CONTACT: Steve Butterfield, Policy Director
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
(207) 622-7083 x1210 (Office)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2017
Maine’s Senators Provide Leadership, Voice of Reason as Dangerous Health Care Debate Lurches Ahead
Senate Votes to Proceed to Debate on a Bill They Haven’t Even Seen Yet
Statement of Steve Butterfield, policy director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, in response to today’s vote on the “motion to proceed” in the U.S. Senate on proposed replacements for the Affordable Care Act.
“Despite hearing from consumers, experts, the health care industry, and advocates that the plans they are throwing around would have devastating and far-reaching consequences, 50 Senators voted today to open debate on a bill that they have never seen.
Let’s be clear: these Senators threw the door open to an unwritten version of an already terrible bill, just so they can blindly rush a check-mark next to a campaign promise. Rather than improve anything, their plan will create chaos in the system and overhaul 1/6 of our nation’s economy. They have gone to unprecedented lengths to avoid a debate on any version of this bill, and every new plan they release manages to be worse than the ones that came before.
While we do not yet know what the final bill will look like, we know that every version so far has been built on the same dangerous foundation: eliminating coverage for millions and vital protections for millions more.
What possible good can come from raising the cost of health care for seniors, sending the individual market nationwide into a death spiral, blocking women from cancer screenings, letting insurance companies get away with charging whatever they want for people with pre-existing conditions, and making it harder for our communities to get ahead of the opioid epidemic?
We are grateful to Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King for voting against this dangerous motion. In recent days, both Senators urged their colleagues to take a more thoughtful and bipartisan path forward. Mainers are fortunate to have their courage and their leadership in Washington.
Here in Maine, we know what’s at stake. We’ve already lived the consequences of a broken health care system. But we also take pride in our ability to work together to find common sense solutions to difficult problems. We know Senators Collins and King share this value, and we are grateful for their consistently reasoned, thoughtful, and fair-minded approach.
Insurance is about peace of mind. We don’t need more upheaval and uncertainty. We hope that some of the Senators who voted for this motion today recognize their mistake in the days ahead, and make the choice to start over and work toward a better bill. Maine, and the country, are counting on them.”