Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Schumer: 'Republicans Are Proposing a Second Surgery That Will Surely Kill the Patient'

With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing that the new Republican plan is to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act outright, effective two years from a repeal bill's passage, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded later Tuesday morning.
Schumer made it clear that the Democrats are willing to work with Republicans, just without a repeal.
“Rather than repeating the same failed partisan process yet again, Republicans should work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets, and improves our health care system,” he said.
Schumer then chided McConnell for accusing the Democrats of not wanting to “engage seriously” while the GOP changed Senate rules to aid them.
“Respectfully, I take issue with the idea that Democrats didn't want to engage on health care,” he continued. “The majority leader admitted he decided the matter for us when he locked Democrats out of the process at the outset.”
Schumer agreed with the comments of Republicans such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who wants to "hold hearings and receive input from members of both parties.
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“Passing repeal and having it go into effect two years later is, in many ways, worse than the Republican health care bill that was just rejected by my Republican colleagues,” Schumer continued as he switched to an analogy:
"It's like if our health care system was a patient who came in and needed some medicine. The Republicans propose surgery. The operation was a failure. Now Republicans are proposing a second surgery that will surely kill the patient. Medicine is needed, bipartisan medicine. Not a second surgery! We urge our Republican colleagues to change their tune.
Passing repeal now is not a door to bipartisan solutions, as the majority leader suggested this morning. Rather, it is a disaster. The door to bipartisanship is open right now. Not with repeal, but with an effort to improve the existing system. The door is open right now. Republican leadership only needs to walk through it, as many Republican members are urging them.
The door is to accept the progress we've made in our health care system and help to improve it. The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect, but repealing all of the good things about the law will create such chaos that there will hardly be anything left to repair."
In other words, as long as the Republicans abandon the Medicaid cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy while agreeing “to go through the regular order” in committees and hearings, Schumer says the Democrats are perfectly willing to reach across the aisle.
“Our Republican colleagues don't need to wreak havoc on our health care system first.”
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