Murphy Delievers Health Care Floor Speech, Defending Preexisting Conditions



thank you very much mr. president across America there are 130 million individuals who have a pre-existing condition this means individuals have a diagnosis and illness a medical condition that without the Affordable Care Act would likely mean that they were priced out of insurance because the cost associated with their illness are so high that no insurer would provide them coverage or the costs of insurance are much higher than those who don't have that illness or that condition these pre-existing conditions don't discriminate they effect Republicans and Democrats liberals and conservatives people who watch Fox News people who watch MSNBC this isn't a partisan issue pre-existing conditions affect everybody in my state you know give or take five hundred and twenty-two thousand people have pre-existing conditions and I talk to him every time I go back to Connecticut I remember two years ago when I was walking across the state something I do every year to take about a week in the summer and I walk from one end of the state to the other end there were families that would find out on social media where I was going to be walking that day in pre-positioned themselves hours ahead of time by the side of the road so that they could tell me about their diagnosis one young woman who was sobbing on the side of the road in Meriden Connecticut as she explained to me her lupus diagnosis and how without the Affordable Care Act and the protections that it provides her she would not have insurance she would not be able to afford the medications that keep her well and alive and her life would be ruined and those individuals are freaking out today because they have watched this president and frankly this word public and Congress use every power at their disposal every tool in their toolkit to try to take away these protections for people that are sick for people who through no fault of their own just have higher medical bills than the rest of us and don't feel like they should be discriminated against or forsaken by the health insurance marketplace because of their unfortunate diagnosis the latest assault on people with pre-existing conditions comes through a effort by the administration to allow states to sell insurance plans that don't cover basic medical needs plans that would allow for a skimpy set of benefits to be sold out on the insurance marketplaces now admittedly that might be good news for pretty healthy people who don't want to pay for a full insurance product because they think they don't need it well first problem with that is you're only healthy until you're not healthy the second bigger problem is that when all the healthy people go to these skimpy plans sometimes called junk plans and all the people with praises and conditions get left behind on the regulated plans where insurance is real where it covers everything you need costs go down for the healthy people and they go through the roof for the sick people which is the entire problem that we were trying to solve for in 2009 and 2010 and in fact the problem the Republicans say repeatedly out on the campaign trail and back in their districts and states that they want to solve for – I don't know that I've met a Republican senator who doesn't say that they don't think people appraises and conditions should be discriminated against and yet this rule that the administration is proposing is going to allow states to do just that allow for a haves and have-nots insurance system in which people appraises and conditions are charged more and people without pre-existing condition are charged less my intention was to come down to the floor today and offer a unanimous consent request to get us on the road to solving this latest assault on people with pre-existing conditions and let me explain to you what my request was going to be I understand that there are Republican objections and that there is not the ability to object today when I make this request and so I will reserve the right to get to make that request until early next week but here is the substance of the requests that I was planning to make today last week the House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation called the protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions Act and what this legislation would have done and will do if passed and signed by the president is to prevent HHS from taking any action to implement the administration's waivers for States to set up these junk plans these skimpy plans and it's in keeping with the intent of the affordable care act which is to allow flexibility for States there is a ability under the Affordable Care Act for states to innovate and to be flexible but the Affordable Care Act says you can't do that in a way that hurts consumers you can't do that in a way that provides less coverage to consumers and so the rule that the Trump administration is proposing in many of our minds is a violation of the affordable care act in and of itself which is still the law of the land but this piece of legislation would clarify that you cannot you cannot allow for the development and widespread sale of these junk insurance plans without dramatically harming the health care of the 130 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions and so my intent was to ask for a unanimous consent request to bring this bill for a vote to the Senate I will do that next week but at some point at some point we have to act like we actually are the United States Senate it's not enough to just say over and over again that you support people with pre-existing conditions and then do nothing as the administration launches a daily nonstop unending unceasing relentless effort to destroy health care for people with pre-existing conditions this is the latest assault on people with pre-existing conditions but it stands in a very long ongoing line of actions by this administration backed up by Republicans in the Congress to try to reduce coverage and increase cost for people with pre-existing conditions it started of course with the whole repeal effort which would not have replaced the Affordable Care Act with anything meaningful the bill that passed the House of Representatives would have stripped health care away from 30 million Americans the tax bill that included a portion of health care repeal that was passed and signed by the president eliminates health care for 13 million Americans many of those have pre-existing conditions as we speak today the administration is readying to go to court with a whole bunch of Republican attorneys general to ask the federal judicial system to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions so having failed to get the entirety of the bill repealed through the Congress the administration now is going to court to try to get the protections for people with pre-existing conditions repealed and once again this Congress this Senate is silent on that case we've offered another piece of legislation to stop that lawsuit from going forward we don't have any takers on the Republican side this assault is real I didn't make it up it's not imagined if this court case succeeds that the Trump administration is pushing overnight the entirety Affordable Care Act will be invalidated and there is no plan for how to replace it if these junk plans go into effect I listen maybe I will be wrong I hope I'm wrong maybe there won't be a flight of people to these skimpy plans but much of the analysis I've seen suggests that that will happen and if it does there's just no way other than for the cost to go up for everybody that's left behind on the regulated plans and I don't know about you but when I talk to you know my folks live in paycheck-to-paycheck in Connecticut they don't have a lot of room in their budget for increased premiums for healthcare they're maxed out as it is so I'll stand down for now but I'll be back here early next week to offer this unanimous consent request and I would hope if my colleagues turn it down if they don't want to bring up a piece of legislation that would have stopped this latest regulatory assault on the affordable care act that they would come to the table with other ideas as to how to protect people of pre-existing conditions from this campaign of sabotage by the administration that they would finally recognize that you know this this is salt on the the Affordable Care Act and the court system is a really awful precedent to set and it's going to come back and bite all of us as legislators if it were to be successful and without any real hope of a replacement for the Affordable Care Act it leads to a humanitarian disaster in which 30 million 20 million to 30 million people lose insurance because of it so this is as important as it gets there's very little that matters to people more than their health and their health care and I hope that possibly next week we can come together as a body and finally do something about the administration's attempt to take away these protections for sick people and people with complicated diagnoses all across the country I yield the floor and I would note the absence of a quorum

1 comment

  1. Chris just stop talking. Only your eco chambers are listens. And me. And i am just doing opposition research. Got my eye on this lurking freedom thief.

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