May 15, 2019
“This extreme scheme will mean the loss of health insurance coverage for millions and millions and millions of hard-working people: union workers and their families, of our veterans, people who have helped protect and save this country, federal and state employees and their families, and all the Americans who are currently enrolled in Obamacare plans.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about how the Democrats’ one-size-fits-all health care proposal will take away health insurance from millions of Americans.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor once again to address Democrats’ one-size-fits-all health care scheme.
“It’s a radical plan to take over all health care in America and to take away health insurance from millions of Americans.
“Still, nearly every Senate Democrat running for president and 109 members of the House of Representatives, Democrats all, have backed one-size-fits-all health care.
“Last week former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota had some words of wisdom for her fellow Democrats.
“She writes in the Washington Post: ‘Most Americans are satisfied with the health care they receive and do not want their coverage options taken away and replaced,’ as she said, ‘with a one-size-fits-all government program.’
“The fact is, according to the Census Bureau, 90 percent of Americans have health care coverage.
“Of those, 200 million are covered by private health plans – 180 million have employer-provided health coverage.
“And most say that their current plan works well for them.
“Now the 180 million Americans covered through their jobs work hard – and these people go out every morning and support their families.
“According to a survey released last year, the vast majority of people with employer-provided coverage – 71 percent of them to be precise – like their current health care plan.
“So who exactly are those workers on employer-sponsored plans?
“Well, many are union members. They negotiate their health coverage through their union representatives.
“Many are public employees, federal and state employees, people who served this country.
“So why do Democrats who support one-size-fits-all health care want to outlaw proven, popular and predictable health coverage for millions of these working families?
“Democrats certainly seem to be putting politics above principle. What’s more, they clearly believe that Washington knows best.
“But shouldn’t we be asking what these hard-working Americans who have good private insurance want? Well, shouldn’t we ask them what’s best for them? What’s best for their families?
“Let’s take the Teamsters Union, for example.
“In an article published in 2017, the Teamsters said: ‘The availability of high-quality health care has been a top selling point for those who belong to unions … a benefit these workers have bargained for, and oftentimes they have sacrificed higher pay for these excellent insurance benefits.’
“Let me underscore this point – the Teamsters Union believes their health benefits are excellent.
“And maybe Democrats should ask the United Steelworkers about their insurance coverage.
“If you go to a steelworkers’ website, you’ll find their answer: ‘The Steelworkers Benefit Plan … provide[s] high-quality, affordable health and welfare benefits to USW members and their families.’
“Basically if you’re a union worker watching this debate right now, you need to know that Democrats in Washington are coming for your hard-earned health care benefits.
“Make no mistake, under the one-size-fits-all health care legislation offered by Senator Bernie Sanders and so many Democrats running for president, this high-quality health insurance program and their insurance will cease to exist.
“No wonder last year some high-profile public sector unions started sounding the alarm about losing their health benefits.
“When New York state debated a Sanders-like proposal to take over health care, who raised the loudest objections? The public sector unions of course.
“So again, we have millions of union workers, federal and state employees, and their families, all with excellent health care benefits that are on the Democrats’ chopping block.
“But instead of helping fix the nation’s health care problems, Democrats are looking to destroy what is actually working.
“And remember, it’s more than union workers and public sector employees who are threatened.
“Democrats’ one-size-fits-all health care plan is gunning for retired military members’ health insurance as well.
“I’m talking about the TRICARE health insurance program for military families. There are more than 9 million military families enrolled in TRICARE.
“Our service members have earned their TRICARE coverage through years of faithful service defending this nation.
“Now I believe one of our greatest responsibilities is to provide those who protect this nation, in terms of our retired service members.
“Back home in Wyoming I talk with service members, veterans nearly every weekend.
“These proud Americans want me to make sure that TRICARE works for them and to protect and strengthen benefits that work, and they have earned through their service.
“Still, far-left Democrats don’t want to listen to reason. They are hell-bent on their one-size-fits-all approach to health care.
“It’s especially ironic that Democrats even want to ban Obamacare plans. The plans they voted for; they put in place.
“It’s less than a decade since Democrats passed Obamacare, and now they want to repeal and replace it. Basically saying Obamacare has failed.
“For years I’ve come to the floor to discuss the shortcomings of Obamacare.
“Every time Republicans have offered to improve health care, we’ve heard from the Democrats that Obamacare is off-limits, and they can’t possibly make any changes to that law.
“But now that Democrats are running for president, well suddenly they’re singing a different tune. They’re done defending Obamacare.
“In fact, Democrats are happy to repeal Obamacare so they can replace it with a one-size-fits-all health care plan for America.
“Senator Heitkamp is actually warning them not to ‘cast aside’ Obamacare and ‘start all over again’ with a one-size-fits-all plan.
“Well, let me just say as a doctor, as a physician, who has taken care of patients for decades, my focus continues to be on improving health care for America’s patients and for their families.
“Americans want to focus on real health care reforms that make a difference for them, for their families in terms of the cost, in terms of the quality of their care.
“These are the issues that Republicans are working on right now: protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, lowering prescription drug costs and ending surprise medical bills.
“Surprise medical bills are bills patients receive that come out of nowhere.
“These bills are an unfair financial burden on many families – completely unexpected medical costs that they can’t afford and are not expecting.
“Just last week I was at the White House with President Trump announcing a plan to help patients by ending these surprise bills.
“Republicans also remain committed to protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and to lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
“So Democrats have a choice to make.
“They can follow the far-left Democrats pushing their radical one-size-fits-all approach to health care.
“And again, this extreme scheme will mean the loss of health insurance coverage for millions and millions and millions of hard-working people: union workers and their families, of our veterans, people who have helped protect and save this country, federal and state employees and their families, and all the Americans who are currently enrolled in Obamacare plans.
“The better option for Democrats is to work with Republicans on common-sense bipartisan solutions, real reforms that improve health care for all Americans.
“Let’s reject one-size-fits-all health care that will make Americans pay more, to wait longer, for worse care.
“That’s the key. One-size-fits- all health care, I will tell people listening in today you will pay more, to wait longer, for worse care.
“It’s time to reject a one-size-fits-all care for Americans.
“Let us work together to give all patients the care they need, from a doctor that they choose, at lower cost.”