News Releases

Senate Democrats took to the Senate floor to speak out against the Republican efforts to repeal the ACA without a clear replacement

Hospitals and insurers—including state Republican leaders—agree: repeal of the ACA will create chaos—LINK to Politico’s “Obamacare repeal's doomsday scenario” story

*Video HERE*

Murray called out Republicans for “doubling down on their shameful and tired obsession” to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their repeal of the ACA

Murray also shared stories of Washington state constituents who depend on the ACA for critical health care and services 

Murray: “…if Republicans think causing chaos in our health care system, heightening economic uncertainty, attacking women’s health and rights, and burdening seniors and families with higher health care costs somehow makes our country ‘greater’…they’re obviously not listening to millions of families who did not vote in November for higher premiums, or a health care system thrown into chaos”

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, and Senate Democrats took to the Senate floor today to speak out against Republican’s “harmful and reckless” plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no clear plan to replace it. In her speech, Senator Murray discussed how this path would cause chaos in our health care system and in particular have devastating consequences for “women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities.”

Senator Murray and Senate Democrats also stood up for the women, men, and families nationwide who are outraged at the Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senator Murray talked about the critical services that Planned Parenthood provides, such as cancer and STD screenings, HIV tests, birth control, and abortion care. Senator Murray made clear that she will fight this “shameful” attempt tooth and nail and will not let “extreme politics” get in the way of millions of patients heath care.

Senator Murray concluded her speech by sharing the stories of three constituents from Washington state: a mom in Bellingham, a husband and wife in Spokane, and a father and son in the Seattle-area, all of whom depend on the Affordable Care Act for critical health care and services.  

Video of Senator Murray’s remarks can be found HERE.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

Ripping apart our health care system—with no plan to replace it—will create chaos. This is a view shared not just by Senate Democrats here tonight, but by independent experts. And, in fact, it’s a view shared increasingly by state Republican leaders across the country, including some Senators and Congressmen.”

“…if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s: women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities who will bear the burden. Premiums will skyrocket. Out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will rise. And overall health care costs will increase.”

“As if all of their harmful plans weren’t enough, House Republicans announced last week, after a meeting with Vice President-elect Pence, that they plan to defund Planned Parenthood in the budget.”

“In other words, Congressional Republicans are not only trying to undo a law that: protects women from being charged more than men for health care, and ensures birth control is covered without a co-pay—they’re also going after the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care as well.”

“M. President, if Republicans think causing chaos in our health care system, heightening economic uncertainty, attacking women’s health and rights, and burdening seniors and families with higher health care costs somehow makes our country “greater”—well, they’re obviously not listening to millions of families who did not vote in November for higher premiums, or a health care system thrown into chaos.”

“In fact, in my home state of Washington, M. President, I’ve heard from moms, dads, and grandparents who are finally experiencing some stability, and are able to cover their families with quality, affordable health insurance, many for the very first time.”

“As I’ve said before, the work didn’t end when the Affordable Care Act was passed—far from it. Democrats are ready, as we’ve always been, to work together to make health care more affordable, accessible, and better for the families we all serve.”

“I hope Republicans reverse course right now, and agree to work with us on real improvements to the health care system…If they don’t—and if they continue rushing to take away families’ health care with no alternative plan—they will be fully responsible. And they will certainly be held accountable. But the real impact will be on millions of families across the country.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks: 

“M. President, I come to the Senate floor tonight with my colleagues to share the stories of families in our home states whose lives are now healthier, or have even been saved, because of the Affordable Care Act, including those who depend on Medicare and Medicaid—people whose voices, now more than ever, need to be heard here in Washington, D.C. But first, I am going to again make clear how the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act will rip apart our health care system. And, after what came to light late last week, I also come to the Senate floor to stand with the millions of women, men, and families nationwide who are rightly outraged that this reckless and harmful effort also includes a plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

“M. President, for seven years now, Congressional Republicans have made all kinds of empty promises about how undermining families’ health care isn’t going to hurt anyone. That if the Republican-controlled Congress: privatizes Medicare, cuts Medicaid, defunds the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care, and guts public health and prevention programs—somehow families will magically be better off.

“M. President, let me be clear. Ripping apart our health care system—with no plan to replace it—will create chaos. This is a view shared not just by Senate Democrats here tonight, but by independent experts. And, in fact, it’s a view shared increasingly by state Republican leaders across the country, including some Senators and Congressmen. On Friday, to cite just one example, the Republican Governor of Arizona urged his party in Congress not to rush to repeal the Affordable Care Act saying, and I quote, “I don’t want to see any Arizonan have the rug pulled out from underneath them in terms of changing this law.”

“M. President, if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s: women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities who will bear the burden. Premiums will skyrocket. Out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will rise. And overall health care costs will increase. It’s a perfect storm to make America sick again—and absolutely the wrong direction for families and for our economy.

“M. President, I have never seen a start like this to a Congress, where the majority is jamming legislation through on a fast-track basis, with no hearings for public debate or actual legislative text.  And, as a former Chairman of the Budget Committee, I have never seen such an abuse of the budget process. What many of my Republican colleagues are doing right now is unprecedented—but it gets worse. 

“As if all of their harmful plans weren’t enough, House Republicans announced last week, after a meeting with Vice President-elect Pence, that they plan to defund Planned Parenthood in the budget. In other words, Congressional Republicans are not only trying to undo a law that: protects women from being charged more than men for health care, and ensures birth control is covered without a co-pay—they’re also going after the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care as well. They are doubling down on their shameful and tired obsession with undermining women’s access to health care—and it will have devastating consequences for women’s: health, rights, and economic security.

“So, M. President, I am here with a very clear message: not on my watch. I—along with my colleagues—and women and men across the country—have fought this fight before. In 2011, 2013, 2016—and we’ll fight it in 2017. We know what Planned Parenthood means to the millions of patients—women and men—who have trusted it for over 100 years for: cancer and STD screenings, HIV tests, birth control, and so much more. And we are not going to let extreme politics get in the way of their health care.

“M. President, if Republicans think causing chaos in our health care system, heightening economic uncertainty, attacking women’s health and rights, and burdening seniors and families with higher health care costs somehow makes our country “greater”—well, they’re obviously not listening to millions of families who did not vote in November for higher premiums, or a health care system thrown into chaos. In fact, in my home state of Washington, M. President, I’ve heard from moms, dads, and grandparents who are finally experiencing some stability, and are able to cover their families with quality, affordable health insurance, many for the very first time.

“Like a mom from Bellingham, Washington. She sent me a story about how the Affordable Care Act helped save her son’s life when doctors found a life-threatening blood clot during a routine physical. She was not only able to afford the preventive checkup that found this clot because of her new coverage. But also, her son’s treatment was covered by the Affordable Care Act through the Medicaid expansion.

“I heard from a small business owner, M. President, from Spokane, Washington who told my office about his wife—a retired nurse of 62—and how she was able to get a better plan thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  He told us what that meant for his wife and for his family. You bet he gets upset when he hears Republicans say the law hasn’t worked for anyone or that they want to privatize Medicare by turning it into a voucher program.

“And finally, M. President, I’d like to share the story of Kalon, a software engineer from Seattle, and his son Bryce. Kalon reached out to my office right after the November election. You see, two years ago, his son Bryce was kayaking in West Virginia and injured his back. But the pain in Bryce’s back didn’t go away, even after months. What doctors first suspected as just a stubborn muscle strain, ended up to be a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. It was horrible news—but thankfully his family had health insurance. Today, Bryce is getting excellent treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where doctors have been able to ease some of his pain. And he’s responding well to chemotherapy. But, M. President, Bryce—now almost 18—will need care—expensive care—for many years to come. And Bryce’s dad, Kalon, is gravely concerned that if the Affordable Care Act goes away, the pre-existing condition protection we fought so hard for in the law will also go away, and that his son will not be able to afford health care or get the benefits and treatments he needs in the future.

“M. President, these of course are just three stories, but they represent many of the more than 600,000 Washingtonians—who are a part of the 30 million Americans across the country—benefiting from the law today. But of course—there is more we need to do. As I’ve said before, the work didn’t end when the Affordable Care Act was passed—far from it. Democrats are ready, as we’ve always been, to work together to make health care more affordable, accessible, and better for the families we all serve.

“M. President, I hope Republicans reverse course right now, and agree to work with us on real improvements to the health care system. That’s the path to take if they are truly serious about helping the families they serve. If they don’t—and if they continue rushing to take away families’ health care with no alternative plan—they will be fully responsible. And they will certainly be held accountable. But the real impact will be on millions of families across the country. Families like those I just spoke about and those you’ll hear throughout the night—Democrats, Republicans, and independents—who do not want to see this law repealed, and want us to work together to improve it instead.

“I hope Republicans are listening. And I urge them to make the right choice.”

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