Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) urged Republicans to ditch their latest effort to repeal Obamacare and vowed to fight against the Graham-Cassidy bill that would rip healthcare away from millions of Americans.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Franken said:
Since the beginning of the year, Congressional Republicans have completely disregarded the actual health care needs of American families in an attempt to fulfill seven years of political promises to destroy the Affordable Care Act. And while the American public has been able to thwart every attempt to repeal the ACA so far, I’m incredibly alarmed that there’s an equally devastating—if not worse—Republican proposal that’s rapidly gaining steam in the Senate. This latest bill, like previous versions, would rip coverage away from millions of Americans, end nationwide protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and totally unravel Medicaid, a critical program that helps provide care to more than a million Minnesota children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Now more than ever, it’s important for people to make their voices heard. I plan to fight hard against this bill, and just like last time, it’s critical that Minnesotans speak out.
After the last Republican health bill failed in the Senate, many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle said they would work with Democrats on addressing the most pressing health care issues. I took them at their word, and over the past month, we’ve been trying to do just that in the Senate Health Committee. We can’t abandon that important work now—especially since families will be looking for next year’s health insurance plans soon, and without action from Washington, many will face drastically higher price tags on those plans.
I strongly urge my colleagues to ditch their latest proposal to rip health care away from Americans. Instead, let’s keep working together in a bipartisan way on real solutions to real issues. Let’s continue to have an open, bipartisan process under regular order, where we can work together on fixing the Affordable Care Act and do the things the American people actually sent us here to do: expand coverage, lower costs, and improve care.
Republicans continue to insist on having a fight that only makes them less popular and alienated from the rest of the country. Democrats are going to fight this legislation every step of the way, but with House Republicans signaling that they will pass the bill, and Senate Republicans moving forward without a full CBO score, the battle is going to be heated.
Sen. Franken was correct. People need to make their voices heard. Don’t be distracted by other news, or fooled into a false sense of security that Obamacare has been saved. There can be no letup, and until a bipartisan bill making fixes to the ACA becomes the law of the land, Democrats must be prepared to fight.
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