Durbin To Trump And Senate Republicans: Don't Rip Away Health Care For Millions During Public Health Crisis

WASHINGTON – As the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans continue to push the Supreme Court to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which provides health care coverage for millions of Americans, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) condemned the Administration’s reckless effort in the middle of a public health emergency. Durbin highlighted how the abolition of the ACA would be devastating to women nationwide by eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions, allowing insurance companies to charge women more, and permitting health plans that don’t cover vital health care services needed by women like maternity and newborn care, various cancer screenings, annual check-ups, and birth control.

“More than 140,000 Americans have died in this pandemic and president trump and the Republican Party are trying to kill the major source of health insurance for millions of Americans,” Durbin said. “There was a time when insurance companies were allowed to charge women more than men for the same health insurance policies, common for women to pay three or four times what men paid for on the identical plans. Important women's health care was often excluded for insurance plans. For instance, most individual policies refused to cover maternity or newborn care. Insurance companies were allowed to deny coverage and charge higher premiums to Americans with pre-existing condition. That particular discrimination hurt women much more than men,” Durbin continued.

“We've got to do something about this to protect health insurance for the future, and the notion that the Republicans and President Trump are fighting the Supreme Court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act at this moment in American history, when we're fighting this pandemic, is impossible to explain,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is 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 June, Durbin joined a Senate resolution demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend existing law in court and halt its efforts to repeal the health care protections for millions – including 133 million Americans, including five million Illinoisans, with pre-existing conditions— in the middle of a public health emergency.

In June, the DOJ and a group of Republican Attorneys General submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pull the rug out from underneath the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who depend on the law for health care coverage. If the Supreme Court agrees and overturns the ACA, nearly one million Illinoisans could lose their health insurance coverage.