Schumer: McConnell Comments On Health Care A Game Changer

October 19, 2018

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Schumer says Leader McConnell’s Comments over past few days on Health Care were a Political Gift to Democrats 

This Week Alone, Sen. McConnell Reiterated his support for repealing the health care law if GOP wins in November and for the lawsuit that would end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and suggested that they may pursue cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid to address a deficit they ballooned 

Schumer Laid out the Democratic Message Heading into November Focused on Health Care, Health Care, Health Care

Washington, DC – Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that Senator Mitch McConnell’s comments over the past few days on health care have been a game changer for Democrats heading into November. This week alone, Senator McConnell reiterated his support for repealing the health care law if Republicans win in November and for the lawsuit that would end protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Senator McConnell even suggested that Republicans may pursue cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid to address a deficit they ballooned when they passed their partisan tax cut for the wealthiest few.

A video of Leader Schumer’s appearance on Morning Joe can be found here and a transcript can be found below:

SCARBOROUGH: What is your message in this hour of power to get them up out of the pews and contribute to American Democracy?

SCHUMER: Now, very simple. First and foremost, better health care at lower costs. It's the number one issue in America. Everyone says.

SCARBOROUGH: That’s what Donald Trump promised.

SCHUMER: Yeah, except he's raising the cost and the people know it. They agree with Democrats. And let me just say this, but one thing: Mitch McConnell gave us a gift in the last three days. He showed who the Republican party really is. Day one: cut Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. Day two: remove 30 million people from health care. Day three: join a lawsuit that gets rid of pre-existing conditions.  Health care, you know my mother used to tell me, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. And that's a game changer, what McConnell did the last three days is a game changer for us.

SCARBOROUGH: So number one, he talked about cutting entitlements. I want to go to number three, though, because the president is saying Republicans will always support pre-existing conditions. Republicans all running around scared saying, oh, we all support pre-existing conditions. Let's not put too fine of a brush on this. That's just a blatant lie.

SCHUMER: Exactly.

SCARBOROUGH: Explain to people that are watching why that's a lie.

SCHUMER: I said to the president yesterday, not personally but, you know, on Twitter, if you really believe it, drop your lawsuit. Right now the president has a lawsuit that will cause pre-existing conditions [protections] to go away. [18 Republican Attorneys General and Two Republican Governors]19 Republican Attorneys General joined it, including two running for the Senate. They are so scared that they are being hammered on this lawsuit, they say well I'm really for it. If you're really for it, get off the G-D lawsuit.

GEIST: The other thing you've raised is the deficit, the debt and deficit, which Republicans and conservatives have preached about for generations as you know, blowing a hole through the debt, blowing a hole through the deficits, it’s going to be a trillion dollars maybe by next year. And yet there's this tax cut that only adds to that.

SCHUMER: It’s the old trick.

GEIST: Is there something in there for Democrats to hit Republicans on?

SCHUMER: Absolutely.

GEIST: Have they been doing that effectively?

SCHUMER: Yes. This election is neck-and-neck. And as I said, Mcconnell gave us a gift. That's a game changer when he shows who he is and wants to really hurt people on health care.

SCARBOROUGH: Should it be neck-and-neck? Shouldn't be Democrats be ahead by like 20 points after all Donald Trump has done?

SCHUMER: Well, I'm talking about in the Senate. In the House, it's not neck-and-neck, but we had a tough map. You know, a year ago if I came on the show and would have said it's neck-and-neck, you would have said forget about it. And what we have found, in states where we thought we would be way behind, we are next-and-neck. In states where we thought we would be neck-and-neck, we're way ahead. We’re doing much better than anyone thinks in a very, very tough map. And number one reason, let me go back: health care. ABC, CBS, Fox News: number one issue in America: health care. Every poll show they favor Democrats by 15 or 20 points. We're closing on that issue and it’s going to help us just have victory in state after state after state including place that people didn't expect.

SCARBOROUGH Let's talk about Nevada for a second, a state where Jon Ralston said yesterday if the Hispanic vote is 13%, 14%, Democrats win; if it’s 11%, 12%, it's a toss-up. If it’s 10%, Republicans win. I'm sure you've heard this statistic. Over 50% of Hispanics report that they have not been contacted about this election. Are the Democrats going to reach out and touch their natural base over the next 18 days?

SCHUMER: Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH: And why haven't they yet?

SCHUMER: We have in a lot of places, including Nevada, where we have a very, very strong turnout operation that's been going on for years. And the Hispanic community, guess what their number one issue is? Surprise: health care.

SCARBOROUGH: So shouldn't they be voting for Democrats?

SCHUMER: And they will. The Hispanic turnout, we have found, is, first, on our side by large margins. And on health care, you talk about Nevada, Dean Heller, he's on TV now, in commercials, that we’ve put on [saying] “I will never get rid of health care. I will never vote to repeal ACA it hurts too many Nevadans.” And then, his arm is twisted, he changes, he’s going down because he did that.

BRZEZINSKI: What's the combination of victories that has you winning the majority?

SCHUMER: Well, you know, I mean, It's neck-and-neck, as I said, and I’m not going to get into specific states. But across the board, we're doing better in places that we never thought we could.


SCHUMER: All over. You name it. You name the state, we're doing better than we thought.

SCARBOROUGH: North Dakota.

SCHUMER: Heidi Heitkamp, that's our toughest state, but Heidi Heitkamp is the best retail politician I've ever met. North Dakota has 600,000 people. That’s about a fifth of Brooklyn.

SCARBOROUGH: Did she make a mistake the other day --

SCHUMER: She apologized. But they know how much she has done for North Dakota. The soybean farmers are getting hurt by all these tariffs. And Heidi has done so much. She's opposed the Democratic Party on certain issues.

SCARBOROUGH: Why is she behind in the polls?

SCHUMER: Because it’s the second toughest state we're running in. Trump won by 36 points. It's a very Republican state.

SCARBOROUGH: Is Manchin looking good in the toughest state?

SCHUMER: Did you see who endorsed him yesterday?

SCARBOROUGH: Um, yeah. Yeah. That’s…boy.

SCHUMER: Nick Saban. He may be the one person who is more popular than anyone else, I won't name the name, in West Virginia.

BRZEZINSKI:  Were the Kavanaugh hearings helpful to Democrats or helpful to Republicans or both?

SCHUMER: Let me just say, yes, it energized both sides. But we always knew things would close in September. You know, the states we're running in, talking about the Senate, not the House, you always had Republicans going back. So we knew it would close. But what's happening now, in the last week, the tide is moving back in our direction. Because, number one, I'm sorry to say it again and again, it's health care; health care, health care, health care. And they are losers on it. And then McConnell says what he says. It's like a closer for us.

SCARBOROUGH: What did he say again?

SCHUMER: He said three things. Number one, because of the deficit created by the huge tax break, which mainly went to wealthy people. And they can’t campaign on that any more, it’s not popular. Number one, he said because of the deficit we’ve got to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Day two, he says we ought to repeal ACA. Repeal ACA. Kick 20 million people off health care. When right now, last poll, 54% Americans favor it. Day three, he supports the lawsuit which will get rid of pre-existing conditions [protections]. I couldn’t have written a script better for McConnell to say these things.

SCARBOROUGH: So, yeah, entitlements, and get rid of ACA 20 million people and then the number three one is pre-existing conditions. Okay. that's a lot right there.