Al Franken Tells Senate Republicans To Give It Up And Abandon Their Healthcare Bill

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is calling on Senate Republicans to abandon their effort to pass a healthcare bill that takes away coverage from 22 million Americans.

In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Franken said:

This nonpartisan CBO estimate shows that the Senate Republican health care plan is every bit as cruel, terrible, and mean as the bill that House Republicans passed in May,” said Sen. Franken. “Senate Republicans went to great lengths to work on this terrible bill in secret, and if there were ever a question why they kept it hidden from the American people for so long, the CBO study removes any doubt. This bill would result in 22 million more people being uninsured, undermine critical nationwide protections for people with pre-existing conditions, drive up costs for seniors, put rural hospitals and nursing facilities at-risk of closure, and end Medicaid as we know it. This bill would hurt Minnesota families, children, seniors, and the disabled in order to give an obscene amount of money to the very richest Americans.

The American people deserve an open and thorough debate on a bill that has such a consequential impact on their lives. That is how our democracy is supposed to work, and I stand ready to work with my Republican colleagues to address the real problems that people are facing in our health care system, like lack of competition on the insurance exchanges and skyrocketing prescription drug costs. But that’s not what’s happening right now. It would be a true disservice to families in Minnesota and across the country to jam this deeply flawed bill through the Senate without any hearings or meaningful debate. It’s time for my Republican colleagues to abandon this effort, which has been misguided from the start and put their constituents first.

Sen. Franken was correct. The Senate Republican health care bill is deeply misguided and cruel. It is also doing nothing, but enraging and scaring millions of Americans. With more Republicans distancing themselves from the bill by the second, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump could be heading for a humiliating setback if they force a vote this week, but even if they wait to vote, the outcome will likely be the same.

Republicans should follow Al Franken’s wise advice, and quit while they are ahead because if they pass this bill, the American people are never going to forget it.