"Mr. President, I rise today for the third time this session -- to oppose plans by
"Well, TrumpCare may be a "great plan" if you are wealthy and healthy. Because if you are wealthy, you get big tax breaks. And if you are healthy, your premiums may not go up and may even go down. That is, until you're sick.
"TrumpCare is not a "great plan" if you are over the age of 62 or are a hardworking family trying to make ends meet, if you live in a rural area, or if you have or have had an illness like cancer or heart disease or diabetes, or if you are a woman.
"23 million Americans will be left high and dry -- out of health insurance by 2026.
"They don't think TrumpCare is a great plan. To them, it's a "mean" plan.
"Actually, those are
"For the first time since his inauguration, I agree with the president on health care.
"Since day one of the 115th
"But, Mr. President, there is good news.
"The American people have rallied, they've called, they've emailed, they've gone to town halls, they've marched, and they've made their views known and shared their stories. And, so far, they have stopped
"Just this past Saturday in my home state, simultaneous rallies in opposition to TrumpCare took place in 20 counties.
"I say to them: Keep up the fight! And I will continue to fight as hard I can. We need to do all we can to stop this attack on health care.
"The consequences of upending our health care system are enormous. They are enormous for the 20 million Americans who now have health care because of the ACA, through private insurance and through Medicaid expansion.
"TrumpCare hurts the vulnerable - the elderly, the disabled, and those with fewer resources.
"The consequences of gutting the ACA and restructuring Medicaid are enormous for our economy -- one-sixth of which is related to health care.
"They are enormous for hospitals that rely upon third party reimbursements under the ACA and Medicaid expansion. These hospitals need those revenues. And even more so for rural hospitals that keep their doors open thanks to the ACA. And the
"But the majority in
"The Majority Leader has missed an opportunity for political and moral leadership on one of the most important issues we face.
"Americans deserve an open process from their elected leaders. That is why I introduced a bill last week with my democratic colleagues called the No Hearing, No Vote Act. This bill would require a public committee hearing for any legislation that goes through the fast-tracked "budget reconciliation" process - including the TrumpCare legislation. Members of
"If we want to improve on Obamacare, we could, one, make sure that all Americans have health care. And two, make health care more affordable.
"So, Mr. President -- what's really happening here? I'll tell you. The American people don't want the benefits they have gained through Obamacare to be repealed and replaced with an inferior plan. They do not support TrumpCare. Only 17% of Americans support the
"With this degree of public opposition -- it is baffling that
"But the moral underpinnings of TrumpCare are as bankrupt as Trump's
"The winners of TrumpCare are the wealthy and the
"While women make up half our population, no women serve on
"For example, the range of cost-free preventative services under the ACA includes screening for breast cancer - including mammograms, bone density screening, cervical cancer screening, domestic violence screening and counseling, breast-feeding counseling and equipment, contraception, and folic acid supplements.
"All these services are critical to maintaining women's health. And the health of their babies as well.
"TrumpCare would repeal the cost-free preventative care requirements for the Medicaid expansion population. Not only would this repeal risk the health of women and their babies, it would result in increased medical care costs overall. Preventative medical services save money in the long run.
"The Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans to provide a range of Essential Health Benefits. For women, these required services include maternity and newborn child care.
"But TrumpCare would allow states to apply for a waiver to define their own Essential Health Benefits, beginning in 2020. So states could choose to exclude maternity and newborn care, and women would end up paying more for this care. The result -- women not getting the care they need.
"TrumpCare would cut Medicaid funding to
Take Elena, from
"But Elena now worries that if she decides to have her ovaries removed - and TrumpCare becomes law -- she will not be able to have this potentially life-saving surgery. If she has had a lapse in Medicaid coverage, her Medicaid expansion coverage will be gone. And because TrumpCare would end the ban against insurance companies denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, she may never be able to get insurance or surgery.
"Mr. President, public schools and school children will be hurt by TrumpCare.
Schools are now are eligible to receive Medicaid funds for necessary medical services for children with disabilities. Schools are reimbursed for vision, hearing, and mental health screenings. These services help children get services early - so they can be ready to learn.
"The problem is that
"According to Dr.
"An IHS physician working on the
"One of the ACA's most popular provisions is the protection from discrimination if you have a pre-existing condition. This is one of the most mystifying parts of TrumpCare.
"All of us know someone with a serious illness or condition.
"Like Kitt here. Kitt is 4 1/2 years old and has Type I diabetes that will require life-long care. Her mother, Daena, is worried about TrumpCare. Daena says, "It breaks my heart that elected officials are leaning towards dropping the Federal mandate to guarantee affordable health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. Sit down with a child that has an unbearable disease and be their warrior in DC to make everything possible for that special soul and their family to have an easier tomorrow."
"I hope we will all be those warriors to protect that health care program that has been put in place for them."