Following Tuesday's narrow passage of a Senate measure to allow for debate to begin on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, Rhode Island's two Senators slammed the efforts of the Republican party to circumvent normal discourse, calling it "shameful," and full of broken promises.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island) Tuesday issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted 50-50, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie, to proceed to legislation that takes them one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act:
“The Affordable Care Act enshrined basic health care security, portability, and consumer protections for all Americans. Yet, Republicans, with the two brave exceptions of Senators Collins and Murkowski, voted today to move forward with their repeal efforts with no plan as to what bill they will vote on later this week. What we do know is that every version of Trumpcare that we have seen so far would strip away the gains of the ACA, deny people access to affordable health coverage, increase costs, and destabilize insurance markets.
“Republicans held this vote without a single hearing and their bill breaks virtually every promise President Trump made on health care. Now that Republicans have advanced their legislation on a party line vote, they will have to defend it, and we will seek to vigorously debate it.
“I hope my friends on the other side of the aisle will tune out the Administration’s spin and instead listen to the voices of the American people. They want us to work together to strengthen the law, not take away people’s protections and access to affordable health coverage.”
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on the vote in the Senate today to advance to legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“Right now, many Rhode Islanders receive quality, affordable health care under the Affordable Care Act. I’ve heard from Rhode Islanders who feel secure that they don’t have to worry about lifetime or annual caps, or being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. I’ve talked to people who had the freedom to start their own business, knowing it won’t mean going without health insurance; they know their loved ones can see the right doctors and get the right tests to catch and treat illness early. And I’ve heard from Rhode Islanders whose health – even lives – were saved by those diagnoses.
“But, like Americans all over this country, they are watching this shameful, secretive process unfold and are terrified of what will happen if this bill succeeds.
“Over and over again, Democrats offered to work with Republicans on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing our health care system. We still stand ready to hold hearings, hammer out amendments, and build on the gains we’ve made under the Affordable Care Act.
“In the days ahead, I hope my Republicans colleagues remember the real people who are benefiting from the care they receive through the Affordable Care Act. I hope they join us to improve our health care system.”
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