Durbin: Every Republican Proposal To Repeal Health Care Would Be A Massive Step Backwards For America

Senate To Vote Today On Secret Republican Health Care Repeal Bill

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) blasted Senate Republicans for forcing a health care repeal vote – as early as this afternoon – on a bill that Senators and the American public have not yet seen.  He also called on at least three of his Republican colleagues to stand up and vote no on the secret health care repeal measure, in order to save health care for tens of millions of Americans.

“None of the bills proposed by the Senate or House Republicans would increase the number of Americans with health insurance coverage.  Their bills do just the opposite.  None of them reduce costs or improve care.  None of them would strengthen our health care system or improve people’s lives,” said Durbin.  “One of my Republican colleagues said recently, ‘I didn’t come to Washington to hurt people.’  I trust that none of us, not a single Republican or Democrat, came for that purpose.  We want to help people, don’t we?  Isn’t that why we’re here?  And that’s why we need to reject this approach.  It’s why we need to sit down together and make our health care system better.”

Durbin continued: “I urge my Republican colleagues – three of them at least – to step up. You aren’t just saving a lot of people across America from the worry of not having health insurance when they need it, you’re saving the reputation of the United States Senate.” 

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

While it remains unclear what bill the Senate will be voting on, the health care repeal proposals put forth by Senate Republicans thus far would affect one-sixth of the U.S. economy, as well as every single man, woman, and child nationwide.  They would result in anywhere from 22 to 32 million people losing health insurance, would undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and raise costs on older Americans and those in rural communities. The bills would slash Medicaid funding by hundreds of billions of dollars – hurting patients and devastating hospitals, especially critical access and rural hospitals.  They would provide tax cuts to big businesses and wealthy individuals.  And all are opposed by virtually every patient, provider, and medical organization nationwide – including the AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Nurses Association.