Durbin: Latest GOP Health Care Repeal Attempt Makes a Bad Bill Even Worse

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called out congressional Republicans for their renewed efforts to repeal health care by introducing a new amendment that would make their original plan to repeal health care even worse.

“The new version of the Affordable Care Act repeal that the Republicans are now considering in the House would significantly raise costs on Americans aged 50 and above and would gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Durbin.  “A person’s medical history used to be grounds for denying insurance coverage or charging outrageous premiums.  We did away with that.  Well it’s back, my friends, with the new Republican proposal.  Congressional Republicans want to allow insurance companies to once again charge unaffordable premiums if you or a family member has a history of asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes.”

Durbin also reminded his colleagues about what the underlying Republican bill to repeal health care would mean for Americans: it would rip health care away from 24 million Americans; gut $840 billion in federal Medicaid funding; and increase premiums for seniors, rural communities, and low- and middle-income Americans – all while providing massive tax breaks to wealthy individuals and big businesses, like the pharmaceutical industry.  This updated Republican repeal bill is opposed by virtually every sector of the healthcare community, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“Ramming through a bad bill that will harm Americans just because the president wants to have something to say on the hundredth day of his presidency is a bad idea,” said Durbin.  “It’s time to stop this madness.  I hope that many people will tell the president that this is no way to celebrate one hundred days, by taking health insurance away from 24 million people.”

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.

In March, Durbin released a report titled “TrumpCare: Less for More, An Analysis of the Impact of Repealing the Affordable Care Act on Illinois,” which details what Illinois stands to lose if President Trump and Congressional Republicans are successful in passing their legislation to repeal the ACA.  After requesting information from every hospital, public health department, and major medical society in the state, the report summarizes how the ACA has helped individuals, families, and providers in all 18 Illinois congressional districts, and provides information on the increased out-of-pocket costs and number of people in each congressional district that stand to lose health coverage under the Republican repeal bill.