Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave a short news conference yesterday to discuss the damning report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which revealed that the new GOP health-care bill would leave 24 million Americans with no health insurance whatsoever.
Republicans have wasted no time trashing the CBO over this report and the Democratic leaders gave their talk to explain exactly what the numbers mean and the impact on so many Americans. It was really chock-full of good information that will give you what you need to know about this disastrous Republican proposal.
Here’s some key statements made by both Pelosi and Schumer along with video of the first seven minutes of the news conference below.
“Well the accounting is in. The CBO has reported that the Republican bill pushes 24 million people out of health care – off of health coverage. This is a remarkable figure. It speaks so eloquently to the cruelty of the bill that the Speaker calls ‘an act of mercy.’ I don’t know if he thinks it’s an act of mercy to all the people who will lose coverage, to people who will lose jobs or to the hospitals they will have to close down, especially in rural areas. I don’t know if he thinks this is an act of mercy to people on opioid addiction and other addictions who are looking to Medicaid as an answer, as many Republican Governors have spoken to.
“So they’re taking 24 million people and pushing them off their coverage, and as they do so, they are implementing the biggest transfer of wealth in our history – $600 billion dollars going from working families to the richest people and corporations in our country. In terms of insurance coverage, it’s immoral. In terms of giving money to the rich at the expense of working families, it is indecent and it is wrong.
“The Republicans are confused right now. Some of them are discrediting the CBO and others are glorifying pushing 24 million people off of coverage. So I would hope that they pull the bill, it’s really the only decent thing to do.
“Numbers are important. They see the numbers. They should know how that transfers into peoples’ lives. They are finding that out from their constituents. How can they look their constituents in the eyes, when they say to them, ‘24 million of you will no longer have health insurance, and those of you that do have it will have less in terms of coverage at more cost to you?’”
“The Republican hand-picked head of CBO has confirmed what we democrats have been saying all along. TrumpCare would be a nightmare for the American people, causing tens of millions to lose coverage and millions more seeing the cost of their health care going up.
“That is un-American. That’s wrong. Premiums for seniors will rise a whopping 20 to 25 percent and co-payments and deductibles for millions more. If there was ever a war on seniors, this bill, TrumpCare, is it.
“So when Speaker Ryan says it is an act of mercy, yeah, for those who make over $250,000 a year, because they get big tax cuts. The only winners in this CBO report are the Health insurance executives and the wealthy Americans. Everyone else gets a cold shoulder from the Republicans in Congress and from President Trump.
“You remember when President Trump was a candidate? He said everybody will be covered and costs will go down. We now know he had no intention of keeping either promise. Today, the nonpartisan scorekeepers have spoken clearly. TrumpCare means higher costs, for less coverage. The CBO report should be a knockout blow for Republicans in Congress. They should heed this warning and turn back from their plan, which would be a disaster for the country.”
Pelosi on the raiding of Medicare
“At the same time, you’re seeing in the report that they are taking $170 billion dollars from Medicare , shortening the solvency of Medicare by three years. So, again, seniors have a lot to lose as do all of America’s families.”
Schumer on how the Republicans call everything they don’t agree with a lie
“It’s a pattern that is a disturbing, even alarming in this administration. When they hear something they don’t like, they label it a lie. CBO is virtually unassailable. Everyone, Democrats and Republicans, whether it be George Bush, Barack Obama, or anyone else has gone along with CBO. They appointed this person. He was supposed to be a conservative person. Unfortunately, for the Republicans, he is an honest person and they won’t be able to discredit this. This report is going to resound from one end of America to the other.”
Pelosi responding to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price trying to discredit the CBO report
“And of course he has no facts to back it up. Numbers are quite eloquent things and they speak very clearly. And we all respect and have acknowledged that we need to know the numbers — the number of people affected, the amount of money that it will cost and who wins and who loses in this equation.
“In Congress, they still haven’t come to terms with criticizing the CBO because 24 million people losing health insurance is not a problem for them. It’s an ‘act of mercy.'”
Schumer with the quip of the news conference
“I am sure that the Republicans regret that they can’t fire the CBO Director as easily as they fired the 46 U.S. attorneys.”
Pelosi on the irony of Trump voters being the hardest hit by this plan
“It is really a sad thing because in addition to what the senator said about those who are in red states and rural America who have largely benefitted from the Affordable Care Act and who will be pushed off, a lot of the benefit of the $600 billion will go to blue areas. And that’s just not right.
“But think of yourself as a Trump voter from West Virginia or Kentucky, which has really done a good job with the Affordable Care Act, and thinking ‘I’m going to lose my coverage and they’re going to give $7 million to each of the richest families in America every year, instead of giving me health care. Is that what I voted for? I don’t think so.'”