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California APAs in Congress React to GOP Health Care Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushed for a vote on the GOP health care legislation before the July 4 recess, but had to postpone it when some Republican senators refused to support the bill.

WASHINGTON — Following are remarks from members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus from California regarding the GOP health care bill that was unveiled June 22.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “This week we learned that Republican health care plan would throw millions of Americans off their insurance, including potentially millions of Californians. It would raise costs for middle-class families and seniors. It would put Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk and cut hundreds of billions from Medi-Cal, which covers everything from substance abuse treatment to support for children with special needs. We will all be impacted by this bill in some way.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “Seven years ago, the Affordable Care Act extended access to more affordable health care to 20 million Americans, including nearly 100,000 people in my community alone. The Senate bill revealed today, along with the bill that passed the House last month, is a direct threat to that progress and a direct threat to the health and financial security of families in the Inland Empire and across the country

“Both Republican bills follow the same formula: Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest families in America, financed by massive cuts in health care support for the poor, seniors, the disabled, working families, and veterans. The profound moral bankruptcy reflected in these proposals is only matched by the damage they would do to our economy, because the cost of health care under these plans would swallow family budgets and shift unmanageable burdens to the states.

“President Trump himself admitted the House’s health care bill proposal was ‘mean.’ Unfortunately, the Senate version is even less compassionate and even more disastrous for the very people the president promised to protect.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “After hiding from the American people, Senate Republicans have finally released their healthcare plan. Written in secret without any hearings, committee markups, or formal debate, the Senate’s bill is just as mean as the House’s. Under the Senate Trumpcare bill, millions will lose their insurance thanks to rising costs. Deep Medicaid cuts will hurt the poor, disabled, and elderly in nursing homes, while the new Age Tax will penalize seniors.

“Out-of-pocket costs will soar. Women across the country will lose access to essential healthcare because this bill defunds Planned Parenthood. And Americans will once again have to pay out of pocket for basic care like prescription drugs, maternity care, and emergency services, all of which come with hefty price tags.

Meanwhile, drug makers, insurance companies and the richest few will line their pockets with tax cuts paid for by cutting healthcare for the less fortunate. This is yet another heartless healthcare bill that must be rejected. Instead, I urge Republicans to join us in improving the existing healthcare system which puts a priority on covering more people so that illness or injury do not mean financial ruin.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles), CAPAC whip: “After weeks of hiding their Trumpcare bill, today the Senate GOP are ambushing Americans with a bill that’s just as mean as the House version. Calling Trumpcare a health care bill is false. It’s nothing more than a massive tax cut for the rich on the backs of working families.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “The Senate’s Trumpcare bill puts the health and well-being of American families in jeopardy. Under this legislation, if you are nearing retirement, you would see your costs rise. Seniors and people with disabilities would lose access to nursing home and community-based long-term care. And, pregnant women and children would be vulnerable to harmful cuts to their coverage.

“To make matters worse, Trumpcare guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions. With this bill, the services families need – from maternity care, to prescription drugs, to mental health services – may no longer be covered.

“None of us can predict when we or a loved one might have an unexpected medical emergency, and all Americans deserve the peace of mind to know that they are covered if tragedy or illness strikes.

“Democrats will keep fighting against Republican efforts to take away the care and protections that Americans need to keep their families healthy.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento), CAPAC Healthcare Task Force co-chair: “Just like the bill the House majority rushed to pass that takes health care away from 23 million people, the Senate’s plan would do incredible harm to America’s patients. Without any public input, the Senate is preparing to overhaul the health care system and make it more difficult for hard-working families to afford the care they need.

“This bill increases out-of-pocket costs and makes even deeper cuts than the House bill to health care for children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly. As a doctor, I don’t want to go back to a time when too many of my patients were one catastrophe away from losing everything.

“Health care isn’t about politics – it’s about people’s lives. I hope that senators will listen to the concerns of patients and physicians across the country and start over with a genuine attempt to improve care and lower costs.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara): “Today, Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill that intends to destroy health care coverage for kids, people with disabilities, low-income families, and seniors. The fact that Senate Republicans would inflict this heartless bill on seniors and working people just to hand hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to big corporations and the wealthy is politics at its worst. This is an extreme piece of legislation that hurts Californians. This is a bill for lobbyists and special interests, not the American people.”

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