tv Senator Murray on Health Care Bill CSPAN July 25, 2017 4:38am-4:50am EDT
that's how we'll restore the fundamental optimism that defines the american spirit. mrs. murray: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i am here this evening to stand with patients and families and communities nationwide to make sure they have a voice to continue speaking out against trumpcare, and to urge our republican colleagues to stand with their constituents and join democrats in rejecting this mean bill. mr. president, before i go any further, i want to talk about an incredible group of families i met with recently who are making their voices heard against trumpcare. these were parents with kids who are battling serious and complex medical conditions, and these families have spent the majority of their summer here in washington, d.c., sharing their stories about what having health care means to them. the little lobbyists, young kids, 3 years old, 5 years old,
8 years old who should be at home in their neighborhoods like other kids, but instead they are here fighting for their own health care and their lives. i held a press conference with these families here in the capitol where their parents shared their stories about what trumpcare would mean for them and their families. they spoke about their worries and their fears for the future. one story was that of elena hong and her daughter ziamora. she is 3 years old. she will be starting school this fall. you can just tell she is one of those kids with incredible energy and lights up the room. but ziamora was born with complications in her lungs, in her heart and in her kidneys. she needs a tracheotomy, a feeding tube and a ventilator just to stay alive. so elena told me about what this has meant to her and her family to have health care these last couple of years. you see, elena and her husband both have professional degrees,
good-paying jobs and savings in the bank. they've done everything right, as elena put it, and played by the rules, but nothing prepared them for dealing with the expensive care ziamora would need -- hospitalizations, multiple surgeries, medical equipment. all have added up to cost more than $3 million. and elaine a -- elena talked about the uncertainty trumpcare has caused her family. because of trumpcare, they are terrified about lifetime caps coming back, that if they lose their health care, ziamora is 10, her preexisting conditions will make her uninsurable and about losing their home or going bankrupt. mr. president, this is so wrong. the hong family should be able to focus on ziamora, the care she needs, getting the right specialists and therapies to advance her treatment. the morrison family who i also met with shouldn't have to worry about their son timmy getting
the care he needs. ziamora and timmy and all the other little lobbyists deserve to be kids, to grow up and just live. that was elena's message to our republican colleagues, and i couldn't agree with her more. mr. president, i have seen my share of contentious legislation during my time in the senate. i have seen quite a few democratic bills that republicans couldn't stand. i have seen republican bills that democrats would never vote for. so i understand that some of my colleagues may disagree with certain parts of the affordable care act, but what i can't understand is why anyone would ignore real-life stories of their own constituents whose lives have changed and even been saved by this law. for one, that's not how you have a serious policy debate, ignoring your constituents in facts and fudging the numbers, but more importantly, that's not what we were sent here to do by the people we represent. they rightly expect and deserve better. and, mr. president, what we have seen for the last seven years
and since republican leadership began their efforts to repeal the a.c.a. has been truly unprecedented. in january of this year, republican leadership kicked democrats out of the process entirely under reconciliation, and since then, they have done just about everything possible to prevent not just democrats but anyone including some in their own party from being involved in that process. no hearings, no scrutiny, no public input, no expert testimony. and when they finally released the trumpcare bill after months of negotiating in secret, in a room of 13 men, it is no surprise that it was immediately rejected by people across the country because it was clear their bill isn't actually about health care. far from it. their bill is about giving a massive gift to the wealthy and already well connected on the backs of children and working families and people with disabilities and the sick and the elderly. so democrats and republicans and
independents, millions of people have stood up and said no to this awful bill, no to increasing costs for families and seniors, no to putting insurance companies back in charge, no to kicking tens of millions of people off their health insurance, no to attacking women's health and rights. in fact, one study came out showing it was the least popular bill in three decades. i guess it's no surprise my republican colleagues didn't want to defend this bill, but here's what's frankly appalling. what did republican leaders do in the face of large-scale popular rejection of that bill? what did republican leaders do after members of their own party said they couldn't vote for it without massive changes to help more people? they made the bill worse. they did nothing to address the concerns that even many republicans, governors, senators, and so many others had about the massive cuts to medicaid that would be devastating to patients and to our states.
they did nothing to truly address the defunding of planned parenthood and cutting off access to care for millions of women. they included an opioid fund so insignificant, a republican governor said it would be like, quote, spitting in the ocean. and when it comes to affordability and putting insurance companies back in charge, republican leaders not only didn't fix that problem, it made it a whole lot worse, and they caved to the most extreme members of their caucus by including the cruz-lee provision. now with every sweatenner, every tweak, they have not only made the bill worse, they have made it unworkable and even in violation of the senate reconciliation process. now, as soon as tomorrow, republican leadership is saying we are going to move forward with either a vote on their failed trumpcare bill, a vote to repeal the a.c.a. entirely with no plan to help families who would be devastated, or maybe a vote on the disastrous house version of the trumpcare bill.
nobody knows, especially our republican colleagues. mr. president, it's like leader mcconnell is setting senate republicans up to play choose your own adventure with our families' health care. even if he doesn't know for sure where this will end but it's clearly -- clear he will do whatever it takes to get there. he's sending vice president pence to twist arms to try and convince a few more republicans to stay quiet. about their very legitimate concerns. but as we head towards a possible vote tomorrow, i hope that my republican colleagues, especially those who've already indicated they oppose this bill in process will demand better for their own constituents. and i'm going to keep saying this until it sinks in. democrats are ready as we always have been to work with republicans to improve our health care system and make
health care more affordable, more accessible, and higher quality. and to clean up the mess that has now been made with their efforts to sabotage the a.c.a. in order to jam this trumpcare bill through. because let's be clear. as president trump and republicans have tried to pass trumpcare legislationively, they've also implemented it by undermining our current health care system. and now unless they get serious and get to work with democrats, families are going to face higher premiums in 2018, have fewer choices all because of partisan political tactics. mr. president, this fight is on a razor's edge, and democrats are going to be doing everything we can to stop it. we just need a few republicans to join us, to stand on the side of patients and families and say no to trumpcare. democrats, we'll do everything we can to persuade more republicans to join us, but what's always made the difference thus far, what truly matters is if republicans hear
from their own constituents. so i'm here tonight to strongly urge people across the country, ramp up the pressure in these last few hours. keep calling and tweeting and double down on your advocacy and make your voice heard. again, we have less than 24 hours until the republican leadership plan to hold a vote. republican senators, all senators need to hear from you that now is the time to stand up, do the right thing, oppose trumpcare for once and for all. mr. president, i know a number of our colleagues are going to be coming out here on the floor tonight to talk about this, who will be raising their voices and their concerns, and i urge all senators to stand with >> testifying on operations at the sec live at 10:00 a.m. in eastern on c-span two.
on voter security technology. live coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern. is in trouble they rally tonight in youngstown, ohio. one at 7:00 p.m. eastern c-span3. watch on c-span or go or listen using the c-span radio app. c-span's washington journal, live it every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, minnesota republican congressman discusses the opioid epidemic and john garamendi talks about the brescia investigation. of cqen david hawkins roll call will discuss congressional pay and benefits. the sure to watch c-span's washington journal this morning. 20 discussion.
next, congressman mark who chairs the house republican -- hem can't talks about takes questions about the caucus and gop efforts to repeal and replace the health care law. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. welcome to the national press club, the world's leaders -- leading the news organization for journalists and where news happens. we are the constitution. am 110th president of the national press club. before we get started, i wanted to remind some people here in the audience and our -- about some housekeeping things that we have happening here. first of all, to remind you for those that came late, if you have a smart phone, and we do encourage the use of smart phone here at the club, we're the -- despite our ancient accoutrements, do encourage the 21st century technology, we