06.13.19

Murray Slams Republicans’ Attempts to Sabotage Medicaid and Jeopardize Health Care for Millions of People

Murray and Democrats take to the Senate floor to call out Republicans’ efforts to undermine Medicaid and health care for millions of people

 

Murray: “People across the country have been absolutely clear they want us to fight for families struggling with high health care costs, and help make sure everyone in our country can get quality, affordable care. Unfortunately, Republicans so far have been equally clear in their answer—we don’t care.”

 

Murray: “State after state has worked to expand Medicaid in recent years, and time after time we’ve seen the benefits of those efforts… And yet Republicans have tried every trick in the book to try and undermine that progress.”

 

Murray: “In short, [Washington state is] showing how Medicaid can do more—while Republicans here in the nation’s capital are trying to gut it so it does less.”

 

***Watch Senator Murray’s speech HERE***

 

Washington, D.C.  Yesterday, in a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and, Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Democrats in speaking up for the millions of people across the country who rely on Medicaid for quality, affordable health care and blasting Republicans for their efforts to undermine the program. In her remarks, she called on President Trump and Republicans to stop attacking Medicaid with funding cuts, burdensome paperwork meant to help kick people off the program, and through support of the blatantly partisan lawsuit where Republicans are arguing to strike down Medicaid expansion. Senator Murray also emphasized Medicaid’s role in fighting the opioid epidemic, improving maternal and infant health, and reducing racial inequity in the health care system and highlighted innovative efforts in Washington state to use Medicaid to take on even more challenges.

 

Key Excerpts from Sen. Murray’s Speech:

 

“People across the country have been absolutely clear they want us to fight for families struggling with high health care costs, and help make sure everyone in our country can get quality, affordable care. And unfortunately, Republicans so far have been equally clear in their answer—we don’t care. While Democrats have been coming forward with solutions, and calling for Republicans to come to the table to address the health care sabotage they’ve helped President Trump accomplish, Republicans have repeatedly refused to fight the fire, and only ever shown real interest in fanning the flames.”

 

“State after state has worked to expand Medicaid in recent years, and time after time we’ve seen the benefits of those efforts… And Medicaid expansion has helped tens of millions of people get quality, affordable health care. That is why, states that expanded Medicaid have seen their uninsured rates drop more than those that didn’t. And yet Republicans have tried every trick in the book to try and undermine that progress.”

 

Back when Republicans were first peddling their harmful Trumpcare plan, they made clear they wanted to put Medicaid on the chopping block in a big way—not only rolling back Medicaid expansion, but proposing deep cuts for moms, kids, people with disabilities, and seniors who need long-term services and supports.”

 

“In my home state of Washington, instead of taking Medicaid away from people, we are taking on even more challenges through the program. Our state is showing how Medicaid can help provide people with long-term care benefits in their homes, and how it can help address employment challenges, housing needs, and other social determinants of health that improve the health of entire communities.”

 

“If Republicans want to keep sitting by and cheering on harmful health care sabotage proposals, they are going to keep seeing families, patients, and Democrats standing up to hold them accountable.”

 

Watch Senator Murray’s speech HERE.

 

Full text below of Sen. Murray’s Speech:      

 

“Thank you M. President.

 

“People across the country have been absolutely clear they want us to fight for families struggling with high health care costs, and help make sure everyone in our country can get quality, affordable care.


“And unfortunately, Republicans so far have been equally clear in their answer—we don’t care.

 

“While Democrats have been coming forward with solutions, and calling for Republicans to come to the table to address the health care sabotage they’ve helped President Trump accomplish, Republicans have repeatedly refused to fight the fire, and only ever shown real interest in fanning the flames.

“There are so many glaring examples of how President Trump and Republicans have worked to sabotage families’ health care.

 

“But I’m here today to focus on one: their tireless efforts to undermine Medicaid—a program that helps people across the country get quality, affordable health care.

 

“State after state has worked to expand Medicaid in recent years, and time after time we’ve seen the benefits of those efforts.

 

“Data shows Medicaid has helped reduce racial disparities in health care.

 

“It has helped increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder—a critical need as our country confronts a nationwide epidemic.

 

“It has helped improve maternal and infant health—another area where we desperately need to make more progress.

 

“And Medicaid expansion has helped tens of millions of people get quality, affordable health care. That is why, states that expanded Medicaid have seen their uninsured rates drop more than those that didn’t.

 

“And yet Republicans have tried every trick in the book to try and undermine that progress. 

 

“Back when Republicans were first peddling their harmful Trumpcare plan, they made clear they wanted to put Medicaid on the chopping block in a big way—not only rolling back Medicaid expansion, but proposing deep cuts for moms, kids, people with disabilities, and seniors who need long-term services and supports.

 

“And even after people across the country spoke up, pushed back, and defeated that backwards proposal, Republicans have still tried to take care away from millions of families across the country who rely on Medicaid.

 

“President Trump has still called for enormous cuts to Medicaid in his budget proposals.


“He has still pushed for burdensome paperwork requirements that serve no real purpose except to put up barriers that make it harder for people to get the care they need, and easier for him to take their care away.

 

“And Republicans in Congress have still made clear their preferred way to pay for the expensive tax breaks they gave to corporations and the wealthy is to cut programs like Medicaid that give health care to those who are struggling and in need.


“And even as President Trump and Republicans fight against the wishes of people across the country and for these backwards proposals, they are fighting to dismantle Medicaid in court as well.

 

“If President Trump gets his way in the blatantly partisan Republican lawsuit, not only will protections for people with pre-existing conditions be struck down; not only will young adults be dropped from their parents’ plans; not only will essential health benefits that ensure coverage includes prescription drug costs, maternity care, and more go away; not only will lifetime and annual caps on coverage return—even for people insured through their employer;

 

“If President Trump has his way in court, Medicaid expansion would be struck down, and tens of millions of families across the country will have the care they rely on taken away.

“That is wrong—and Democrats are absolutely not going to stand for it.


“We are going to defend patients’ care and look to expand coverage and improve quality for more families.

“I’m proud that Washington state is leading the way on this.

“In my home state of Washington, instead of taking Medicaid away from people, we are taking on even more challenges through the program.

 

“Our state is showing how Medicaid can help provide people with long-term care benefits in their homes, and how it can help address employment challenges, housing needs, and other social determinants of health that improve the health of entire communities.


“In short—we’re showing how Medicaid can do more—while Republicans here in the nation’s capital are trying to gut it so it does less.

 

“M. President, enough is enough. It’s time for Republicans to stop sabotaging families’ care, stop trying make health coverage more expensive and further out of reach, stop trying to undermine Medicaid and the lives of the millions of people who rely on it, and start working with Democrats to fight for patients and families.


“And if Republicans want to keep sitting by and cheering on harmful health care sabotage proposals, they are going to keep seeing families, patients, and Democrats standing up to hold them accountable.

 

“Thank you.”

 

###