Fast and Furious Condemnation of Trump’s American Health Care Act — Called “Evil”


Rep. Jeffries — “disastrous healthcare bill”

The condemnations of The American Health Care Act which passed narrowly in the House of Representatives today have been fast and furious with leading Democrats saying it won’t survive in the Senate where the votes are tighter. Meanwhile New York’s Attorney General said he would challenge it in court if it becomes law.

Democratic leaders have called on Americans to urge their Senators to reject the bill.

The bill, which represents President Trump’s first major bill to pass one hurdle was described by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-California) as “evil.” All afternoon opponents of the bill who had pressed President Trump to work on improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the so-called Obama Care, rather repealing it, have had some sharp words for the administration.

“Ultraconservatives in Washington have pushed through the House an unconscionable piece of legislation that threatens to tear apart our health care system,” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, said. “Far from improving our health care, the Republican plan will strip millions of Americans of their coverage, raise costs for the sick, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions, and penalize progressive states that protect the rights of women.”

“Sadly, some representatives in New York have sold their vote and turned their backs on the very constituents they represent. This bill is a targeted assault against our values, punishing New Yorkers because we support women’s reproductive rights and including the Collins-Faso amendment which would devastate the state’s health care industry, put millions of New Yorkers at risk, and increase the total cost of this bill on New York to $6.9 billion,” the governor said. “Despite the vocal opposition of the American people, radical conservative ideologues are still advancing a disastrous bill. I urge all Americans to call their Senators and tell them to stand with the people they represent by voting no on this reprehensible legislation.”

New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, said: “In addition to the devastating impact this bill would have on every New Yorker’s access to affordable healthcare, the legislation that passed the House today is unconstitutional in several critical respects—and I stand ready to challenge it in court. First, House Republicans’ attempt to effectively deny women access to reproductive healthcare services is a cruel and unconstitutional attack on women’s rights – especially the most vulnerable. Further, the Collins-Faso Amendment is a cynical ploy by House Republican leadership and President Trump that exceeds Congress’s authority by interfering with how New York has long elected to fund its Medicaid program. This bill threatens to slash essential healthcare services for millions of New Yorkers who need them the most. For these reasons, if this disastrous and unconstitutional healthcare bill is ultimately signed into law, I will challenge it in court.”

New York’s senior Senator Charles E. Schumer said: “This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate. Rather than trying to pass a different version of the same Trumpcare bill that would mean higher costs and less care, Senate Republicans should refuse to follow their House colleagues over a cliff, reject repeal, and work with Democrats to improve our healthcare system in a bipartisan way.”
“The Trump health care bill that passed today on a party-line vote is atrocious and must be defeated in the Senate,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), said. “Health care shouldn’t be about politics. It is about people and this bill would harm people. The only beneficiaries of this bill are big insurance companies and the wealthiest among us, with the price tag being paid by everyone else through higher premiums, less coverage, and millions of vulnerable Americans losing their insurance.”

Gillibrand added:  “Older Americans will be forced to pay more for their health care through an age tax that lets insurance companies charge those aged 50-64 higher premiums.  Up to 24 million Americans with insurance today could lose that coverage. Individuals with pre-existing conditions could lose their protections against premium discrimination granted under Obamacare.”

She said, “Obamacare isn’t perfect. Health insurance is still too costly for most Americans, and Congress should fix that. There are two ways to do that. Subsidize insurance companies further with taxpayer dollars or create a not-for-profit public option that cuts insurance companies and their profits out of the equation to lower premiums, drug prices, and out-of-pocket costs for everyone. I believe we should fight for that public option – but until then, I will work as hard as I can to defeat this misguided and purely political effort that will hurt New York families.”

Democrats in the House also were sharply critical of the passage of the American Health Care Act. 

“The American Health Care Act is an evil bill that rips healthcare from 24 million Americans while handing $600 billion to the wealthy and big corporations,”  Congresswoman Barbara Lee said. “This heartless legislation allows states to gut essential health benefits that require insurers to provide basic services like maternity care, cancer screenings and mental healthcare. The drastic cuts in the Republican repeal plan gut services for children with disabilities, increases costs for cancer patients, steals from seniors and allows insurance companies to price-gouge people with pre-existing conditions.”

She added: “Today Republicans’ core values were on full display, demonstrating the disgusting belief that only the rich are worthy of access to healthcare. Losing the lifesaving coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act would be a death sentence for thousands of Americans. I urge Republicans in the Senate to reject this disastrous bill and work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) said the “disastrous healthcare bill” would “strip lifesaving medical care away from 24 million Americans and blow a hole in the national deficit.”

“Under Republican rule, the system is rigged. The fix is in,” he said. “The deck is stacked against hard-working Americans. Under TrumpCare, 24 million Americans will lose access to health insurance. Under TrumpCare, costs will go up, premiums will go up, co-pays will go up, deductibles will go up. Under TrumpCare, tens of millions of Americans who are living with pre-existing conditions will be screwed.”

In New York City, First Lady Chirlane McCray said: “Our fight continues. One in five New Yorkers suffers from mental illness or a substance use disorder and rely on ACA coverage for recovery services. We will intensify our efforts to ensure Capitol Hill and the White House put the health and wellbeing of working families first. Today’s misguided vote reinforces the importance of the work I am leading with our bipartisan Cities Thrive Coalition to advance mental health reform at the national level.”

The Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito said: “Shame on the President and House Republicans for once again putting profits and tax breaks for a wealthy few over the health of millions of Americans. Instead of receiving more affordable and accessible healthcare, Americans across the country will now face spiking premiums and reduced overall coverage.” She added, “This hastily drafted, toxic legislation will destroy healthcare equality, forcing thousands of families to bear the costs of pre-existing conditions and exacerbating the financial burden of healthcare on low and middle-income families. This bill would also slash Medicaid – a popular, effective program that provides health coverage for millions of Americans – to pay for massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Despite the Trump administration’s repeated attempts to damage the sanctity of our healthcare system, here in New York City, the Council will continue to work on behalf of all New Yorkers to make sure that they can receive access to the healthcare they need, regardless of their health conditions.”

David Sandman, the President and CEO of New York State Health Foundation said: “The Affordable Care Act has been a tremendous success in New York State. Since it was implemented, we’ve cut our uninsured rate in half. Today, only about 5% of New Yorkers are uninsured, a historic low, and the closest we’ve come to having universal coverage. More than 3.5 million New Yorkers have enrolled in coverage through the New York State of Health Marketplace.” Sandman added: “Today’s vote to approve the American Health Care Act could undermine those coverage gains and result in a massive loss of funding for the health of New Yorkers. Cuts to Medicaid and the elimination of the Essential Plan could result in more than 1 million New Yorkers losing health insurance coverage and the State losing billions of dollars each year in federal funding. New York has long been ahead of the curve on covering its residents and protecting people with preexisting conditions. It will strive to honor those commitments, but finding the funds to sustain current levels of health insurance will be a nearly impossible task if the AHCA becomes law.”

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers said: “Today is a dark day in the Republican-led House of Representatives. They have perpetrated a cruel hoax on America’s families and their quality of life.”

She added: “Let’s be clear: This bill robs millions of Americans of essential benefits like maternity and pediatric care, makes deep cuts to Medicaid that disproportionately punish low-income Americans and special needs students, and maintains the excise tax on working families’ group plans. And for the half of all Americans who obtain insurance through their employers, this bill puts them at risk of losing the current legal protections that cap out-of-pocket costs.”

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