July 14, 2017

VIDEO: Senator Warren Responds to the Republican "Health Care" Bill

Video available here

Washington, DC - In a video released today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren responded to the latest version of the Republican health care bill, calling it "the worst one yet."

The full video is available here.

A transcript is available below:

The Republican health care bill is like the starring zombie in a horror movie - no matter how many times you kill it, it just keeps coming back from the dead. 

Two weeks ago, the Senate Republicans had to cancel their vote on their health care plan because the Congressional Budget Office pointed out that it was gonna cost about 22 million Americans health care coverage. So what did they do? They went back and said, "What can we do to change the bill just a little and maybe pick up 50 votes?"

Now make no mistake, the first version of the bill was a tax cut bill paid for by taking away health care coverage from other Americans. And, we take a look at this version of the bill and what do they got? Tax cuts are still there. 

Tax breaks for insurance companies? Still in.

Tax breaks for drug companies? Still in. 

And get this one: If you are rich enough to be able to pay for your own heart transplant or for your own chemotherapy, great tax breaks for you. But for everybody else, when your insurance runs out you're just on your own.

And of course, the bill still has the massive cuts to Medicaid. And that means states will be forced to choose.  Are they going to take care of seniors in nursing homes? Or special needs kids who are in public schools? 

Oh, but the Republicans did put one piece in. They said there's going to be some more money to deal with opioid abuse. Yeah, that sounds pretty good until you understand that right now Medicaid is the principal way that we deal with opioid abuse.  One in three people who's receiving treatment for drug problems gets some help from Medicaid to pay for that. And the Republican plan is just to put in some dollars, not nearly as much, and say, "We're gonna call it good."

You know, Governor Kasich of Ohio described that as spitting in the ocean. In other words, not going to fix the problem, not even come close. Me, I just call it political spin at its worst.

And the final change in this bill may actually be the worst one of all.

Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have put in an amendment that says that insurance companies can offer plans that don't comply with the ACA at all. The Republicans call this the "freedom amendment." Yeah, freedom. Freedom for insurance companies. Freedom for insurance companies to say, "Hey, no coverage on preexisting conditions. No coverage for people who have mental health problems." Freedom to make sure that millions of Americans are just shut out of health care coverage.

This latest version of the Republican health care bill?  It's the worst one yet.