch," which makes people ineligible for federal subsidies as long as their spouse can buy insurance through their employers, even if that coverage is unaffordable.
A version of this story originally aired Sept. 15, 2015, during All Things Considered.