Tsongas: Trumpcare Indefensible and Incurably Flawed
May 05, 2017 09:10AM ● Published by Bill Gilman
By U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas
Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1628, the Republican health care bill commonly known as Trumpcare, which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill passed the House 217 to 213, with all Democrats and 20 Republicans in opposition. It will now move to the Senate for possible consideration.
I strongly opposed the bill and wanted to pass along my official statement below:
“The first version of Trumpcare, which was pulled from the Floor in March due to lack of support, was indefensible and incurably flawed. Under the bill, 24 million Americans would lose health care coverage, Medicare and Medicaid would be significantly cut and destabilized, premiums would soar and the wealthiest of Americans would get a tax break while increased burden was placed on seniors, the sick, low income families and millions more American families. The GOP plan undermined women’s health care, gutted consumer protections, could cause major job loss, prevent millions from receiving life-saving substance abuse treatments and programs, and would have had negative ramifications for the many people who get coverage through their employer.
“None of that has changed. All of those irresponsible and harmful aspects of the original version of Trumpcare remain in the bill we voted on today.
“In fact, the version of the bill we voted on today is much, much worse.
“In an attempt to entice the most extreme members of their party, Speaker Ryan, President Trump, and GOP leaders made a deal that would allow states to cut the essential health benefits that insurers currently must cover, like maternity care, mental health, prescription drugs, and emergency room visits, just to name a few. States could also strip away protections that prevented insurance companies from raising the premiums of people with preexisting conditions, in essence preventing them from getting the insurance coverage they so desperately need. High risk pools are not a valid substitute for comprehensive health insurance coverage.
“The reality is, Trumpcare always was and still is harmful to the American people. It takes away health coverage from 24 million Americans; guts protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions; forces families to pay higher premiums; imposes an ‘age-tax’ on seniors, and much more.
“To make matters worse, this vote was rushed to the Floor too quickly to receive an updated CBO score detailing just how much the bill would cost.
“In this irresponsible push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the GOP has concocted an inadequate and destructive health care plan that will have a detrimental impact on American families, the American health care system and economy, and public health in general.
“Medical experts and national organizations like the AARP and the American Medical Association continue to strongly oppose Trumpcare due to its harmful impact on the American people. And right here in the Third District of Massachusetts, I have heard an overwhelming response in opposition to the Republican health care plan: 1,582 residents contacted my office to voice their opposition to Trumpcare, while only 5 did so in support.
“I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue seeking ways to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. Trumpcare does the opposite.”
Thank you for staying engaged and as always, I look forward to your feedback via my website, or on Facebook and Twitter. And please follow along at those social media accounts, where you will find my most up-to-date statements and positions on recent happenings in Washington and the Third District.