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Murray: Tacking Bipartisan Alexander-Murray Health Bill to Partisan Republican Tax Reform “Like Trying to Put A Fire Out With Penicillin”

Murray says Senate Republicans are “sneaking devastating health care changes into a partisan bill at the last minute;” “completely counter to the bipartisan spirit in which we worked on our stabilization bill”

Murray criticizes Senate Republicans for jamming partisan health changes into fast-track tax reform at last minute

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, gave remarks on Senate Republican efforts to paper over devastating health changes added to the partisan tax reform bill by including the bipartisan Alexander-Murray stabilization legislation.

“Before we begin today’s conversation I want to comment on the decision by Senate Republicans to once again attempt to raise families’ costs and take away their health care—this time to fund tax cuts for massive corporations and the rich—while using the bipartisan agreement Chairman Alexander and I, and members of this committee, reached as nothing more than political cover. 

“First—let’s be clear about the policy: tacking Alexander-Murray onto the partisan Republican tax reform effort is like trying to put out a fire with penicillin. It will not do anything to help.

“The Alexander-Murray bill was intended to lower costs and stabilize the market—but millions of people will still be left paying more and losing coverage if Senate Republicans sabotage families’ health care to help millionaires and billionaires get more tax breaks they probably don’t need. 

“Second—the way that this was done, by sneaking devastating health care changes into a partisan bill at the last minute, is completely counter to the bipartisan spirit in which we worked on our stabilization bill.

“Many of us agreed in the wake of partisan repeal efforts earlier this year that jamming partisan policy through before anyone has a chance to see it is absolutely not the right way to get things done, and it’s especially disappointing to see this happen because in working on our bill and reaching agreement, we proved we can work under regular order and find common ground.

“And finally, Chairman Alexander, I’ve said many times before how much I appreciated your willingness to work across the aisle after Trumpcare failed in July—to try to get a result that actually helps families rather than burdening them with higher costs and causing millions to lose coverage. 

“I think the work we and this committee are able to do together when we focus on what’s best for patients and families is exactly what people want to see happening in Congress.

“What Senate Republicans are proposing now is the exact opposite and the wrong direction for families’ health and financial security.

“It would be deeply disappointing for people who are looking to Congress for leadership—not partisanship—if this latest partisan Republican effort undermined both the policy and the spirit of the agreement we were able to reach.”