The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) reminding us that everyone’s health care coverage is on the ballot.
(Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, DeGette highlights Republicans’ plan to take away health care coverage and destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)
After the ACA passed, finally forbidding insurers from discriminating against or denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, the GOP spent eight years crusading to repeal the law, even forcing a government shutdown at one point to make their case. Last year, after 217 House Republicans voted for their terrible repeal bill to take away Americans’ health care, the effort failed by one vote in the Senate.
“Had Republicans succeeded, they would have devastated health care coverage in this country. Millions of Americans would have lost their coverage or been forced to pay more for it. Older Americans would have faced what the AARP called an ‘age tax,’ meaning they could be charged up to five times as much for coverage as younger ones. And protections for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would have been gutted. […]
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this week admitted that if his party has the votes in Congress next year, they’ll try again to repeal the ACA altogether. And President Trump said the same thing last month.
Democrats have a different agenda for Congress – a Congress that works For The People, instead of a Congress obsessed with destroying Americans’ health care.
(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)
Transcript: Congresswoman Diana DeGette Delivers Weekly Democratic Address
“Hello, I’m Congresswoman Diana DeGette from Colorado.
“As a senior member of the House committee with jurisdiction over health care policy, I have played a leading role in the development of comprehensive health reform in this country. I helped shepherd the Affordable Care Act into law eight years ago. And since then, I’ve proudly been at the forefront of the fight to defend Americans’ health care from the many badly misguided Republican efforts to repeal the law and the historic protections it provides.
“After the ACA passed, finally forbidding insurers from discriminating against or denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, the GOP spent eight years crusading to repeal the law, even forcing a government shutdown at one point to make their case. Last year, after 217 House Republicans voted for their terrible repeal bill to take away Americans’ health care, the effort failed by one vote in the Senate.
“Had Republicans succeeded, they would have devastated health care coverage in this country. Millions of Americans would have lost their coverage or been forced to pay more for it. Older Americans would have faced what the AARP called an ‘age tax,’ meaning they could be charged up to five times as much for coverage as younger ones. And protections for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would have been gutted.
“After failing in the Congress, Republicans turned to the court with a cruel lawsuit to strike down protections for pre-existing conditions. And the Republican leadership in Congress continues to introduce other bills that still would undermine the ability of the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions to get affordable and comprehensive health insurance.
“In August, Republican Senators introduced a bill with a big loophole for health insurance companies that essentially would let them exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage. Their bill would allow insurers to charge those with costlier health conditions much more for their insurance – making health coverage unaffordable for families with loved ones with pre-existing conditions across America. House Members soon followed suit with a similar bill.
“But even after voting to destroy protections for pre-existing conditions, and pushing new legislative and legal assaults, Republicans are falsely claiming that they are taking steps to preserve these protections.
“It’s ironic that Republicans have said they support keeping pre-existing condition protections while continuing their relentless assault on Americans’ health care. Worse yet, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this week admitted that if his party has the votes in Congress next year, they’ll try again to repeal the ACA altogether. And President Trump said the same thing last month.
“Democrats have a different agenda for Congress – a Congress that works For The People, instead of a Congress obsessed with destroying Americans’ health care.
“We want to lower health costs and the price of prescription drugs. We want to raise wages and drive strong economic growth by rebuilding America. And we want to clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.
“Rather than attacking the health care of Americans with pre-existing conditions, I urge my Republican colleagues to actually work across the aisle to strengthen America’s health care system.
“Republicans should work with Democrats on bipartisan improvements that would reduce premiums and deductibles, increase price transparency and access to care providing relief from high drug prices.
“The public expects no less.
Any bolding has been added.
Congress is in recess until after the midterm election and there was no leadership news conference.
From Nancy Pelosi’s newsroom …
Pelosi Statement on Senator McConnell’s Plans to Renew ACA Repeal Efforts Next Congress
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after Senator McConnell announced the GOP’s plans to renew efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act if Republicans hold Congress next year:
“Republicans keep blurting out the truth: if the GOP controls Congress next year, they will return to their monstrous campaign to steal health insurance from tens of millions of families, raise health costs, impose an age tax on older Americans, and destroy protections for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions.
“The GOP has used their control of Washington to wage a bitter war on the health care of families and seniors. After the American people rose up against the GOP’s assault on health care in the Congress, Republicans then cynically turned to the courts to destroy protections for people for pre-existing conditions. Instead of lowering prescription drug prices, the GOP Congress has handed massive new tax breaks to the same Big Pharma companies hiking drug prices on seniors and families across America.
“Medicare, Medicaid and Americans’ right to affordable health care will never be safe with GOP control of Washington. Democrats are For The People: lowering health costs and the price of prescription drugs, increasing pay and driving strong growth by rebuilding America, and cleaning up corruption to make Washington work for the people.”
“Deficit reduction” is only a Republican goal when it can be used as a talking point for plunging the elderly into poverty and then making heath care unaffordable to them. Democrats need to stop enabling and start pushing back – if deficits are fine to pay for tax cuts for the super-wealthy then deficits are fine for expanding Social Security, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, and fully funding our social safety net.
Pelosi Statement on Senator McConnell’s Plan to Cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Due to GOP Budget Deficits
Nancy Pelosi has hinted more than once that she would like to hand over the reins to someone else. She eyed the election of the first woman president as a good jumping off point – but that did not go as planned. :( From a recent interview:
I hope she stays on long enough to be the strong firewall we will need against Trump’s party through 2021. In my opinion, she is the only one with the legislative smarts to handle that.
I don’t think Adam Schiff is a good choice – I would prefer someone who can do “kindness” and “concern” and he has too many sharp edges.
Moreover, Adam Schiff is a man. I want more women in top leadership posts.
Kamala Harris was in South Carolina (at the invitation of South Carolina Democrats) and spoke about the midterms:
Thanks for this, Jan. My mind was, and remains, boggled that so many ordinary, working-class people vote for a party that is against their having health care. Do they like being bankrupted and made homeless by monstrous medical bills?
Secondly, these people profess to follow a religion that began by proclaiming all people to be brothers and sisters and to love their neighbors as themselves. Guess the historical figure involved forgot to put in: “Love them as long as they’re white.”
Brown-skinned, dark-eyed Jesus, with his dusty robes and dusty, sandaled feet may or may not have existed. It’s a shame his followers take no pains to abide by the precepts he supposedly taught. As Gandhi said: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.”
It should shock no one that the christianists are the most ardent supporters of the Republican Party. They are the white male patriarchy and their goals of subjugation of women and racial purity are the goals of the party since the mid-1950s. Trumpism would not exist as a major political force without their support; the willingness of their gullible followers to agree to be harmed by lack of affordable health care is a testament(!) to the power of religion to make people into mindless sheep.
I hope we can wrest power back from these people before they can destroy what’s left of our government safety net.