Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) tore apart Republicans on the Senate floor for having no plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
While speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Franken said (Video here):
I’ve been talking to a lot of people in Minnesota who have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, or whose lives were changed by the protections in the ACA that benefit every American.
And, frankly, they are scared. Hardworking people for whom this is life or death. If their health insurance is taken away, they don’t know what they’re going to do.
So today, on their behalf, I have one request for my Republican colleagues: show us your plan.
You know, your health care plan. You must have one. We’d like to see it. Now.
You can understand the question, right? Because if, say, your child had cancer, and the Affordable Care Act was the reason you could get health insurance, you wouldn’t want to rip up the ACA before knowing what would replace it.
I’m not the only Senator with constituents whose lives are on the line here, so I just know that you don’t intend to rip up the Affordable Care Act and leave them with nothing. You’ve got to have a plan, right?
So let’s just see it.
Last week, President Obama said that if Republicans produce a plan that’s, quote, “demonstrably better” than Obamacare—he’d support it. And, so will I. Just show it to me.
President-elect Trump clearly has a plan. He laid it all out during his campaign. His plan was, he said to, quote: “Repeal Obamacare and replace it with something terrific.” That’s what he said.
And then he went into a little bit more detail, and explained that the “something terrific” would be, quote, “so much better, so much better, so much better.”
Terrific! So much better. That sounds great. Let’s see it.
One of Trump’s top advisers said on MSNBC “We don’t want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance.” Great! Neither do we.
Speaker Ryan said that there will, quote, “be a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off.” That is wonderful! No one being worse off is exactly what we want to see.
I’m sure Speaker Ryan’s staff was mistaken when they later told a reporter that the “no one worse off” only applied to the transition period, not to the replacement plan.
Show me the plan that keeps coverage for the 20 million people who’ve gained coverage, that would bend the cost curve so that the costs of the entire health care system grow less quickly as they have, and that would ensure that nobody gets denied coverage when they need it or has to unfairly pay more than someone else because of their gender or a pre-existing condition. Show me that plan.
I know a lot of Republicans have put forward different plans. But, a lot of plans is… not a plan.
We want to see the plan. You know, the one you’ve been working on for SIX YEARS.
Franken’s point was that Republicans are making a lot of promises, but the one thing that we haven’t seen is a plan. A real live actual plan. A plan that will cover more people. A plan that will make sure that nobody loses their health insurance. A plan that keeps all the benefits of Obamacare and doesn’t raise premiums.
Republicans have had six years to come up with a plan, and they’ve got nothing. That don’t have a single plan that even their own Republican majority agrees on.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association