Schumer Remarks: GOP Plan Would Make America Sick Again, Lead to Chaos, not Affordable Care

January 4th, 2017


Schumer Remarks: GOP Plan Would Make America Sick Again, Lead to Chaos, not Affordable Care

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today delivered remarks outlining the potential disastrous outcome of Republicans’ plan to repeal the Affordable Care act, cut Medicare, and cut Medicaid. Below are his remarks:

 

Good morning everyone. We had a great meeting with the President. Virtually all of our caucuses attended. He was very inspiring telling us—we were working out our strategy and we have a great deal of optimism that the good things that have happened in ACA are going to stay. And our Republican colleagues don’t quite know what to do.

 

They’re like the dog who caught the bus. They can repeal but they have nothing to put in its place. And that means so many good things go which was the summary of the meeting.

 

Now, I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate. Leader Pelosi, Senators Durbin, Murray, Stabenow, Baldwin, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren and Representatives Hoyer and Richie Neal for coming.

 

And again, the President articulated the importance of preserving the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid as only he can. And it was an inspiring meeting for all of us. It was probably the last time the President will address the joint caucuses together.

 

It was valuable to hear because the first big fight of this new Congress will be over health care.

 

Republicans are plotting, and soon will be executing, a full-scale assault on the three pillars that support the American healthcare system: the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid.

 

The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn’t make America great again, it would make America sick again, and lead to chaos instead of affordable care.

 

Republicans would create chaos in the healthcare system because they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have no idea what to put in place of the Affordable Care Act. For years, they’ve talked about repeal, but for five years, they’ve had nothing to put in its place.

 

It all starts with the ACA.

 

As we all know, the Affordable Care Act is a delicate balance. President-elect Trump has even expressed support for three of the most popular parts of the law: pre-existing conditions, allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and equal treatment for women.

 

But Republicans will soon learn that you cannot keep the good parts of the ACA and remove the rest of the law and still have it work. And that’s what they’re struggling with and that’s why they’re not getting anywhere.

 

What they would do would throw the entire insurance marketplace into chaos—plain repeal—it would increase costs for Americans of ALL income levels and blow a trillion dollar hole in the deficit.

 

And now, I see the President-elect was tweeting again this morning,

 

He said Republicans shouldn’t let the “Schumer clowns” out of this web.

 

Well, I think the Republicans should stop clowning around with people’s Medicare, Medicaid, and health care.

 

The Republicans are stuck. For years, they have promised every conservative group in America that they will repeal the ACA “root and branch.”

 

Until today, they could make extreme promises without suffering any consequences, because they knew Democrats or President Obama would ultimately block any rollbacks of the ACA.

 

Now, Republicans in Congress are, again, like the dog that caught the bus.

 

They can’t keep all the things that the American like about the ACA and get rid of the rest without throwing our entire healthcare system—not just those on ACA, but those on private insurance—into chaos.

 

One of the things they’ll hurt most is rural hospitals. Right there in their heartlands. The minute they enact this repeal, they are going to suffer dramatically.

 

In 11 state capitals, in many red states today, rural hospitals are protesting the Republican action.

 

We’re here today to warn the American people that the Republican plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid, repeal the ACA will make America sick again.

 

Instead of working to further ensure affordable care for all Americans, they seek to rip healthcare away from millions of Americans creating chaos in our entire economy.

 

Now, as my colleagues will outline shortly, the Republican plan would kick millions off coverage whether it be Medicare, Medicaid, or the Affordable Care Act.

 

It would cause premiums of many of people to skyrocket. The 75 million who are covered by private insurance—their premiums will go up too. It would harm hospitals, many of which are in rural areas. And it would put insurance companies back in charge.

 

We stand here today united—we are a united caucus—two united caucuses—we are united in our opposition to these Republican attempts to Make America Sick again.

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