Weekly Democratic Address
August 3, 2018
Hi, everyone. I’m Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii.
Republicans are trying to take away your health care. Now, if you are not a hardcore Democrat, you would be reasonable to take that statement with a grain of salt, and do your own analysis and research before taking my word for it. After all, how could there be an entire political party devoted to taking away something that matters so much to so many people?
I can’t explain their motivation, but I can tell you that this is really what’s happening. Republicans are working at all levels of government to take away people’s health care.
Let’s start with the states. Twenty Republican state attorneys-general are fighting in the courts to undermine our health care system and take away protections for patients. That includes people who have pre-existing conditions. And as of today, Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures have stopped 17 states from expanding Medicaid, which means they’re denying 2 million Americans affordable health care.
The Trump Administration is fighting in federal court to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. They’ve ended a program that keeps insurance companies from discriminating against the sick. They’re sabotaging insurance marketplaces to make it more expensive, and they’re re-defining health plans so they don’t cover basic things, like prescription drugs and maternity care. And now, they’re imposing bureaucratic red tape to make it harder for people who need Medicaid to get Medicaid.
And in the Congress, it’s even worse. Republicans have tried at least 70 individual times to curb, change, or cancel the Affordable Care Act. And they have tried to pass budgets that would cut Medicaid by 1 trillion dollars and Medicare by half a trillion dollars.
And now, they are trying to push through a Supreme Court justice who will end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. President Trump has already joined a lawsuit to get rid of protections for pre-existing conditions, and now, he wants to appoint someone to the Supreme Court who could tip the balance on this case.
No matter where you look, they are relentlessly trying to take away your health care and raise costs for everyone. But we can stop them.
We Democrats believe that health care is a right, and we believe that everyone should be able to get the care that they need, no matter where they live or what their economic situation is. People should not be punished for being sick. If you’ve had cancer, if you struggle with a mental illness, if you’re pregnant, an insurance company shouldn’t be able to deny you affordable health insurance. Now we’ve won the battle together before when Republicans tried to take away people’s health care, but we are gonna have to mobilize again.
If this Supreme Court nominee gets through the process, it will be harder than ever for Americans to access health care. It will be harder for women to access reproductive care. It will be harder for patients to keep the protections that they deserve and need. And that’s why this fight is so important. There is too much at stake to do nothing. So, please raise your voice and join us in the fight for health care.