Durbin: We Are All One Diagnosis Away from Needing Quality, Affordable Health Care

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today denounced House Republicans for turning their backs on Americans with pre-existing conditions in their plan to repeal health care.  Under Trumpcare, insurance companies would once again be allowed to impose pre-existing condition penalties on people if a state receives a “waiver”, even though Republicans continue to deny this simple fact. 

“It was just a little over a week ago when I became a statistic, not just a Senator but a statistic in health care.  I went through a heart catheter procedure in Chicago last week on Tuesday.  And now after that procedure, I’m a statistic.  I am a person in America with a pre-existing condition.  I have to check that box that says I’ve had a heart procedure.  And it used to be that if you checked a box like that – diabetes, asthma, whatever you check – it ended up having a direct impact on what you paid for health insurance or whether you could even buy it,” said Durbin.  “The Affordable Care Act changed that and said just because you have a pre-existing condition – and one out of three Americans have one – you shouldn’t be denied coverage.  Now the House of Representatives passes a bill that allows governors to take away that requirement in health insurance plans. What are they thinking?  Do they think they are so darned lucky that they’ll never have an accident, never have a diagnosis where they end up with a pre-existing condition?  This is a step backwards.”

Durbin also outlined the other devastating effects Trumpcare would have on the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans with both private and public health insurance coverage, including: allowing insurance companies to once again deny coverage of essential health benefits, such as hospital visits, mental health and substance abuse treatment, maternity and newborn care; ending Medicaid expansion, hurting 650,000 Illinoisans; decimating the traditional Medicaid program, jeopardizing care for three million Illinoisans; and increasing costs for older Americans and rural communities.

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.