Fighting Back: “Republicans are trying to sabotage your health care.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire.

(“Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They failed, but they’ve found other ways to weaken – and, frankly, to sabotage – the law.” -Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH))

“The [actions of the administration] have destabilized the market. As a result, health insurers say they have no choice, in the weeks ahead, but to sharply increase premiums. This will have a devastating impact on consumers in the individual marketplace,”

“The sharp rise in health care premiums is a crisis that was manufactured in Washington, and Washington can fix it”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript is not available. Link to local news account: WMUR

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, delivering the Democrats’ weekly address to the nation Friday, charged that President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have “found ways to weaken –and frankly, to sabotage” — the Affordable Care Act.

Delivering the Democratic address for the second time during her tenure in the Senate, Shaheen focused on health care as states prepare to announce their rates for 2019.

She said the ACA has allowed 23 million Americans to receive health insurance coverage, has forbidden insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and, through Medicaid expansion, has allowed people with substance use disorders to receive “lifesaving treatment for the first time.”

“But there’s a problem – and all of these gains are now at risk,” Shaheen said in the address. “Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They failed, but they’ve found other ways to weaken – and, frankly, to sabotage – the law.”

“President Trump has repeatedly sown confusion, falsely claiming that the law is ‘imploding’ and pledging to, and I quote, ‘let Obamacare fail.’ End quote,” Shaheen said of the ACA.

She said Trump “refuses to make the payments that keep health insurance affordable,” referring to the discontinuation of the ACA’s federal cost-sharing reduction payments for insurers to offset high rates for high-risk Americans.

She cited new Trump administration rules that allow state to give insurance companies permission to sell less expensive, short-term plans that are exempt from some of the basic requirements of the ACA.

Shaheen called them “junk health plans with skimpy coverage,” which, she said, has “siphoned off healthy consumers and driven up rates for everyone else. Also, these junk plans, once again, allow insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the new rules would give states “new tools to stabilize their health insurance markets and empower citizens to find coverage that fits their families’ needs and budgets.”

Shaheen also cited the Trump administration’s 90 percent reduction – from $100 million to $10 million – in the ACA advertising budget for last year’s open enrollment period. She contended it was an effort to “keep Americans in the dark.”

“These actions, taken together, have destabilized the market. As a result, health insurers say they have no choice, in the weeks ahead, but to sharply increase premiums. This will have a devastating impact on consumers in the individual marketplace,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen urged bipartisan congressional action to improve the ACA.

“The sharp rise in health care premiums is a crisis that was manufactured in Washington, and Washington can fix it,” Shaheen said.

Any bolding has been added.

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Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday was not available on CSPAN.

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good morning, everyone. Oh, it is so lovely to see all of you at Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Thank very much for being here.

In a little minute, I am going to come sit down where you are, but first I just have a little bit of work to do. Okay? Okay. Are you getting your questions ready and stuff? You got your notepads and the all the rest. Oh, boy, this is pretty exciting.

So and we are in this room and here – George Washington. George Washington, the Founder of our country. He was a brave soldier and a great President. And when you go around Washington, D.C., you see the Washington Monument, you see the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial. Have you seen any of those things? And other statues and tributes to our Founders and leaders in our country.

And it is very important that we honor them for what they did to make our country so great. But they would want us not to look to the past, but look to the future, and you are the future. So they would want us to be saying, our work here is about, of course, honoring our past, but taking responsibility for the future. Honor the vows of our Founders, what they intended for our country. Honor the work of our soldiers, our men and women in uniform, our veterans who protect us. And, very importantly, honor the aspirations of our children, what your hopes and your dreams are, and what we can do to make the future better.

So when people ask me, what are the three most important issues facing the Congress? I always say the same thing. Our children, our children, our children. Their health, their education, the economic security of their families, a clean, safe environment in which they can thrive and grow. A world at peace in which they can reach their fulfillment. So we have important work to do for you.

Now, to my colleagues, friends and the press. Some of these responsibilities that we have to our children are at risk in some of the actions being taken by this Administration. For example, in terms of the air our children breathe and the water they drink is seriously at risk under the leadership of Scott Pruitt at EPA, that is almost to the point of corruption, certainly conflict of interest. So somebody makes money at the expense of the health of our children, the air they breathe, the water they drink.

Housing, so important to children. And Secretary Carson hiking the rent for some of American’s most vulnerable children while he has expensive furniture at the public expense in his office. The list goes on and on. But we have a better idea, it is called the Better Deal. Can you say that? The Better Deal. Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future for our children.

So this is one of the things that we have to do is to protect our democracy. Hi, again. Our democracy. And one of the things that is risked is the role of money in our democracy that [OMB and CFPB] Director [Mick] Mulvaney in his pay-to-play approach to politics laid bear the brazen corruption of the Trump Administration in this regard.

So, in any case, in the framework of, again, honoring our Founders, respecting our men and women in uniform, and addressing the aspirations of our children, that is what we are here to do.

Any questions? I am going to take some from the press and then I am coming down there so I can be closer in.

Press questioning followed (see transcript) and some of the children in attendance were allowed to ask questions as well. One was “How did you get into politics?”

Leader Pelosi. The question is, how did I get into politics? Well, how are we doing? Now it is working. So it is about sitting down. Okay. The question was, how did you get into politics?

I was born into politics. When I was born, my father was a Member of Congress from Baltimore, Maryland. Anybody from Maryland, here? Okay. And so when I was in first grade he became the Mayor of Baltimore. Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., and he became the Mayor of Baltimore. All my whole life, he was Mayor. And when I went away to college, my whole freshman year, he was still the Mayor of Baltimore.

So we were always taught in our family that we had a responsibility to other people. That our sense of community said that if we could be helpful to them, that was our responsibility. It was also part of our Catholic faith that we had responsibilities to each other.

So I am going to get closer to the kids. Let’s see if it still works down here. So years later, many years later, I went to college, married, had five children. That was a long time ago. So I think it bothered me that 1 in 5 children in America goes to sleep hungry at night because they are so poor.

So when my children got bigger and were going away to college, I decided that I wanted to follow the example of my family, which was that public service is a noble calling, and people asked me to run for Congress. I didn’t really want to run for office, but I did. And that is how I got from being a housewife to being the House Speaker.

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Leader Pelosi held a town hall at Georgetown University to discuss A Better Deal.

(On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke with Georgetown University students about Democrats’ #ABetterDeal agenda and issues impacting young Americans across the country. Footage courtesy of Georgetown University.)

More on the Democratic Party’s plan:

House Democratic Leaders Unveil A Better Deal: Tools to Succeed in the 21st Century

Alexandria, Virginia – Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats held a press conference at Northern Virginia Community College to unveil the newest plank of their bold economic agenda, A Better Deal: Tools to Succeed in the 21st Century, which focuses on Democrats’ commitment to investing in America’s workers, pioneering future frontiers and modernizing government.

“Too many families have been left behind by technological change, and left wondering where they fit in the economy of tomorrow,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Democrats are offering the American people A Better Deal, with Better Jobs, Better Wages and A Better Future, that gives every working American the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy. We are presenting a bold, ambitious, new plan to secure America’s position as the unrivaled technological superpower of the future, while investing in our workers to ensure that all share in the benefits of our national progress.” (Leader Pelosi’s full remarks are here.)

“Republicans have spent the last year giving working people a raw deal. They’re selling a raw deal on health care, a raw deal on taxes and a raw deal that makes the wealthy and well-connected stronger while working people sacrifice more than ever before,” said House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair Congressman David Cicilline. “Democrats have A Better Deal – one that will create better jobs, better wages and a better future. We are going to invest in workers, break new ground and give the American people a government that is smart, effective and knows how to deliver results for the people it serves.”

“Right now, millions of Americans are working in jobs that didn’t even exist ten years ago and millions more are working in jobs that will not exist ten years from now. If we make the right choices now to invest in education and training and strengthen worker rights, we can develop the workforce and workplaces equipped to meet the demands of our rapidly changing economy,” said Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott. “I am pleased to be among my colleagues who will fight A Better Deal for working families.”

“America has been defined by innovation, leadership and big ideas, but today we’re standing still as other countries invest in their future,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. “Democrats commit to establishing the most critical platforms to reestablish American leadership by investing in R&D, science, technology and national infrastructure. We commit to a doubling of federal investments in scientific research, to the establishment of innovation hubs to better harness the ingenuity of our universities and national labs and to large scale-investments in our nation’s infrastructure. We must build, build, build, grow, grow, grow, and create jobs, jobs, jobs. This is our roadmap to a prosperous future for all Americans.”

“Our country needs a comprehensive education strategy to be competitive in the 21st Century,” said Congressman Don Beyer. “Northern Virginia is a hub of new apprenticeship opportunities and one of the most educated places in the country, so it is fitting that we unveiled the workforce development leg of House Democrats’ A Better Deal here today. These are the kinds of bold ideas that we should adopt to give our children their best shot at success in tomorrow’s economy.”

“To meet the challenges of the 21st Century, we need our government to embrace the best tools of the 21st Century, and that means modernizing our technology and the way we use it. By upgrading and securing our technical infrastructure, improving access to those resources and expanding the opportunities those investments create to more small businesses, we can create a more responsive, more effective government for every American family,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.

The full A Better Deal: Tools to Succeed in the 21st Century can be viewed here.

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Pelosi Statement on Secretary Ben Carson’s Rent Hikes on Vulnerable Americans

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed to triple rents and impose draconian new work requirements for many families receiving housing assistance:

The Trump Administration’s plan to push families off their housing assistance showcases the utter cruelty and cravenness of the Republicans’ special interest agenda. After exploding the debt with the GOP Tax Scam’s massive handouts to corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent, Republicans are scrambling to gut the pillars of economic security in our nation to pay for their fiscal recklessness.

“In their haste to further enrich the wealthy, Republicans are tripling the rents of millions of vulnerable families as housing prices skyrocket across the country. Compounded by draconian new work requirements, this policy could push countless families onto the streets, and kick out the ladders of opportunity from beneath Americans striving to get ahead. Women, children, caregivers, veterans and people with chronic health conditions will all suffer, just to pay for the GOP’s tax cuts for the wealthiest.

The American people deserve better than the raw deal Republicans in the White House and Congress are giving them. Democrats are offering A Better Deal, with Better Jobs, Better Wages, and a Better Future, that ensures every American has the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy.”

(Bolding added)

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  3 comments for “Fighting Back: “Republicans are trying to sabotage your health care.”

  1. JanF
    April 28, 2018 at 10:16 am

    From Leader Pelosi’s press conference, a question about impeachment:

    Q: Earlier this week Harry Reid did an interview and he said Democrats should not talk about impeachment of the President. Do you agree with that?

    Leader Pelosi. Well, I have said over and over again that I don’t think that we should be talking about impeachment. I have been very clear right from the start. There is a process at work that will either yield or not, information that will be dispositive of that issue.

    But I said to – this is an election that we must win for our children and for the fate of the nation. And this election is not about what is going on in the White House and the rest of that, it is about our addressing the needs of the American people. And we cannot take our eye off that ball. So I have been criticized – they criticized me when I was Speaker before for not impeaching President Bush.

    So, again, impeachment is a very serious matter. If it happens, it has to be a bipartisan initiative. I don’t think that we have the information to go to that place, and I discourage any discussion of impeachment.

    On the political side, I think it is a gift to the Republicans to talk about impeachment. What we want to talk about is what they are doing to undermine working families in our country, and what we are doing to increase their payroll and lower their costs.

    Every time we talk about impeaching the Republican president , we take attention off what the Republican Congress is doing to our country. Winning back Congress will provide the missing checks and balances and, as Nancy Pelosi says, there is a process at work for the rest of it.

    • bfitzinAR
      April 28, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Nancy’s right, of course. Impeachment is nothing but a derailment of our time, energy, and money from what we need to do – there’s a lot of damage to repair, none of which will be magically done by impeaching a president we cannot remove from office. Nor will it be done if we waste our time impeaching a president we cannot remove from office. But impeachment feeds into the authoritarian “presidents rule” philosophy of the Deplorables at both ends of the political spectrum. They do not, apparently cannot, understand that in America presidents administer the laws passed by Congress. If you want change, it happens in Congress first. Presidents’ abilities to contact foreign relations are regulated by Congressional approval of appointments and ratification of treaties. Presidents’ abilities to conduct wars are (supposedly) regulated by Congressional and only Congressional authority to declare war. Congress is where we have to start to work. Work that doesn’t include the “reality TV” of impeachment.

  2. princesspat
    April 28, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks Jan……I hope the Dems can do a better job countering the inevitable hatred that will come at strong women in the next election. We have to win back congress and the R’s will do all they can to stir up their base.

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