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Congressman Schrader and Sen. Merkley slam vote in the House to repeal Obamacare

Rep. Kurt Schrader
D-Oregon


Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon


From Congressman Kurt Schrader:

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) joined House Democrats and 20 Republicans to vote against the Republican bill to repeal Obamacare which passed today 217-213. The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, is estimated to strip health care from over 400,000 Oregonians and 24 million Americans, and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“I’m at a loss for words, frankly,” said Rep. Schrader. “This is a bad piece of legislation that is going to strip healthcare from millions of people, dramatically hike up premiums for everyone, and cost taxpayers everywhere more money. Not to mention it cuts one of the most important pieces of Obamacare: protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Over the last two months, we’ve seen turbulence in the health insurance market as Republicans tried unsuccessfully to push through versions of this bill. After talking with our state insurance commissioner, patients, insurers, and providers, everyone agrees that this Republican repeal bill adds uncertainty that will dramatically jack up premiums in our state.

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“Meanwhile, in Oregon, hundreds of thousands are going to lose their health care because this bill severely cuts low income folks’ access to coordinated care on Oregon Health Plan. The bottom line is this is a terrible bill that is going to do so much more harm than good for every Oregonian and every American. Today, political rhetoric trumped what’s best for the American people.”

In early March, Congressman Schrader voted against a version of the bill in his Energy and Commerce Committee following a 27 hour marathon markup of the bill. He took to the floor at the end of that same month, joining his colleagues in four hours of debate to urge a no vote on the bill.

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From Senator Jeff Merkley:
“The Republican TrumpCare 2.0 bill threatens Americans with huge increases in out-of-pocket costs. This bill destroys health care for millions of America’s struggling and working families. And for what? To pay for enormous tax cuts for the richest Americans.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives’ American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as “TrumpCare.” Despite bipartisan opposition, deep cuts to Medicaid, and changes to the bill that would eviscerate protections for Americans with preexisting conditions and send health care costs skyrocketing for tens of millions of Americans, including some with employer-provided coverage, the House passed the bill this afternoon, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

“In my eight years in the Senate and nearly 20 years in public service, I have never seen a worse bill than this one. TrumpCare 2.0 is even more damaging than TrumpCare 1.0. This bill keeps all the most harmful features of TrumpCare 1.0, stripping coverage for 24 million Americans and gutting Medicaid.

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“It then adds even more damage, throwing Americans with preexisting conditions out in the cold. If you or your loved one has cancer, diabetes, asthma, or even an old sports injury, this bill could make it extremely expensive, if not impossible, to get health care.

“In addition, TrumpCare 2.0 destroys the promise to cover essential benefits, enabling insurance companies to impose a pregnancy tax or deny maternity care altogether. It slams the door on the millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their reproductive care access to their provider of choice.

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“The Republican TrumpCare 2.0 bill threatens Americans with huge increases in out-of-pocket costs. This bill destroys health care for millions of America’s struggling and working families. And for what? To pay for enormous tax cuts for the richest Americans.

“Republicans rushed to pass this bill before the Congressional Budget Office could score it. That fact tells you everything you need to know about the merits of TrumpCare. There’s a reason it’s opposed by the AARP, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and dozens of other health care groups.

“Republican meddling in our health care system is already causing chaos and rising costs, and the TrumpCare uncertainty is making it worse. The fate of American health care now rests in the hands of the Senate. I urge my Senate colleagues, regardless of party affiliation, to do the right thing — and make sure this bill dies a quick and merciless death.”

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