HEALTHCARE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 154
(House of Representatives - September 26, 2017)

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[Pages H7493-H7494]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    HEALTHCARE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Ruiz) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. RUIZ. Mr. Speaker, the Graham-Cassidy bill is the worst version 
of TrumpCare yet.
  By block granting healthcare, this bill puts healthcare on the 
chopping block. In order to make ends meet, States will have to change 
their eligibility criteria, meaning millions more left uninsured. They 
will have to cut certain benefits and expensive coverage like perhaps 
cancer treatment or that extra stay in the hospital. They will have to 
reduce reimbursements for hospitals, clinics, and doctors.
  That is a big, disproportionate cut to those healthcare providers, 
especially in rural and underserved communities. This means that 
millions more will be uninsured and hardworking families will be forced 
to pay more out of pocket for healthcare.
  This also means that patients with preexisting conditions will be 
priced out of their healthcare and pay more out of pocket for higher 
premiums and higher deductibles. They will have to pay for needed care 
that will no longer be guaranteed coverage under essential healthcare 
benefits. Furthermore,

[[Page H7494]]

older Americans will be faced with paying higher premiums under the 
bill's age tax.

  We cannot let this bill become law. We cannot allow patients, 
families, seniors, and those who have diabetes and chronic illnesses 
like asthma, COPD, or obesity to be left to fend for themselves. That 
is not the America that we know. That is not the values that we share.
  We don't believe that healthcare is a commodity only for those that 
can afford it. Those who can't afford healthcare will have to fend for 
themselves, simply because they can't afford it. We believe that we all 
have a responsibility for health as a common good, with a social 
responsibility to make sure that our neighbors and our communities are 
well, that our neighbors' kids are free from infections that can spread 
to other kids. That is why we have strong vaccination programs.
  Health is, fundamentally, a human right. The rest of the world sees 
it that way, so why not America, the leaders of our globe. We must and 
we can do better.
  To my Republican colleagues, I know that passing a bill is important 
politically because you campaigned on this for the past 8 years. I 
understand that you have a lot of pressures from donors. Just think 
about patients. Do the right thing. Put politics aside.
  Let's heed the words of Senator McCain. Let's come back to regular 
order. Let's figure out what we can do together to fix and improve on 
the Affordable Care Act to bring down premiums and bring down the cost 
of healthcare and medicines and make sure that we expand coverage to 
more people and not take away coverage for millions of people.
  Let's put people above partisanship. Let's put solutions above 
ideology. Let's do the right thing. Let's come together and help 
pragmatically improve healthcare for millions of Americans.

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