Schumer Statement on Bipartisan Healthcare Agreement to Strengthen the Affordable Care Act

October 17, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today delivered the following remarks at a press conference regarding the bipartisan healthcare agreement to strengthen the Affordable Care Act:

Okay, good afternoon everybody. We are here really to talk about the budget which is on the floor Thursday, but of course some new developments occurred. So I am going to say a few words about the healthcare, the general outline agreement that Senators Alexander and Murray have come together on, and Senator Murray will say a few words on that. Then I will take back the podium and we will do the budget stuff. And then you can do questions on anything but she will have to go.

First, I want to salute both Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray for working hard on a bipartisan solution. We think it’s a good solution, and it got broad support when Patty and I talked about it at the caucus at lunch today.

First, it stabilizes the system. Two years of cost-sharing provides real stability to the system and we want to make sure that happens. We want to work in the long-term to reduce premiums and increase coverage. Our Republican colleagues seem to be in the opposite place on the long-term, but I think there’s a growing consensus that in the short-term we need stability in the markets. So we’ve achieved stability if this agreement becomes law.

We’ve also put in some very significant anti-sabotage provisions. The President had been sabotaging this bill and the agreement would undo much of that sabotage. So overall we are very pleased with this agreement. Now, it’s just general. There are a few more details that have to be worked out, but we think it’s a very good step forward.

And I, speaking for myself, I hope Senator McConnell would put it on the floor under Senator Lamar and Murray’s leadership, I hope the House would take it up, and the President would sign it, all as quickly as possible. Because what it will do, will protect people from premium increases, assure the marketplaces that this has a future, a long-term future, and prevent the sabotage that we have seen thrown at it in the last several months.