News Releases

Despite widespread support for bipartisan legislation, a handful of Republicans are trying to jam through another reckless Trumpcare bill before Friday at midnight

The bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, would hit WA especially hard all while gutting Medicaid, increasing costs for families, and erasing protections for people with pre-existing conditions

***WATCH SEN. MURRAY’S OPENING REMARKS HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, spoke on the Senate floor to urge Republicans to drop their partisan approach and instead resume negotiations on a bipartisan bill. For weeks, Sen. Murray has worked with her counterpart on the health committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), to improve the Affordable Care Act by stabilizing markets and lowering costs for families. Republican leaders put these negotiations on hold in order to try to jam through a deeply partisan bill by using the budget reconciliation process, which expires at midnight on Friday, September 30th. Murray has made clear she continues to be committed to reaching a bipartisan agreement that would strengthen health care and protect families from higher premiums next year.

Key Excerpts:

“People across the country have been demanding for months to turn the page on Trumpcare. But instead of working in a bipartisan way to actually help people, a few of our colleagues have pushed through yet another reckless repeal bill—that’s even worse than the previous Trumpcare version.”

“This bill would increase costs for families, especially seniors and people with pre-existing conditions, allow insurance companies once again to charge people more for basic health care, like maternity care, mental health services, and more. Take away women’s access to care at health centers, like Planned Parenthood, and result in millions of people across the country losing their Medicaid. And, just like last time, this bill has not been subject to any real hearings, public debate, or even a complete and thorough CBO score.”

Watch video of Sen. Murray’s Opening Remarks here.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Before I begin on the nomination before us, I’d like to first echo what so many of my colleagues—Democrats and Republicans—and millions of people across the country—have made very clear today: Enough with all of the partisanship around health care, enough with playing politics with people lives, and enough with the repeated attempts to roll back all our progress, and move our country backward.

M. President, it is time we drop Graham-Cassidy—drop Trumpcare once and for all—and join together to get to work to actually improve health care—starting with acting right now to lower premiums for families and strengthen health care in a bipartisan way.

That’s been my message to my colleagues all along. And the truth is, I know many of my Republican colleagues prefer a bipartisan route. They’ve said as much—in the last Trumpcare debate, in the very productive discussions we’ve had in and outside the HELP committee, and in many of their comments just over the past few days.

So, M. President, it begs the question: why are we in this spot, yet again? People across the country have been demanding for months to turn the page on Trumpcare. But instead of working in a bipartisan way to actually help people, a few of our colleagues have pushed through yet another reckless repeal bill—that’s even worse than the previous Trumpcare version.

This bill would increase costs for families—especially seniors and people with pre-existing conditions, allow insurance companies once again to charge people more for basic health care, like maternity care, mental health services, and more. Take away women’s access to care at health centers, like Planned Parenthood, and result in millions of people across the country losing their Medicaid. And, just like last time, this bill has not been subject to any real hearings, public debate, or even a complete and thorough CBO score. Let’s be clear: this bill is not a new proposal—it’s not serious policy—this is not regular order—it’s yet another version of Trumpcare that would be devastating for families across the country.   

So, M. President—this is actually pretty simple—because there is a clear alternative path before us.

Let’s do what my colleague the senior Senator from Arizona—and so many others—has so bravely called for once again—and return to working together. As I’ve said, I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague from Arizona that the right way to get things done in the Senate—especially on an issue as important to families as their health care— is through regular order and finding common ground. That’s why I am still at the table ready to keep working. And I remain confident that we can reach a bipartisan agreement as soon as this latest partisan approach by Republican leaders is finally set aside.