Congressman Nadler Speaks in Opposition to Republican’s “Pay More, Get Less” Health Care Proposal

Mar 24, 2017 Issues: Jobs, Labor and the Economy, Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) spoke in opposition to the House Republican’s proposed American Health Care Act, which throws 24 million Americans off their health insurance while raising heath care costs. For New York, the Republican bill would take away health care from 2.7 million people, costing State taxpayers $6.9 billion in additional costs.

Below is a full copy of Rep. Nadler’s statement:

“For seven years, the Republicans have tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. So now, with a Republican-controlled House, a Republican-controlled Senate, and a Republican in the White House, what have they presented us to vote on today? Republicans complained that premiums were skyrocketing, so they offer a bill that raises premiums. They complained that deductibles were too high, so they propose allowing insurance companies to charge more. They complained that too many people were losing their insurance, so they have embraced a plan that will take away health care from 24 million Americans. 

“This bill imposes a devastating age tax on older Americans and does next to nothing to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. It gives nearly $900 billion in tax cuts to the insurance companies and the wealthy, while refusing coverage for services as basic as hospitalization. It’s simple: Americans will pay more and get less under this bill. 

“In New York, 2.7 million people will lose insurance and the state will lose $4.6 billion in Medicaid funding. Compounding those cuts is a cynical so-called deal several upstate Members made to secure their votes on this bill. Under the bill, New York State, and ONLY New York State, will no longer be allowed to ask counties to provide a portion of state Medicaid funding. 

“Don’t be fooled – this is no deal at all for New York and will actually gut the State’s Medicaid program, forcing hundreds of hospitals to close and rationing health care for millions of New Yorkers. 

“But my colleagues who have traded their vote for this provision have made an empty bargain. This provision is flatly unconstitutional and will never be enacted. They are giving away health insurance for millions of New Yorkers for an empty promise.  

“My Republican colleagues claim we need to pass this bill to give people “freedom” to buy health insurance. Let me tell you, freedom to buy health insurance and actually being able to afford health insurance are two very different things. 

“They keep talking about “access” to health care. Access is NOT coverage.  When they talk about access and freedom, they are conceding that this bill does nothing to ensure that Americans have affordable, comprehensive health insurance to cover them no matter what their health care needs are. 

“The Republicans so clearly believe that Americans just need freedom to buy insurance, that when asked what a pregnant woman should do if her state no longer requires insurance companies to cover maternity care, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said she can “figure out a way to change the state [she] lives in.” How callous are my Republican colleagues to believe that is a real option for Americans?  

“This bill is a cowardly, cynical effort to lower taxes on the rich and dismantle Medicare and Medicaid as we know it. I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.”