September 12, 2019
“People are rightly concerned. Americans worry that they won't be able to pay for health care. Republicans are listening to these concerns, and we are focused on lowering the out-of-pocket costs for people's health care.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Recently, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about how a government-run health care plan will cost the America taxpayers $32 trillion dollar and take health insurance away from 180 million American who get their health insurance through work.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I want to turn to the topic of the overall health care debate that we are having in this country. For the past several weeks, I have been home in Wyoming, and I listened to the people I am so privileged to represent, many of whom I have been privileged to treat as their doctor.
“Of course we discussed their health care. As a doctor, I want to make care better and more affordable. Folks in Wyoming actually know me first as a doctor, so many of them call me Dr. Barrasso or John as opposed to Senator Barrasso.
“People back home think of their doctors as members of the family, as friends, neighbors who live down the street, who go to the same church, whose kids go to the same schools.
“The local hospital in Casper is right in the center of town. People don't want that to change. They want the same people giving them care, but they want it at lower costs.
“This holds true for the rest of the country. People are rightly concerned. Americans worry that they won't be able to pay for health care. Republicans are listening to these concerns, and we are focused on lowering the out-of-pocket costs for people's health care.
“That is why we ended the unfair Obamacare tax penalty. We ended that. We recently banned the costly drug price gag clauses so people could know what things actually cost and what the best deal was for them.
“Now we are focused on ending something called surprise medical billing. It happens. You get huge medical bills that you don't expect and you can't easily pay. We are also moving more measures to lower drug prices that people actually have to pay.
“Here is the problem: Democrats are rejecting all of our efforts. They are proposing costly health care--to me, schemes.
“The Washington Post reports that five of the seven Democratic senators who are members of this body and who are running for president have backed a one-size-fits-all approach.
“It is a government-run plan they call Medicare for All. The Washington Post reports that a majority of House Democrats also back it. They have actually cosponsored it. They want it to become the law.
“The Democrats' proposal would take away on-the-job health insurance from 180 million working Americans. Let me repeat that. What the Democrats are proposing with their so-called Medicare for All--a one-size-fits-all proposal for health care in this country--would take away the health care that people get on the job that they earned on the job.
“There are 180 million people who get their insurance that way in America. The cost of their proposal is $32 trillion--that is trillion with a ‘t.’ It is an astronomical amount of money. Of course, they have to pay for that, as Senator Sanders has said, by raising taxes on the middle class.
“These Democrats clearly aren't focused on helping to lower the costs of care. They are too busy, in my opinion, with plans to destroy health insurance, to destroy union workers' hard-fought insurance benefits, to destroy the current Medicare Program for 60 million seniors, and to destroy the health coverage that people have earned at work.
“For what? It is all so that government can have complete control over America's health care system. We can't afford for that to happen.
“The Democrats have admitted that their ObamaCare health care law has failed. The polling shows that the majority of Americans do not want a one-size-fits-all health care plan for them.
“Now, remember, when it came to the vote on ObamaCare, congressional Democrats in the House and the Senate promised that the Obama health care law would control costs.
“They actually named it--I think completely misnamed it--the Affordable Care Act. It was the Unaffordable Care Act. What we have seen is that out-of-pocket costs soared and that insurance premiums soared all after the Obama health care law was signed.
“For many Americans, health insurance premiums have doubled since the signing of the Obama health care law. Monthly premiums are often more than mortgage payments. This can't stand. This simply can't continue. We cannot trust the Democrats to roll the dice again with the health care of the American people.
“The Republicans are focused on real reforms--reforms that actually lower costs and reforms that protect patients with preexisting conditions. In July, the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions approved a measure to end surprise medical billing. It also includes language to bring down the cost of drugs.
“As a doctor, I know patients shouldn't stress over forms. When you are sick, you should focus on getting well. Care from an out-of-network provider can result in a big bill--called a surprise medical bill--and it can easily blow an entire family's budget.
“Patients should really not be pawns in this high-stakes financial chess game, so we are working with President Trump to end this unfair practice of surprise medical billing. It is the right thing to do for patients and for their families.
“The Republicans are also making progress on lowering drug costs. We passed a bill I cosponsored to end the drug price gag rule. As a result, patients can always find the lowest priced drug. We are continuing to work with the President on this and other issues.
“Still, to make more progress, we need Democratic support and cooperation. The choice is clear--to work together to lower costs without lowering standards or to follow the Democratic Senators who are running for President and follow the House Democrats who are pushing for a one-size-fits-all, government-run health care for America with the loss of choice and the loss of control--all of the concerns that come with a one-size-fits-all, government approach.
“It doesn't seem like they are for lowering costs. It seems they are for raising your taxes and taking away your control and your choice. They are not for improving care. They are for increasing and growing the role of government.
“Remember, the Democrats want to take away health insurance from 180 million Americans--working Americans--people who go to work every day and have earned their health insurance at work.
“At the same time, the Democrats who are running for President are promising free health care. I was astonished when I heard this from the Democrats. They are promising free health care for illegal immigrants. They want to take insurance away from hard-working Americans and give insurance--free--to illegal immigrants.
“What kind of proposal is that? Who is being represented with this proposal by these Democratic Senators and other Democrats who are running for President? Who do you think is going to pay for all of this? Why should we pay more to wait longer for worse care?
“It is not something Americans want or will tolerate. Instead, let's give patients the care they need from the doctors they choose and at lower costs.”