Last month, I joined mayors across the country in urging Congress to weigh the serious impact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on millions of Americans, including thousands of registered families in East Orange.
Sadly enough, if President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress are successful, nearly 30 million people, including 4 million children, will be deprived of health care coverage by 2019.
As citizens, we need to be extraordinarily vigilant because it's our communities that take the hardest hit.
Maintaining access to quality healthcare and coverage is vital to East Orange. In March 2016, East Orange General Hospital was saved from financial collapse when it was acquired by the privately-held Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc., a California-based company which owns 18 acute and behavioral hospitals throughout the United States.
I was proud to testify before the New Jersey State Health Planning Board several times throughout the acquisition process to demonstrate our city's overwhelming sense of pride, confidence and support in saving our community hospital.
Prospect's investment not only spared our community hospital from closing, it also brought new economic life and stability to our city's largest employer. Its future success, however, is dependent upon people being able to afford the services it provides.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) said the GOP's plan to overhaul the healthcare system is already falling apart and likely won't get done.
Let's hope he's right.