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tv   Sen. Schumer D-NY on Health Care  CSPAN  September 19, 2017 6:42am-6:59am EDT

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under obamacare and all of us will do better than bernie care. mr. president, if we don't stop this now, single-payer health care is the fate of the nation. to all who have been involved, thank you very much. we can do this. we've got the time. do we have the will? important legislation. now i'm going to use the rest of my address to address something that is not so bipartisan, terribly partisan. that is the issue of health care. and i hope the american people l closely. -- and i hope the american people listen closely. after a few months of lying
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dormant, trumpcare is back. it is meanor. it now lives u $under the name of cassidy-graham. guess what? it is another bill that would drastically cut back on health care funding for americans who need it most. so my colleagues, my fellow americans, this is a red alert moment for the entire country. our health care system again is threatened by a hastily constructed piece of legislation put together in a back room by only one party, no c.b.o. score, not a single hearing, totally -- everyone is totally in the dark about the effects of this bill. and yet there is an effort to rush it forward. this frankenstein monster of a bill that would so harm so many
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americans just keeps coming back and back and back. and somehow each time it has managed to get worse. here's what we know the new trumpcare bill would do. it would roll back protections for americans with preexisting conditions. it would allow states to impose burdensome requirements as a condition on medicaid coverage. it would defund planned parenthood, stripping millions of women of their right to access to affordable health ca care, and most crucially, the new trumpcare would plunge a dagger deep into the heart of medicaid, immediately ending medicaid expansion and establishing a per capita cap on medicaid spending. that jeopardizes coverage for 11 million americans and puts at great risk the coverage and affordable care act of insurance for the 12 million who buy
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insurance on the marketplaces. it would take the money used for medicaid expansion and block grant it to the states. but in proposing a massive cut on funding that helps so many americans well into the middle class, the term block grants may sound harmless, but in practice they're anything but. right now our health care system reimburses states for the costs of what their citizens actually need and use. block grants are a fixed amount of money given to each state. forcing people who need health care to fight among each other as to whoest goes those dollars -- as to who gets those dollars. people are parents in nursing homes will fight with those on opioid treatment who will fight with those who have kids with preexisting conditions, who will fight with those who simply need to go see a doctor.
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they'll all be pitted against one another in a heartless scheme, a heartless scheme that will hurt so many. block grants are a not-so-clever way of disguising a massive, massive cut to health care. cutting back care, raising premiums, hurting millions and millions of average americans. that's the case with this new trumpcare. the center on budget policy priorities took a look at the new trumpcare and found that the block grants in the bill would deprive states of hundreds of millions, sometimes billions, of dollars. i'm going to mention a few states here. my colleagues should know the effect of the bill. they don't. c.b.o. has told us -- i'll talk more about this later -- that they cannot give us a full score
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but simply note whether it meets the budget reconciliation. they say it will cut $1 billion. that's all it will say. we won't know how many citizens are hurt, but center for budget priorities, whose numbers are very, very reliable, has done a calculation. i would ask my colleagues to pay attention. i just picked out some states. there are more. arizona would lose $1.6 billion in federal funding. alaska would lose $255 million in federal funding. maine would lose $115 million in
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federal funding. west virginia would lose $554 million in federal funding. colorado would lose $823 million in federal funding. ohio, the state most racked by the opioid epidemic, would lose over $2.5 billion in health care funding. and iowa would lose $525 million in federal funding.
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these are devastating numbers. and, my colleagues, if you don't believe the accuracy of these numbers, then have the courage and decency to wait for a c.b.o. score, wait for a c.b.o. score. to go pass this legislation before c.b.o. measures out the effect on your state would be legislative malpractice of the highest. these numbers, we believe, are accurate. they come from a group that has had years of expertise and accurately predicted health care effects. devastating cuts to so many in so many states. if you don't believe these numbers, then show us what yours are. wait for c.b.o., an impartial
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arbiter, and see what they have to say. the numbers are devastating. they represent millions of americans, especially middle-income and low-income, who will receive poorer health care, face higher costs or both. who do they represent? they're an american family, a nice middle-class family, making a good income. you have a parent in a nursing home? it's likely to be paid for by medicaid. that parent is at risk if this graham-cassidy bill passes. you have a young son or daughter afflicted by opioids, the treatment they receive would often be at risk if this bill passes. you give birth to a child with a
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preexisting condition who desperately needs help. we've met so many of these families, every one of us. that child's life in many cases would be at risk if this bill passes. this is the poorest way of legislating i have seen in all my years here. to try to rush this bill through, no hearings, no c.b.o. score, no knowledge of how it actually affects your constituents, how can we do that? already some republican governors have spoken out against this legislation, governor kasich, governor baker, 16 patient and provider groups have come out against this trumpcare. the american cancer society, the american heart association,
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rating agencies fitch says cassidy-graham would be, quote, even more disruptive than all the other a.c.a. bills. all the others. the american people have rejected trumpcare repeatedly. its numbers in the polls are below 20%. hard-core supporters of donald trump do not want us to pass this bill. virtually one -- only one in five americans wants us to pass this bill. nobody. hardly anybody. we're going to go do it for political scalp? so i know there are some on the other side of the aisle who say they can work it out so each state wouldn't be hurt as badly as under the current draft of the bill, these bad, bad
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numbers, that they can tweak a formula for one state or another that would make the cuts less devastating. first, you're never going to come up with that kind of money. i heard one governor was told by a senator, don't worry about the big cuts to your state. we'll make it up with disproportionate share payments, uncompensated care. it's impossible. it's impossible. the amount of money in the dsh program is so much less than the amount of these cuts, we couldn't even come close. that's what's being thrown around here. lots of different surmises. maybe we'll do this, maybe we'll do that. playing with people's lives. that is so wrong. states will end up facing a harsh cut. most of the states of the union, many states represented
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like my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who voted for the previous bills. we shouldn't do it on substance. but we also shouldn't do it on the basis of regular order. to have such a major bill that affects so many people, be rushed at the last minute in the dark of night, no discussion, no analysis, no real knowledge of how it affects each of our states, legislative malpractice of the highest order, the founding fathers were looking at this chamber now and watching, they'd be turning over in their graves. an america founded on debate and discussion and sunlight is veering off all of that in a really nasty way. there is no regular order here.
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there are no bipartisan public hearings on the graham-cassidy bill. the health and finance committees are not debating the legislation. it's the same backroom one-party sham of the legislative process that ultimately brought the previous hour down. contrive an 11 hour hearing in the homeland security committee, a committee that has very little jurisdiction over health care matters does not even come close to suggesting regular order. and, madam president, in conclusion, i think many of us on both sides of the aisle thought there was a ray of light the last few weeks. the partisanship that had governed this place over the last eight months seemed to be breaking. i had good meetings in the white house, hope of working together. senators alexander and murray began talking about how we move
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forward. i was joyful that maybe the partisanship could end and we could work together, and the majority leader and i are getting along very well. this bill, if done this way and passed, would dash those hopes. there's a way out. senator alexander, senator murray have had hearings. they have had discussion. they're negotiating at this moment. what they'll come up with, they'll have some things i don't like and some things people on the other side of the aisle don't like. that's the legislative process. it's not to rush a bill through in the dark of night without even among of how it affects people because now c.b.o. has said they cannot measure how many people would lose coverage and how it would be affected until a few weeks because this is a block grant, it takes a long time to weigh it. well, so after two weeks of
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thinking bipartisanship, that flickering candle might gain some new light, this is the last thing we need. it's not go back to the divisive, destructive health care process that paralyzed the senate for much of this year. let the leader and i talk to one another and come up with bipartisan solutions not just on this bill but on bills to come. let's pursue the bipartisan path courageously used by senators alexander and murray. so in conclusion, i'd ask every american who hears these words, who longs for us to work together, call yours senators and congressmen and let them know. tell them that this bill is even worse than the previous bill. tell them it hurts average families dramatically. tell them there's a better way.
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the same level of activism that we saw on the previous bills must be garnered now or they will just slide through in the dark of night. its effect, devastating and unknown. madam president, democrats in the senate, we have no choice. our constituencies, our consciences compel us. we will oppose cassidy-graham in every way we can using every tool at our disposal. we ask the american people to speak out once again to make their voices heard. the hour is late. the need is mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, the senate has spent a great deal of time over the lax six or sef -- last six or sevenon

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