In a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) took apart the lies that make up the Republican health care bill that is being negotiated behind closed doors.
Sen. Franken said in part:
What I heard—and the real panic that I saw—is a far cry from what President Trump promised this past January when he said, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” And he went on to say it would be, “much less expensive and much better.”
Versions of these promises keep coming—from President Trump, from his Cabinet, and from his allies in Congress. Coverage for more people, at lower cost, with better quality.
Those things all sound great—things that might help people like Chrysann. But the fact is that the Republican bill does the exact opposite. It takes coverage away from people, it drives up costs, and it makes coverage worse.
In other words, the GOP is selling its health care bill on false pretenses.
We can start with the number of people that will be covered. President Trump promised that everyone would have insurance. But an analysis of an earlier version of the House health care bill conducted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that, compared to current law, the House Republican plan would leave 24 million fewer people with health insurance by 2026. That means that by 2026, nearly 1 in 5 Americans under the age of 65 would be uninsured, compared to just over one in ten today.
One particular way that the Republican bill cuts coverage is by gutting Medicaid, a program that covers more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents nationwide, covers kids with disabilities, and benefits nearly 70 million Americans. The Republican bill ends the Medicaid expansion, fundamentally undermines the basic structure of the Medicaid program, and cuts the program’s budget by as much as a quarter over ten years—a more than $800 billion cut.
On May 7, journalist Jake Tapper of CNN asked Health Human Services Secretary Tom Price whether the hundreds of billions in proposed cuts would result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid.
Secretary Price responded, “Absolutely not.”
Well, that’s absolutely false. And when I say that absolutely, I mean that literally. It doesn’t take an expert to know that if you take funding away from this program, which provides health coverage for millions of Americans, that program suffers. And the human beings who rely on Medicaid will suffer as well.
Specifically, according to the CBO, 14 million of those 24 million people who will lose coverage under the Republican bill would lose their health insurance because of cuts to Medicaid.
It’s bad enough to push a bill that would take care away from millions who need it. It’s extra galling to be so fundamentally dishonest about it in the process.
Sen. Franken took apart the key Republican lies about their health care bill. Most Americans have been focused on the Trump/Russia scandal, but it was reported today that Senate Republicans are focused on drafting a health care bill that would end the Medicaid expansion and take away health care from tens of millions of Americans.
While most Americans are paying attention to the Russia scandal, the Republicans are hard at work on a plan to make health insurance expensive and provide less coverage to fewer people.
If you want to keep up with what is going on with the health care bill, watch Al Franken’s speech and thank the Senator for exposing the Republican lies.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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