Durbin, Duckworth Join Senate Democratic Caucus to Save Health Care For Millions Of Americans & Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

Senate Dems to Trump Administration: Reverse the DOJ's calamitous decision to side with a misguided and awful ruling that would hurt millions of Americans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined all 47 Senate Democrats to introduce a Senate resolution—led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)—that would reverse the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that deems health care protections enjoyed by hundreds of millions unconstitutional.  This latest act of health care sabotage from the Trump Administration could result in 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions—including five million in Illinois—losing important safeguards that protect them from insurance discrimination, millions more Americans losing their health insurance, soaring prescription drug spending for seniors, and much more. 

“After repeatedly trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Congress, President Trump and his Republican allies have turned to right-wing activist judges to try to overturn this vital law.  Instead of working to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and ensure that all American families have choices when it comes to affordable, quality health care coverage, the Trump Administration has made it their mission for two years to destroy the law that has given 20 million Americans quality, affordable health insurance,” Durbin said.  “I’m proud to join the entire Senate Democratic Caucus to introduce this important resolution reaffirming our support for Americans with pre-existing conditions and the 20 million Americans that now have quality, affordable health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” 

“If anyone is questioning whether Donald Trump still wants to take away healthcare from tens of millions of Americans, his Justice Department made it crystal clear.  I’m proud to join Senators Durbin and Shaheen along with my colleagues in introducing this resolution to reverse the DOJ’s decision because the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and hardworking people across the country rely on it for their care.  We cannot — and will not — stop fighting to protect our health care and to prevent insurers from once again discriminating against the sick and those with pre-existing conditions,” said Duckworth. 

After Congressional Republicans zeroed out the health insurance coverage requirement in their partisan tax legislation, the State of Texas and a coalition of 19 other states legally challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit.  Instead of defending the law and its vital health care protections, the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice chose to side with the 20 states challenging the health care law last summer, arguing that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional.  Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s sided with Texas and ruled to strike down the entire current health care law.   Now, the DOJ has expanded its position, arguing on the side of Judge O’Connor that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

The resolution introduced by all 47 Senate Democrats today outlines the dire consequences for hardworking American families of this politically-motivated action and proclaims the DOJ’s decision must be reversed.