Well, if President Trump called the House bill “mean” in a rare moment of honesty, can you imagine what he is going to say about this new Senate bill?
Senate Republicans started with a Trumpcare bill that was negotiated behind closed doors — in a room of 13 men, and not surprisingly, it would have been devastating for patients, women and families.
When they finally released their bill, it was immediately rejected by people across the country. Democrats, Republicans, independents — millions of people stood up and said no to this awful bill.
They said no to increasing costs for families and seniors. They said no to putting insurance companies back in charge. They said no to cutting tens of millions of people off of their health insurance. And they said absolutely no to Trumpcare.
In fact, one study came out showing it was the least popular bill in three decades, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who actually looks at what’s in it.
So what did Republican leaders do in the face of large-scale popular rejection of their bill? What did Republican leaders do after Republican senator after Republican senator said they couldn’t vote for it without massive changes to help more people?
Well, they made their bill even worse. Even meaner.
They did nothing to address the concerns that even many Republicans — governors, senators, and so many others — had about the massive cuts to Medicaid that would be devastating to patients and states. They did nothing to truly address the defunding of Planned Parenthood and cutting off access to care for millions of women. They did nothing to truly address how this bill would devastate our efforts to combat the opioid crisis — despite trying to hide that fact by including a fund that one Republican governor said is like “spitting in the ocean.”
And when it comes to affordability and putting insurance companies back in charge, Republican leaders not only didn’t fix the problems — they made them a whole lot worse. They caved to the most extreme members of their caucus and included the Cruz-Lee provision that would put the insurance companies back in charge and let them sell junk plans that don’t cover what people actually need; raise premiums for anyone who isn’t perfectly healthy and young; tell anyone who has a preexisting condition or who gets sick: tough luck; and send the health care market into a tailspin.
This bill is awful without this provision, but this is truly appalling and it’s almost as if Leader McConnell wants to allow Ted Cruz to poison and tank this latest effort. So I can only hope the Republicans who have opposed this bill because it hurt their constituents will be honest with themselves — and honest with their constituents — and will continue to oppose this awful and mean bill.
I know many Republicans are scrambling for alternatives because they realize how toxic Trumpcare is. We saw a new one from Senators Graham and Cassidy just this week.
And Democrats have made it very clear: We are ready, as we have always been, to work with Republicans to repair the damage they have caused to health care and work to make health care more affordable, more accessible, and higher quality. They just need to finally stand with people across the country and step away from Trumpcare — and then we are ready to get to work.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray