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I am writing to set the record straight regarding the recent column by former state Rep. Tom Prezelski (Nov. 28).  

When I ran for Congress last year, I made a commitment to find ways to improve the Affordable Care Act so that it works better for the people of Southern Arizona.

Contrary to what Mr. Prezelski wrote, I have never voted for any bill that would "gut" the act. Actually, I have repeatedly voted against repealing the law because it provides many benefits for the American people. For example, the law lowers prescription costs for seniors, allows young adults to stay on their parents' plan, and prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and imposing lifetime caps. It also ensures that women are no longer treated as second-class citizens by health care plans.

The bills I voted for would ensure fairness and equality under the law. I supported the same delay of fines on individuals that already was approved for companies. Additionally, I voted to eliminate a special deal that was given to members of Congress under the law. I also supported a bill that would let people keep their current plan if they like it, as promised by the president.

These votes kept the promises I made during the 2012 campaigns when I defeated two tea party candidates. They both said they would repeal the law and, by doing so, take essential health care benefits away from Arizona families. 

My priorities are clear: While working to make appropriate improvements to the law, I am fighting hard to keep access to quality and affordable health care for every American.


Ron Barber

Member of Congress

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