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Sen. Murray: Cruel Trumpcare plan puts families’ “health and financial security on the line—and the least Senate Republicans can do is hear them out”

(Washington, D.C.) – Led by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), today Senate Democrats joined patients living with serious and chronic diseases, survivors, and advocates to highlight how the newly released Senate Trumpcare plan would undermine their ability to access affordable life-saving health care. Under the Senate Republican Trumpcare plan, those living with serious and chronic diseases could see the re-imposition of lifetime coverage limits and increased costs associated with living with their medical conditions. Joining the Senators to share their stories of how Trumpcare would impact their ability to receive life-saving treatment were Ian Lock, a survivor of Osteosarcoma diagnosed during his sophomore year of high school, Marques Jones, a patient living with Multiple Sclerosis, and Jill Hale, a mother of a child living with Cystic Fibrosis.  

"An especially cruel aspect of the Republican Trumpcare plan is the harm and uncertainty it would cause to those dealing with the most serious, chronic diseases," said Senator Murray. "By reimposing lifetime coverage limits in particular, millions of patients—cancer survivors, children with pre-existing conditions, and many more—stand to experience skyrocketing costs associated with living with their medical conditions. It's not hard to see why Republican leaders tried so hard to hide their bill—and they're absolutely right to be ashamed."

Key Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“But instead of working in a bipartisan way to actually help people, instead of holding hearings, or debating this bill on the floor thoroughly, or giving people any opportunity to weigh in—they’ve kept their version of Trumpcare under lock and key. An all-male group of 13  Senate Republicans negotiated this bill in secret, drafted it in backrooms, cut deals behind closed doors, and only now—with just days to go before they plan to vote on it—did they think it might be a good idea to release this bill, which would impact the health and wellbeing of people nationwide.”

“The Senate version of Trumpcare is nothing less than an attack on brave patients like those we’ll hear from this afternoon. It completely undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions; it exposes people across the country to unlimited medical expenses—even if you get your insurance through an employer. And, just like the House version of Trumpcare—it would dramatically increase health care costs for families and kick tens of millions of people off of coverage. If I was a Senate Republican—I wouldn’t want to explain my support for this bill either.”

“And my message to them is—if you can’t answer questions like the ones I just posed—saying you’re unhappy isn’t enough. Join Democrats in telling Senator McConnell that patients and families like the ones here today deserve the opportunity to fully scrutinize this bill—so they can tell elected officials just how damaging it would be. This is their health and financial security on the line—and the least Senate Republicans can do is hear them out.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s speech:

Thank you, Senator Hirono, for your leadership and for bringing us together today.

And thank you so much to the patients, families, and advocates who have joined us to stand strong against Trumpcare.

People across the country have been demanding for weeks—even months—to see what Senate Republicans have in store for their health care.

But instead of working in a bipartisan way to actually help people, instead of holding hearings, or debating this bill on the floor thoroughly, or giving people any opportunity to weigh in—they’ve kept their version of Trumpcare under lock and key.

An all-male group of 13  Senate Republicans negotiated this bill in secret, drafted it in backrooms, cut deals behind closed doors, and only now—with just days to go before they plan to vote on it—did they think it might be a good idea to release this bill, which would impact the health and wellbeing of people nationwide.

There’s no question they are ashamed of this bill—and it’s easy to see why.

The Senate version of Trumpcare is nothing less than an attack on brave patients like those we’ll hear from this afternoon.

It completely undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions; it exposes people across the country to unlimited medical expenses—even if you get your insurance through an employer.

And, just like the House version of Trumpcare—it would dramatically increase health care costs for families and kick tens of millions of people off of coverage.

If I was a Senate Republican—I wouldn’t want to explain my support for this bill either.

But with days to go until the vote that Senator McConnell plans to hold on this bill—here are just a few of the many questions Senate Republicans should have to answer.

How do you tell a child with a pre-existing condition that she’ll be burdened with unlimited medical expenses all her life?

What do you say to her parents?

Can you look a brave cancer survivor in the eye after you voted to spike her premiums and really believe you did the right thing for the people you represent?

And—because many rank-and-file Senate Republicans didn’t even see this bill today—are you really ready to vote on a bill that would impact a sixth of our economy—and the lives of people across your states—with just a few days to review it?

I know many Senate Republicans have said they aren’t happy with the secret process Republican leaders have conducted.

And my message to them is—if you can’t answer questions like the ones I just posed—saying you’re unhappy isn’t enough.

Join Democrats in telling Senator McConnell that patients and families like the ones here today deserve the opportunity to fully scrutinize this bill—so they can tell elected officials just how damaging it would be.

This is their health and financial security on the line—and the least Senate Republicans can do is hear them out.

Thank you.