News Releases

At latest Senate health committee hearing on health care costs, Senator Murray condemned President Trump’s health care sabotage, which has hiked premiums and eroded patient protections 

Senator Murray also emphasized President Trump’s promise to pick Supreme Court nominees who would rule against families health care and the threat posed by Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination 

Senator Murray criticized President Trump’s toothless drug pricing blueprint, and released a new report outlining how drug prices have climbed since the start of the Trump Administration 

Senator Murray: “Since day one, President Trump has never wavered in trying to undermine families’ health care and raise their costs” 

Senator Murray called on Republicans to return to the negotiating table to work on bipartisan legislation to bring down insurance premiums 

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S REMARKS HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, condemned President Trump for undermining protections for pre-existing conditions and exacerbating high costs through repeated acts of health care sabotage, including championing massive tax cuts that benefitted the wealthy but were paid for by policies that will cause families’ health insurance premiums to rise, slashing investments that help people to get covered under the Affordable Care Act, and expanding the availability of junk insurance plans that erode patient protections. During a committee hearing on ways to address rising health care costs, Senator Murray also highlighted the threat President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanuagh, poses to health care protections for millions of people in Washington state and nationwide.  

Senator Murray urged her colleagues to join her in opposing Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and fighting for health care, and called on Republicans to return to the negotiating table and work alongside Democrats on bipartisan legislation to rein in costs and begin to repair President Trump’s health care sabotage. She also criticized the Trump Administration’s repeated failure to take meaningful action to reduce prescription drug prices, emphasizing that the release of the President’s hollow drug pricing blueprint sent pharmaceutical stocks soaring. Senator Murray released a new report compiled by the Senate health committee minority staff detailing how drug prices for many of the most prescribed and most expensive prescription drugs have skyrocketed under the Trump Administration.

See the report on rising drug costs under the Trump Administration HERE.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“And when it comes to helping people afford the care they need, President Trump’s record is even worse. Since day one, President Trump has never wavered in trying to undermine families’ health care and raise their costs. And after families across the country stood up and rejected the Trumpcare bills that would have spiked premiums, gutted Medicaid, and put families back at the mercy of the big insurance companies, who could have priced people with pre-existing conditions out of care, he decided to do everything he could to sabotage families’ health care from the Oval Office.”

“And after Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, President Trump took one of his most concerning steps yet to sabotage health care for families. As a candidate, President Trump promised he would pick Supreme Court nominees who would support his efforts to roll back pre-existing condition protections. And last week he picked Judge Kavanaugh—someone who was vetted by far-right groups to do just that. President Trump clearly doesn’t doubt Judge Kavanaugh would strike down protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. We shouldn’t doubt it either.”

“For patients across the country, the future of the Supreme Court isn’t a matter of partisan politics—it’s a matter of life and death. So I hope Republicans are listening to the people across the country speaking out about their concerns, and I hope they will join us in opposing his nomination and fighting for health care.”

“But Democrats are still at the table, and we’re still interested in finding commonsense solutions to help reverse some of the damage of President Trump’s health care sabotage, and reduce the skyrocketing costs families across the country are struggling to pay.”

Watch Senator Murray’s remarks HERE:

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Before I begin, I want to emphasize how important it is that we continue to hold the Trump Administration accountable for the chaos and heartbreak it has caused for the thousands of children it has cruelly and needlessly separated from their parents.

“While we’ve gotten some updates—there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered, a lot of families that have not been reunited, and therefore a lot of work that has to be done—fast.

“I am absolutely not going to let up on holding the Trump Administration accountable on this. I’m going to keep asking questions, demanding answers, and fighting to make sure these kids and their families are being treated fairly and humanely.

“Now, as we continue our discussion on health care costs, I’ve heard from families across Washington state who feel overwhelmed by the burden of skyrocketing prescription drug costs, rising premiums, and surprise medical bills they weren’t expecting, and I know families across the country feel the same way.

“Unfortunately, President Trump has utterly failed to address the problem of rising health care costs. While drug companies have raised prices sky high, President Trump hasn’t taken any meaningful action. Instead, he has enabled the industry’s bad behavior by touting a drug pricing blueprint so empty that it sent pharmaceutical stocks soaring, and pretending Pfizer’s decision to temporarily delay a price hike is the same as a price cut.

“In fact, we confirmed last week that some of the policies in his blueprint were actually proposed by the pharmaceutical industry. That’s not reform – that’s an inside job, and patients around the country struggling to pay for their prescriptions know the difference.

“And when it comes to helping people afford the care they need, President Trump’s record is even worse. Since day one, President Trump has never wavered in trying to undermine families’ health care and raise their costs. And after families across the country stood up and rejected the Trumpcare bills that would have spiked premiums, gutted Medicaid, and put families back at the mercy of the big insurance companies, who could have priced people with pre-existing conditions out of care, he decided to do everything he could to sabotage families’ health care from the Oval Office.

“He sabotaged it by championing tax cuts that benefitted massive insurers and drug companies, but were paid for by policies that even his former Health Secretary admitted would increase premiums for families. He sabotaged it by slashing investments in helping people understand their health care options and get covered. He sabotaged it by handing control back to insurance companies, making it easy for them to sell junk plans that ignore patient protections—like those for people with pre-existing conditions, women, and seniors—leaving them unable to afford care. 

“And after Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, President Trump took one of his most concerning steps yet to sabotage health care for families. As a candidate, President Trump promised he would pick Supreme Court nominees who would support his efforts to roll back pre-existing condition protections. And last week he picked Judge Kavanaugh—someone who was vetted by far-right groups to do just that. President Trump clearly doesn’t doubt Judge Kavanaugh would strike down protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. We shouldn’t doubt it either.

“For patients across the country, the future of the Supreme Court isn’t a matter of partisan politics—it’s a matter of life and death. So I hope Republicans are listening to the people across the country speaking out about their concerns, and I hope they will join us in opposing his nomination and fighting for health care. I also hope they will listen to families who want us to work together to reduce health care costs.

“Previously, in this Committee, we actually made some promising progress on this. We sat down and hammered out a bipartisan compromise that would have helped bring down health costs for patients and families facing higher premiums this year. I was deeply disappointed that Republican leaders blocked our bipartisan legislation.

“But Democrats are still at the table, and we’re still interested in finding commonsense solutions to help reverse some of the damage of President Trump’s health care sabotage, and reduce the skyrocketing costs families across the country are struggling to pay. And in addition to resuming our bipartisan work to address rising health care premiums, I’m hopeful we can also start working to find common ground on other challenges families face when it comes to health care costs.

“Mr. Chairman, at our last hearing on this issue, we both shared stories from patients in our home states who had struggled with unexpected health care costs due to surprise balance-billing. Patients who had insurance, but were caught off guard by large charges from out-of-network care providers—even if they went to an in-network hospital. I know other members of the Committee are interested in addressing this as well, so I’m eager to hear their ideas.

“Thank you Mr. Chairman, and thank you to all of our witnesses for joining us today. I look forward to hearing from you.”