Schumer Floor Remarks: TrumpCare is a Health Care Handout for the Wealthy

March 8, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today delivered remarks on the Senate floor outlining the most ardent flaws of House Republicans’ ACA replacement plan. Below are his remarks:

Mr. President, the House Republicans finally unveiled their healthcare plan after nearly eight years without a plan of their own.

Trumpcare is finally public, and each hour that goes by brings a new set of concerns and new groups that oppose the bill, from all places along the ideological spectrum. Even a growing number of conservatives are expressing their distaste for the legislation.

The fact of the matter is: TrumpCare is a mess. It will might higher costs and less care for most Americans.

When you look at the details, you can see that TrumpCare amounts to two separate systems of health care in America: cheaper health care for the rich, and more expensive health care for everyone else.

  • Under TrumpCare, if you make more than $250,000 a year, you’ll get a tax break of, on average, $200,000 a year, because there are many people who make much more than $250,000. But if you are in the middle class, the cost will increase by about $1,500 annually, and by 2020, over $2,000 a year.
  • Let me just repeat that: Under TrumpCare, if you make more than $250,000 a year, you’ll get a tax break of, on average, $200,000 a year. But if you’re in the middle class, the cost will increase by about $1,500 annually, and by 2020, over $2,000 a year.

What kind of plan is that?

Donald Trump has talked about helping working America. The plan he has embraced, TrumpCare, helps the rich, hurts the average American. And that is not surprising given all the other things that they’re doing the same way. This administration continues – and healthcare is part of that – to talk like populists but act like those helping wealthy special interests time after time after time.

Let me just repeat it: Under TrumpCare, if you make over 250,000 a year, you will get a tax break on average of $200,000 a year. But if you’re in the middle class, the costs will increase by about $1,500 annually, and after 2020, by $2,000 a year. 

TrumpCare is a health care hand-out for the wealthiest Americans and fake health care for everyone else.

  • Under TrumpCare, if you’re a member of the Trump Cabinet – which is stocked with billionaires – you’re getting a tax break. But if you’re 60-years old, on the cusp of retirement but not yet eligible for Medicare, TrumpCare would allow insurers to charge you more simply because of your age—discrimination against the elderly, against those 50 to 65 who’ve worked so hard but don’t yet have Medicare.  If you’re between 55 and 64, the total cost would increase by $5,269/year and by 2020, $6,971/year. Let me repeat that: if you’re between 55 and 64 the total costs would increase by 5,269 a year, and that’s only the next two years, by 2020 it goes up to $6,900 a year. For a working family, they can’t afford that. What is this all about? They said it would be better care and cost less. It’s worse care and it costs more.
  • Under TrumpCare, a wealthy insurance executive making over $500,000 a year is allowed a tax break. But if you’re struggling to make it into the middle class, with an income below 250% of the poverty line (around $30,000 a year), your costs are going up by nearly $3,000 a year, and by 2020, $4,000.

Once again: helping the wealthy special interests, in this case the wealthy insurance executives and hurting those struggling, trying to climb the ladder to the middle class.

  • And if you’re a working mother, and get your health care from Planned Parenthood, too bad. TrumpCare cuts all federal funding from Planned Parenthood for a year.
  • I’m wearing my red tie today to honor the “day without women.” And unfortunately, TrumpCare is the health care bill that forgot about women.
  • Women are an essential part of the American workforce, and they ought to be able to go to the doctor or provider of their choice – even if that is a planned parenthood.

Mr. President, when you look at the fine print of this bill, it has jagged edges -- TrumpCare shifts the costs and the burdens from the rich to the poor, from the insurance executive to the middle-class family.

The more Americans hear about this plan, the less they’re going to like it. They were already against repeal before this plan came out. Can you imagine what’s going to happen now as they read the details? And I believe the Congressional Budget Office score will ultimately show us everything we need to know: how this bill would likely hurt overall coverage numbers, affordability and how it will explode the deficit.

So you’re getting worse healthcare and increasing the deficit. What kind of combination is that?  

No wonder the Republican Leadership in the House is trying to rush the bill through without the score. They don’t want the American people to see it; I don’t think they even want their own members to have a chance to study it. Because it’s a near certainty that this bill will cause millions to lose insurance and blow a gigantic hole in the federal budget.

So Mr. President, in conclusion, it’s reckless for Republicans to make Congress vote on this mess of a plan before we have those answers from CBO. Simply put, TrumpCare is a mess for the American people. We Democrats will fight it tooth and nail.