Merkley attacks GOP health care plan after CBO scoring

Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., issued the following statement Monday after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of the latest Republican health care bill:


“Even though Republicans tried to rush the CBO so that they wouldn’t be able to give the full details on this diabolical proposal, the CBO score nevertheless confirms that the latest version of TrumpCare would be absolutely devastating for Americans. This new Republican health care plan still kicks millions off of their health care. And it makes almost every other problem in our health care system worse, not better.

“First, the CBO confirms that this bill will fundamentally threaten access to care for Americans with preexisting conditions. For Americans living with cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or a host of other serious conditions, this could be a death sentence.

“Second, the cost of some essential health care benefits—including maternity care, contraception, certain prescription drugs, mental health care, and rehabilitative treatment—could become prohibitively expensive for most Americans.

“Third, the CBO confirms that implementing this bill will bring ‘market disruptions and other implementation problems.’ This means chaos in the health care markets that could sharply raise health care costs for Americans over the next few years and would bring more stress and uncertainty to a system that is already a gauntlet for families to navigate.

“Finally, the CBO estimates this bill will cut a staggering trillion dollars in funding from Medicaid over the next ten years. There is simply no way to make a cut of this magnitude without destroying lives and throwing millions off their health care. Here in Oregon, slashing that funding will threaten basic health care for 400,000 Oregonians, and put in jeopardy the source of nursing home care that most middle class Americans rely on.

“Here’s a hint: When you find out that your ‘health care’ bill takes health care away from millions, makes health care more expensive for everyone else, and threatens the very foundation of Medicaid, it’s not time to rush it through the floor; it’s time to throw it out and start over. I urge my Republican colleagues to stop this destructive repeal effort and to come back to the table to work across the aisle toward a bipartisan bill that will improve rather than destroy our health care markets.”