06.06.17

Murray: “Trumpcare Would Turn Our Health Care System into a Minefield of Higher Costs and Worse Care for Families”

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, U.S Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, delivered a floor speech highlighting the ways Trumpcare would raise health care costs, take coverage away from tens of millions of people, and create even more chaos in our health care system than Republicans have already provoked. Murray urged families to continue speaking out and making their voices heard in opposition to this deeply harmful legislation.

 

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“The policies in Trumpcare would turn our health care system into a minefield of higher costs and worse care for families. If you are a young person who needs mental health care—you could pay thousands more a year on top of what you’re already paying for insurance. If you’re a senior, your premiums could increase by as much as 850 percent. If you need maternity care, independent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows you could pay as much as a thousand dollars more a month.

 

“Under Trumpcare, twenty-three million people across the country would lose coverage. And because insurance companies would have far more power to lower their standards and offer skimpy, snake-oil plans, we would go back to the days when a trip to the emergency room could result in a truly devastating financial hit.”

 

“It’s no wonder that they’re now having trouble figuring out how to cobble together enough votes to jam this disastrous bill through the Senate. If that’s truly the case, then I would again encourage them to drop their reckless repeal efforts, stop creating chaos in our health care system—which is driving up premiums, and work with Democrats on real solutions. We’re ready like we’ve always been to find ways to do more to bring down families’ health care costs, while making sure they get the same quality of care—and on finding ways to get more families affordable coverage. But unfortunately we haven’t heard from any Republicans who are willing to reverse course. And that’s why—despite how much trouble Republicans may be having with their disastrous policies, I am urging anyone who rejects Trumpcare and what it means for families’ health and financial security to fight as hard as they can against this bill. Keep making calls, keep rallying, and keep sharing your stories.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech, as prepared for delivery:

 

Thank you.

 

I want to take a few minutes today to talk about Trumpcare—specifically, about what families back in Washington state are saying about the harm this bill would do, and why, despite how often Republicans say they are struggling to find a way to jam Trumpcare through the Senate, now is the time to keep the pressure on.

 

I’ve had to say this far too often—but right now, people across the country are scared, and they are right to be.

 

The policies in Trumpcare would turn our health care system into a minefield of higher costs and worse care for families.

 

If you are a young person who needs mental health care—you could pay thousands more a year on top of what you’re already paying for insurance.

 

If you’re a senior, your premiums could increase by as much as 850 percent.

 

If you need maternity care, independent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows you could pay as much as a thousand dollars more a month.

 

Under Trumpcare, twenty-three million people across the country would lose coverage.

 

And because insurance companies would have far more power to lower their standards and offer skimpy, snake-oil plans, we would go back to the days when a trip to the emergency room could result in a truly devastating financial hit.

 

M. President—I’ve just described some of the biggest impacts Trumpcare would have.

 

None of them help patients and families. They instead do serious harm.

 

But you know who would benefit from Trumpcare? Special interests in the health care industry who would get a massive tax break—and President Trump, who is desperate for a political win.

 

For these reasons and many more, people across the country are rejecting Trumpcare.

 

They don’t want the dramatically higher health care costs, and they don’t want this bill to create even more chaos in our health care system than Republicans already have.

 

And they certainly don’t think they should have to pay more all to appease President Trump and those at the very top.

 

M. President, Senate Republican leaders have said they expect their final product will look a whole lot like the version of Trumpcare that passed in the House.

 

In fact, some have said they expect to keep as much as 80 percent of the House-passed version of Trumpcare!

 

So it’s no wonder that they’re now having trouble figuring out how to cobble together enough votes to jam this disastrous bill through the Senate.

  

If that’s truly the case, then I would again encourage them to drop their reckless repeal efforts, stop creating chaos in our health care system—which is driving up premiums, and work with Democrats on real solutions.

 

We’re ready like we’ve always been to find ways to do more to bring down families’ health care costs, while making sure they get the same quality of care—and on finding ways to get more families affordable coverage.

 

But unfortunately we haven’t heard from any Republicans who are willing to reverse course.

 

And that’s why—despite how much trouble Republicans may be having with their disastrous policies, I am urging anyone who rejects Trumpcare and what it means for families’ health and financial security to fight as hard as they can against this bill.

 

Keep making calls, keep rallying, and keep sharing your stories.

 

M. President,  since the election I’ve heard from family after family in Washington state about what the future holds for their health care.

 

One of those constituents is Marcy Jefferson.

 

Her husband is a small business owner, and they purchase individual insurance.

 

In 2014, Marcy was diagnosed with cancer.

 

She’s had to have not one but two stem cell transplants since then, and her chemotherapy costs over $3,000 each month.

 

Before the Affordable Care Act, Marcy’s health insurance had no out-of-pocket limit—and she and her husband were also paying thousands of dollars each month to support her parents when they hit the doughnut hole.

 

Without protections that close the doughnut hole and limit how much insurance companies can charge patients—protections that Trumpcare would take away, Marcy says she and her husband will “most definitely” face bankruptcy.

 

Marcy also says that the ACA “literally saved my life—and we could not afford the type of care I am receiving without it.”

 

M. President—there are stories like Marcy’s in literally every community in our country, in red states and blue states and purple states.

 

It’s appalling that instead of working with us to make health care more affordable and higher quality, and expanding coverage…

 

…instead of listening to people like Marcy and joining us at the table…

 

…Republicans are trying to jam a plan through the Senate that would do the opposite.

 

It would threaten lives and devastate families financially.

 

But I am going to do everything I can to fight back—and I will keep working against the deeply harmful Trumpcare plan Republicans are determined to get signed into law.

 

Families like Marcy’s are bravely speaking up and making clear just how damaging Trumpcare would be.

 

And that is exactly what Democrats here in the Senate are going to do as well.

 

Thank you and I yield the floor. 

 

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