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Health Care Champions Take to Senate Floor to Call Out Ongoing Sabotage

By July 24, 2018No Comments

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Senators Murphy, Murray, Coons, Menendez, Baldwin and Durbin took to the Senate floor to lay out the comprehensive repeal and sabotage campaign the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have undertaken in the year since the GOP’s repeal legislation failed. Among the highlights:

Sen. Chris Murphy:

“First, the President set an executive order saying that all of his agencies should take their own actions to unwind the protections of the Affordable Care Act. Then he stopped the marketing for the affordable care act so that less people would know about the options that were available to them. Then the President came to Congress and worked with Republicans to take away one of the most important pillars of the Affordable Care Act, a requirement that healthy people buy insurance — that action alone will result in 13 million people losing insurance and rates going up for 10 million Americans. Most recently the President authorized the junk insurance plans across the country, plans that don’t have to cover mental health, prescription drugs, or maternity care. He then cut funding even deeper for the personnel who help you find what insurance is right for you and instructed the people that remained to push Americans onto the junk plans. Then the President sent his lawyers to court to argue that congress can’t actually protect people with pre-existing conditions because it’s unconstitutional, which would wipe out all of the protections that people enjoy today. And so it’s really no mystery as to why, as the 2019 premium increases are coming out, they are catastrophic… The reason they are passing along enormous premium increases is because of the sabotage run by the President and this Congress.”

Sen. Patty Murray:

“During [the health care debate] I heard personal stories from patients and families all over my state of Washington who were concerned. I heard stories like Julie’s. Julie has a genetic condition, and as a result of that, she has had four different types of cancer. She has had four different organs removed during treatment and she has had her diet severely restricted and her life dramatically changed. But she is a fighter and she had excellent care and she ultimately won each of those four battles with cancer. However, without protections for people with pre-existing conditions, her health care costs could skyrocket. If President Trump had his way, Julie could not get the care she needed, and by the way, she’s not the only one.”

Sen. Chris Coons:

“[The Texas v. United States] lawsuit impacts every corner of America’s health care system and that [this] Administration is not defending the law of the land is a shocking development. It impacts not just those who get their health care through the ACA exchanges. It would impact 150,000,000 Americans who get their health insurance through their employer because it would eliminate protections against lifetime and annual limits on care. It would impact seniors on Medicare who would see increased prescription drug costs. It would impact Americans who depend on free preventive services, cancer screenings, and flu shots because those policies, components of the ACA, would be eliminated. And it impacts young people who would lose their right to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. These are just a few of the devastating impacts if the Texas v. US lawsuit is successful in ripping out what is left of the protections of the ACA. It would have a real and tangible impact on families in my state of Delaware and across our country.”

Sen. Bob Menendez:

“Republicans’ reckless abandonment of families with pre-existing conditions is even more concerning given President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This is a judge with a long history of ruling against consumers, siding with corporate interests, and assailing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. […] Without the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to [children like] 4-year-old Ethan, who is more concerned about which dinosaur to play with than the pacemaker that’s keeping him alive. Before the Affordable Care Act, children like Ethan were blacklisted from insurance companies for life. How do you tell a 4-year-old that his president no longer believes in protecting children like him?”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin:

“The people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take people’s health care coverage away. They have consistently sent a clear message that they want us to work across the party aisle to make things better and not worse. […] Last year the American people sent a loud message to Washington. I heard it, and they are sending the same simple message today: protect our care.”

Sen. Dick Durbin:

“My wife and I got married. I was in law school. God sent us a beautiful little girl and she had a serious medical problem. We were living here in Washington, D.C., and didn’t have health insurance. And I want to tell you, you never felt more helpless in your life than to be a new father with a brand-new baby who desperately needs medical care and not have health insurance. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I lived in such fear from that point forward of not having health insurance coverage that I did crazy things like getting health insurance two different places of employment just to make sure I never lost it. It scared me that much. I still remember that fear, and I wonder if the people who are debating this issue about the Affordable Care Act ever lived through it themselves? Because if they did, they wouldn’t be standing here saying we can do away with the Affordable Care Act.”