Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) gave a passionate speech on the House floor Friday as congressional members prepared to vote on a health care repeal bill that would leave more than 24 million Americans uninsured.
Lewis spoke on the House floor, saying his heart “breaks for the disabled, for women, for seniors” who would be negatively affected by the replacement of the Affordable Care Act.
“Mr. Speaker, we cannot forget our values,” Lewis said on the House floor. “I have fought too hard and too long to back down now. I will fight any deal that turns the clock back to a darker time. I will fight every single attempt to turn a deaf ear, a blind eye and a cold shoulder to the sick, to our seniors, and to working families.”
The new health care bill would cut taxes for the rich and drastically change the way Medicaid provides health care coverage for poor Americans.
The replacement to the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to pass, with a top House Republican saying he would vote against the GOP bill along with other members of Congress. Other Republicans in the U.S. House Of Representatives who plan to vote against the replacement said the drafting of the bill has been too rushed.
Lewis called health care a right, not a privilege “reserved for a wealthy few.”
“I will fight every day, every hour, every minute and every second,” Lewis said. “I oppose this bill with every breath and every bone in my body. We must not give up. We can not. I will not give in, not today, not tomorrow and not ever. On this bill there’s only one option, and that option is to vote no.”
A vote on the bill is set to take place Friday afternoon.