Issue Report ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
June 23, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

After weeks of secretly drafting the TrumpCare bill behind closed doors, Senate Republicans released their TrumpCare bill yesterday.  Editorial Boards across the country criticized the bill for kicking Americans off coverage and increasing costs:


San Francisco Chronicle: A Republican juggernaut is on track to demolish Obamacare

“In both its essentials and purpose, the Senate health care demolition job is a stunner. It falls in line with an earlier version from the GOP-dominated House and sends the same message: Republicans don’t think health care is worth the trouble or cost. It does exactly that: no more mandated coverage, cuts that will deprive more than 20 million consumers of insurance, and tax breaks for the wealthy… With no hearings so far and a hurry-up schedule for a final vote, Republicans are about to upend an industry that affects a sixth of the economy.”

The Sacramento Bee: And you thought Republicans’ health care bill couldn’t get worse

“So no matter the new name and a few tweaks, the bottom line of the Senate bill is the same: Millions of poorer people will lose their health insurance so that the richest Americans can get a huge tax cut they don’t need. One-sixth of the U.S. economy will be upended, with unknown risks and consequences.”

The Modesto Bee: Ouch! If it becomes law, Senate’s healthcare overhaul is going to hurt

“If either version is signed into law by President Trump, it will unshakably fix into place only one thing – the perception that the Republican Party simply doesn’t care whether millions of Americans are healthy or hurting, breathing or wheezing, getting better or worse.”

Los Angeles Times: Who wins and who loses in the Senate health bill (as if you can't guess)

“Who would benefit from the Better Care act? First and foremost, the measure would bestow hefty tax cuts on high-income Americans and healthcare industry interests.”


Connecticut Post: Senate health care plan short on care

“Republicans in Congress have been so set against former President Obama’s signature achievement — the Affordable Care Act — that they are dismantling it in haste to the harm of millions of Americans… It would severely curtail Medicaid funding, which provides health care to one in five Americans, the low-income and two-thirds of the elderly in nursing homes. Out-of-pocket costs would rise.”


Chicago Sun Times: Senate GOP health care bill hammers Illinois, while Rauner is AWOL

“The Senate bill is as mean-spirited as the House bill. Illinois would get hammered even harder. And Gov. Bruce Rauner is still AWOL. Other than that, what’s not to like? The rich, at least, would get richer. It is no surprise that the proposed Senate Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, finally dragged into the light Thursday, is horribly wrong-headed.”


South Bend Tribune: Will Indiana's senators show courage, leadership in health care debate?

“What’s really needed here is strong and committed leadership. And for Hoosiers, that starts with the two senators elected to represent them. Their constituents will be watching.”


Des Moines Register: On health care, Grassley can be a maverick

“Now the health reform table belongs to Republicans. In fact, they own the entire dining room. Grassley can choose to be among the elected officials seeking to dismantle the law, which would disrupt the U.S. health care system, state budgets, businesses and strip insurance from millions of Americans. Or he can be a measured and reasonable leader who focuses on solving problems. Washington — and the people of Iowa — need that now more than ever.”


Kansas City Star: Editorial: Medicaid cuts would be a devastating blow for rural America

“It too is crammed with provisions that would harm the very constituents senators have pledged to protect. Senate Republicans say they want to cut premiums, for example, so the bill gives states the right to abandon ‘essential health benefits’ in health policies. Make no mistake: Those cheaper premiums will mean bare-bones insurance policies and higher out-of-pocket costs.”


The New Orleans Advocate: Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy shouldn't rush health care bill; it's 'a life and death issue'

“Much of the debate is hardly about actual services, but tax and spending cuts, not whether ordinary middle-class families can afford their insurance and thus health care these days….We urge Louisiana's U.S. senators, Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, and John N. Kennedy, of Madisonville, to work diligently to avoid unintended consequences in this new bill — particularly because of its development under secrecy by the Senate leadership.”

Louisiana & The Daily Advertiser: Congress is a long way from settling health care's future

“Whether the Senate bill meets the president’s promises to lower premiums, maintain coverage and protect people with preexisting conditions — without individual mandates to obtain insurance — may take longer to ascertain than the week the Senate leadership wants to give senators for both legislation review and a vote. Senators should vote no rather than agree to that short schedule Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, demands of them.”


Portland Press Herald: Sen. Collins should fight Senate health care bill

“This bill would be bad for Maine and bad for America, and the senator should speak out against it as forcefully as possible…About 265,000 people in Maine are on Medicaid (known here as MaineCare), with three-quarters of the care going to people who are elderly, disabled or are children. A per-patient cap would suck billions out of the Maine economy, and put lives at risk. Reducing federal support for these people would guarantee agonizing decisions for state officials in the future.”

Bangor Daily News: Without changes, Senate health care bill must be rejected

“Maine providers already struggle to provide care for the state’s poor, elderly and disabled because Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low. Further reducing them will only make this problem worse, harming vulnerable citizens and health care providers, which are the largest employers in many communities.”


Baltimore Sun: New GOP health care bill is just as bad as the old one

“For weeks, Americans were left to wonder what 13 Republican senators were doing in their behind-closed-doors rewrite of the American Health Care Act. Now that they’ve released the bill, we’re left to wonder … what in the heck were they doing? This new bill is almost exactly the same as the old one and is likely to have the same devastating consequences for millions of Americans.”


Boston Globe: To no one’s surprise, Senate health care bill only makes matters worse

“Beyond the obsessive zeal of Republicans to dismantle the ACA and, with it, President Obama’s key accomplishment, let’s be honest about what’s going on here. This is about the powerful and the wealthy deciding that when it comes to health care, they have limited responsibility for the powerless and the poor.”


Bergen County Record: Slow down McConnell’s quick fix

“But perhaps the most troubling — even to many Republican public officials — is the drastic changes in Medicaid. Republican governors, including Chris Christie, saw the benefits to expanded Medicaid coverage. It got health insurance to people who needed it. While the Senate would cut off that expanded coverage more gradually than the House would, it still would go. And the Senate would still let states apply for waivers to reduce what kinds of plans insurers offer — things like maternity care and treatment for substance abuse and mental illness.”


Raleigh News and Observer: Senate GOP health care bill fails America

“The Senate version of its replacement, which has yet to undergo scrutiny from the Congressional Budget Office, is steeped in reckless disrespect for the intelligence of the American people, and a callous and even dangerous attitude toward the poor and the middle class when it comes to ensuring their health care. Which it doesn’t.


Cleveland Plain Dealer: Sen. Rob. Portman must vote "no" on deeply flawed Senate health care bill

“The Senate bill, like its House-passed template, is in essence a tax cut for high-income people that will be paid for by taking health care coverage away from low-income people -- and denying opioid addiction treatment to millions, a dreadful burden in states like Ohio where the opioid epidemic is raging most intensely.”

Mercury News: Senate health care bill is unconscionable

“It takes hundreds of billions of dollars now allocated to care for the working poor, women, children and elderly, and gives it to rich Americans in the form of a huge tax break. It is, to borrow President Trump’s behind the scenes assessment of the House’s bill, mean. We’ll add, unconscionable.”

“Remember what Trump promised the American people. He said any repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act would have ‘insurance for everybody,’ telling the Washington Post, ‘there was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.’”

Port Clinton News Herald: Don't cut funds in opiod fight

“The fact that Ohio is in the middle of an opioid addiction crisis is not in dispute…Medicaid has been labeled one of the best programs to fight the opioid crisis as it helped thousands of people in the state get access to mental health treatment, addiction counseling and other necessary medical needs. It is scary to think how bad Ohio's opioid crisis would be had Medicaid not been expanded, or where it will go should it be rescinded.”

PENNSYLVANIA Senate Republicans' Trumpcare bill just as bad as the House's

“Also like the House version, the Senate bill caps federal funding for Medicaid. States making hard budgetary choices are unlikely to fill the breach. Imagine the impact on states like Pennsylvania with growing populations of seniors who depend on Medicaid not only to pay medical bills but also their housing in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.”


Dallas Morning News: GOP's secret fast-tracking of health care is irresponsible and hypocritical

“This shouldn't be too much to ask. The restructuring of one-sixth of the U.S. economy deserves more than a fleeting look at a draft. Yet Senate Republicans say they want a vote before the July 4 recess. The only benefit of this break-neck timetable is political.”

Fort Wayne New Sentinel: Whatever happened to repeal and replace?

“Ordinarily, such government efficiency would be a matter deserving praise. But coming at a time when the government seems intent on taking over health care entirely, it seems a prelude to the day when Medicaid/Medicare will be the only health care plan available to Americans. A cynic might even say it was planned that way all along.”

San Antonio News Express: Senate health care bill fails the country

“More than half of Texas children are covered under either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, said Ann Dunkelberg, associate director for the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin. Medicaid, she said, pays for a substantial number of Texas babies born every year as well. And not as well known, seniors also benefit from Medicaid…This bill masquerades as a health care measure, but is actually a massive tax cut for the wealthy. It eliminates most of the taxes imposed on the well-to-do to pay for Obamacare.”


Herald News: Editorial: Senate GOP’s bill more ‘bitter pill’ than ‘Better Care’

“There’s overwhelming reason for concern….The Senate Republicans’ version, in trying to find the sweet spot among conservatives and more moderate Republicans, tweaks some provisions of the American Health Care Act passed by House Republicans. But both versions still amount to tax cuts for the wealthy — repealing the tax increases passed to pay for the ACA — disguised as health care reforms; they seek to cut federal support for Medicaid and insurance subsidies for low-income people and cancel Medicare reimbursements for women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their care.”


Newsday: Senate bill a tax cut for the rich dressed up as health reform

“The Senate’s bill, largely the same as the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives, and Trump’s support for both, make that clear. These bills would decimate Medicaid with more than $800 billion in spending cuts over a decade, weaken the Medicare trust fund, and leave tens of millions more people without insurance than under current law. They would drive up prices for older consumers, and sicker ones, and those who need the kind of comprehensive policies Obamacare made mandatory.”

The New York Times: The Senate’s Unaffordable Care Act

“Mr. Trump previously expressed the hope that the Senate version would be less brutal….In sum, it will make health insurance more expensive and less useful, to the great misfortune of the poor, elderly and sick.”

The National Review: The Senate’s Flawed Health-Care Bill

“The bill also seems unlikely to stabilize insurance markets, even though their current instability is one of the main Republican talking points for passing it…If the bill is not amended in such fashion, it is likely to die, and it will be difficult to mourn the loss.”

Washington Post: Senate Republicans’ Obamacare replacement is bad for America’s health

"includes a range of mostly unwise and ungenerous changes to the nation’s health-care system, but it might, if enacted, end up as mostly a massive, unpaid-for tax cut for wealthy people and industries with pull on Capitol Hill,"

Washington Examiner: This is neither repeal nor repair

"The Better Care Reconciliation Act isn't a bill to reform healthcare… It's an exercise in political box-checking and ass-covering."

USA Today: Senate health bill hazardous to America

“With the Senate bill, no scurrilous scare tactics are necessary. The facts are frightening enough. The plan would slash Medicaid, a program that covers 20% of Americans, nearly half of newborn deliveries and two-thirds of people in nursing homes. …By terminating a requirement that Americans have insurance coverage, the plan would unravel Obamacare's system of private exchanges to sell coverage to individuals. By permitting states to end coverage for such things as maternity care and emergency services, it is downright cruel.”

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