Fighting Back: “Graham-Cassidy would cause untold suffering in every community in America”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY). In it he calls the Republican Senate’s bill “monstrous. Cruel. Even deadly”.

(In this week’s Democratic Address, Congressman John Yarmuth asks why Republicans continue to ignore Trumpcare’s devastating impacts.)
Rep. Yarmuth:

This past week, we learned that the Senate’s latest iteration of Trumpcare, ‘Graham-Cassidy’ they call it, would likely take health coverage away from approximately 32 million people – a staggering ten percent of the American public. […]

If Republicans in Congress are so desperate to take action on health care, Democrats would be more than happy to work with them on any proposal, provided it meets just one single condition: it has to make things better for the American people, not worse.

[T]he bill Mitch McConnell could hold a vote on next week – with no debate and only a sham hearing – will unquestionably cause untold suffering in every community in America.

President* Trump was onto something when he called the House bill ‘mean.’ But he stopped too soon. The Senate bill is monstrous. Cruel. Even deadly.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Transcript: Congressman John Yarmuth Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“Hello. I’m Congressman John Yarmuth from Louisville, Kentucky, and the Ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

“This past week, we learned that the Senate’s latest iteration of Trumpcare, ‘Graham-Cassidy’ they call it, would likely take health coverage away from approximately 32 million people – a staggering ten percent of the American public.

“Let’s be clear: we already knew that the bill, if it becomes law, would eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions, end Medicaid as we know it, cause premiums to skyrocket, limit choice, condemn millions of working families to financial ruin, and lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans.

“So, how is it possible that none of these devastating details seem to be having an effect on the President and Republican Senators, who continue to support this dangerous bill?

“Because this was never about health care for them. If this were a debate on lowering costs and improving the quality of health care for working families, we’d be having a very different conversation right now.

“If Republicans in Congress are so desperate to take action on health care, Democrats would be more than happy to work with them on any proposal, provided it meets just one single condition: it has to make things better for the American people, not worse.

“Graham-Cassidy does not come close to meeting that condition. Instead, they’re racing to drive up families’ costs, and destroy their coverage with this legislation. That, to quote President Trump, is ‘mean.’

“If Republicans want to work on a bill that further contains costs for the American people or improves heath care outcomes – or both – Democrats would work with them. All that matters to us is better outcomes for Americans.

“Let me repeat that. All we are interested in is improving the lives of the American people, and the bill Mitch McConnell could hold a vote on next week – with no debate and only a sham hearing – will unquestionably cause untold suffering in every community in America.

“The bill will bring hardship to families nationwide, not just taking us back to where we were eight years ago but making things significantly worse – allowing states to remove price protections and gut vital health services for women like maternity care. It will strip away mental health care and the critical protections that make insurance meaningful.

“If you’re one of the 134 million Americans under the age of 65 living with a preexisting condition such as asthma, diabetes or cancer – that’s one in three of us – this bill lets your state price you out of treatment that could save your life.

“If you are in your 50s or early 60s, this bill would open up the door to a crushing age tax that causes your premiums to skyrocket.

“If you’re disabled and rely on Medicaid to survive, the bill sets caps that threaten to end the care you need.

“But if you’re a politician desperate to say you fulfilled an ill-thought campaign promise, Graham-Cassidy is the bill for you.

“President Trump was onto something when he called the House bill ‘mean.’ But he stopped too soon. The Senate bill is monstrous. Cruel. Even deadly.

“Republicans have until September 30 to pass a bill in the Senate without Democrats under budget reconciliation rules. It may seem like a trick for them to try to pass a health care bill as a budget bill to avoid working with Democrats. But, the truth is, this never was a health care bill. That’s why Graham-Cassidy is opposed by doctors, hospitals, patients, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and even insurance companies.

“The good news is if Republicans want to propose a health care bill that improves care for the American people, they don’t have to rush or use procedure to avoid Democrats. We’re ready to work with you. Democrats are already at the table, and we’re saving your seats.

“So please, for the American people, I urge my friends in the Senate to reject the disastrous Graham-Cassidy bill, and let’s get to work on a real proposal to improve America’s health. Thank you.”

Any bolding has been added.

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Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Wednesday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good afternoon, everyone.

How sad we are today, heartbroken, over what’s happening in Mexico City, a tragic loss of life and destruction again. And of course we pray for them and continue to pray for Americans on Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands, Florida, everyone who has been battered by Harvey in Texas, in Florida, by Irma, and now Hurricane Maria.

So we have some challenges where the American people expect the federal government to meet their needs, and we’re working very hard to make that connection. But we’re praying, and so proud of all of them for how they’ve come together as communities.

So here we are. The reason I wanted to see all of you today, I came back because they’ve now pulled their latest and worst version – with stiff competition, mind you – of how to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Again, higher cost, less coverage, key protections gutted, crushing age tax, steal from Medicaid, all kinds of things that are not in it, like the funding for opioids, issues that relate to pre-existing conditions, that protection gone. It’s really a terrible bill, poorly written.

As you probably are aware, Leader Chuck Schumer and I wrote to the CBO, along with [Senator] Bernie Sanders and [Congressman] John Yarmuth, our Ranking Members of our Budget Committees in the Senate and in the House, to ask them to give us a CBO score, a report on the totality of the bill. Republicans just want to know how much money is cut. Well, you can cut a lot of money if you’re not taking care of people’s health. So we want to know the totality of it all, and we continue to ask for that.

The reason the Republicans are rushing it through is because their reconciliation expires September 30, and that’s when it ends for them to do 51 votes. If they’re so committed to all of this, they can just pass another budget reconciliation package and go forward, but probably that would be hard for them to do.

But this hurts seniors, women, working families, people with pre-existing conditions. Rural communities are hurt very hard. It’s not just about health care in those communities, which would be reason enough to object, but it’s about jobs and the economy of those regions as well.

And all of this again just to make sure they have enough money at the end of the day to give tax cuts to the rich. They’re trying to rush a vote with this scant budget analysis. And on Monday, as I said, we wrote that letter. This Saturday, we’ll have a Day of Action to amplify the voices of families who will be hurt by Graham-Cassidy.

Again and again, the American people have rejected the immense cost and cruelty of Trumpcare. This is the most recent version. Some people think it could cost over 30 million people being pushed off of health care.

We haven’t seen those figures from the CBO, but whatever it is, it’s going to be terrible.

Instead of trying to destroy health care, Congress should be spending money on real bipartisanship to create jobs, to address DACA, pass the DREAM Act, to have real bipartisanship, to stabilize the marketplaces in the Affordable Care Act.

I hope that we will be – I know we’ll be continuing in a bipartisan way, hopefully sooner rather than later, with Senator [Lamar] Alexander and Senator [Patty] Murray’s good work to go forward. We’ll see how that proceeds.

But in the meantime, we’ve got to be creating jobs. With all the things that are happening, all the more reason for us to have A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future, creating jobs and raising incomes and lowering cost to families and giving every American the tools they need to succeed as we go forward.

We’ll be advancing A Better Deal all across the country. Part of it is to make sure that people have access to quality affordable health care. We want that to move in a direction that is ever-expanding, not shrinking, as the Republicans are doing in that bill.

This is really an emergency. It’s all hands on deck, red alert, all hands on deck. Everybody is onboard to make this fight. We’ve got to stop this bill in the Senate, and, if not, in the House.

Any questions? Yes, Chad?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

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Fact Sheet: A Growing List of Insurers, Bipartisan Governors, Doctors, Hospitals, Seniors Groups and Many Others Are Opposing Latest Trumpcare Bill, Graham-Cassidy

After numerous failures to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have revived Trumpcare and made it worse than ever. Under the Graham-Cassidy bill, veterans, seniors, working families, women, Americans with pre-existing conditions and rural communities will suffer just so Republicans can hand tax breaks to the wealthiest.

There is a growing list of organizations that have sent letters and put out statements strongly opposing this latest version of Trumpcare. Bipartisan governors, insurers, doctors, hospitals, seniors’ groups, patient advocacy groups, and many others have spoken out against Republicans’ latest attack on the health and well-being of hard-working Americans.

(Full details at the link)

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Editorial Boards: Latest Trumpcare Bill is the Worst One Yet

Senate Republicans are planning to bring their latest version of Trumpcare (Graham-Cassidy bill) to the floor for a vote next week – putting millions of American families at risk of losing access to affordable health care. With shattering consequences of higher health costs for less coverage, gutting key protections, a crushing age tax, and stealing from Medicaid, hard-working people will suffer just so Republicans can hand massive tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

Editorial boards across the country continue to be vocal in their criticism of this sham proposal to gut health care for Americans in every state.

(List of newspapers and summaries at the link)

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  1 comment for “Fighting Back: “Graham-Cassidy would cause untold suffering in every community in America”

  1. JanF
    September 23, 2017 at 5:46 am

    The Trump Administration continued its assault(!) on decency and its singleminded focus on overturning every good government initiative of the Obama Administration.

    Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration Rescinding Title IX Guidance Protecting Victims of Sexual Assault

    Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded Obama-era guidance protecting victims of sexual assault:

    “The Trump Administration’s decision to roll back vital protections for victims of campus sexual assault is a shocking attack on women and a disturbing reminder of this White House’s dismissive attitude toward survivors.

    “Six years ago, the Obama Administration acknowledged the fundamental right to be free from abuse, harassment and fear by expanding Title IX protections and bolstering its enforcement. Now, the Trump Administration is dismantling that progress and tearing away the protections that millions of young women and men rely on for safety and justice.

    All students have the right to feel safe on campus. Democrats will continue to stand with survivors, and fight the Trump Administration’s outrageous, immoral attacks on Title IX protections.”

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