TRANSCRIPT: Schumer Remarks Ahead Of Senate Vote To Reverse Harmful Trump Admin. Rule That Could Sabotage Americans’ Health Care And Roll Back Pre-Existing Condition Protections

October 29, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY),  Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) held a press call today ahead of the vote Senate Democrats are forcing on a resolution to roll back the Trump administration’s rule to promote junk insurance plans, which the Trump administration is using to sabotage Americans’ health care and that could undermine the critical pre-existing condition protections that more than 130 million Americans rely on. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Well, thank you and I’m really pleased to be joined by two of our leaders on this issue, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Chris Murphy.

And we’re here today because with everything going on in Washington, it is really important not to lose sight of the fact that the Trump administration and Senate Republicans are doing everything imaginable to sabotage Americans’ health care. And Democrats are fighting to stop it every step of the way.

After claiming that they wanted to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, the Trump administration published a rule that lets states push junk health care plans that don’t fully protect people with pre-existing conditions, don’t cover essential benefits like prescription drugs and maternity coverage, and often have sky high prices.

The hypocrisy from President Trump and Republicans when it comes to pre-existing conditions protections is just stark. My Republicans colleagues know that these plans cover next to nothing for those who get sick and are often completely unaffordable to the average family. Using taxpayer dollars to fund these plans is wasteful and dangerous. 

So tomorrow, to try and undo some of the damage done by the Republicans, Senate Democrats will force one of the most significant policy votes of the year.

Using Congressional Review Act powers, we will vote to repeal the Trump administration’s 1332 waiver rule—a horrible rule that threatens the care of the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

And with the vote, we will finally see where Republicans stand on the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage Americans’ health care.

The American people want us to protect their health care and lower their costs.

Americans with pre-existing conditions want access to quality, affordable coverage.

The Trump-Republican health care sabotage does just the opposite.

And furthermore, we cannot forget that the Trump administration and Republican attorneys generals are fighting in court to eliminate pre-existing protections outright – the Republican lawsuit’s the ultimate sabotage.

Now, we often hear President Trump and our Republicans colleagues in the Senate promising they will have great, amazing health care plans. Well, we already know what it is: it’s their lawsuit. It’s their junk plans rule. All their plans have one thing in common, that they would be devastating for people with pre-existing conditions.

With this vote, we’re giving every Senator the opportunity to go on record and save protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions from the Trump Administration’s sabotage.

The country has watched as Leader McConnell has buried bipartisan bill after bipartisan bill in his legislative graveyard. Standing up to the lawsuit? Legislative graveyard. Having people enroll in high-quality insurance? Legislative graveyard. And the list goes on.

The bills have passed the House, but Leader McConnell won’t even let us debate them here in the Senate. But he can’t stop a vote on this.