Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, delivered the following remarks at a press conference regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) new score for the Senate Republican Trumpcare bill:
After weeks of secret negotiations between 13 male Republicans; after keeping Democrats in the dark—and hiding the details from patients and families; all while claiming the Senate version of Trumpcare would somehow be “better”—today’s CBO report makes it clearer than ever just how mean Trumpcare is—and why.
The bottom line is Trumpcare is a minefield of higher health care cost for patients and families—and a massive giveaway to special interests in the health care industry.
Depending on what state you’re in—if you’re a senior—Trumpcare will spike your premiums. If you need maternity care—you could pay as much as $1000 more per month on top of the rest of your coverage; if you need mental health care, care for a substance use disorder, or prescription drugs—you could see your costs go up by thousands of dollars per year.
That means—despite what so many of my Republican colleagues claim—I want to be very clear that Trumpcare guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Because as any family will tell you, coverage that is too expensive to buy—like it very well could be under Trumpcare—is no coverage at all.
Trumpcare raises families’ health care costs in these ways and more while making sure that those at the top and big corporations get a handout. Those aren’t the goals any health care bill should aim for. And this certainly isn’t the way we should be writing a bill that would have so much impact on the health and financial security of people across the country.
I know a number of Republicans have expressed concerns about Trumpcare over the past few days—and I also know that Republican leaders are working as hard as they can to twist arms and cut backroom deals. I fully expect that to continue, and to get even worse as we hit these final days. I just hope that Republicans who are rightly concerned about the impact Trumpcare would have will stand strong for their constituents, take a close look at the facts on the table, recognize it’s time to change course, and drop Trumpcare once and for all.
It’s not too late, and Democrats are at the table like we always have been if Republicans are truly ready to work on policies that actually help lower costs and improve care for patients and families—because that should be the goal.