July 10, 2019
“The fact is, Democrats have taken a hard left turn, and they want to take away your health insurance if you get it from work.”
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 a recent Congressional Research Service report which concluded that Medicare for All would largely displace existing federally funded health programs as well as private health insurance.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today because Democrats out on the campaign trail continue to spin their one-size-fits-all health care plan that they call ‘Medicare for All.’
“The name itself is misleading. I will tell you that as a doctor who practiced medicine in Wyoming for 24 years.
“Even many Democrats in that first presidential debate sounded confused about their own proposal.
“The candidates were asked a simple question. They were asked to raise their hands if they support eliminating private health insurance. That’s the health insurance people get from work. And just four arms went up over the two nights.
“‘Five candidates who kept their hands at their sides,’ the New York Times has now reported, ‘have signed onto bills in this Congress that do exactly that.’ That take health insurance away from people who get it from work.
“On one point, though, they all raised their hands: All 10 Democrats in round two of the debate endorsed taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants. Every hand went up.
“It seems that Democrats have actually been hiding their real, radical agenda. ‘Most Americans don’t realize how dramatically Medicare for All would restructure the nation’s health care system.’ That’s not just me talking. That’s according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
“Well, we need to set the record straight, and I’m ready to do that right now.
“The fact is, Democrats have taken a hard left turn, and they want to take away your health insurance if you get it from work.
“Their proposal abolishes private health insurance. The insurance people get from work. In its place, they would have one expensive new government-run system.
“Still, Democrats know most of us would rather keep our own coverage that we get from work. Even people on Medicare Advantage, the 20 million people there, they would lose it under the Democrats’ proposal.
“The Kaiser poll confirms Americans’ top concern is, of course, lowering their costs. Or as The Washington Post health column put it: People simply want ‘to pay less for their health care.’
“That’s what we are committed to here on this side of the aisle.
“Many Democrats running for president continue to promote and support this radical scheme by Senator Sanders.
“The Sanders legislation would take away health care insurance that people get from work for 180 million people. That’s the insurance that’s covered through their jobs.
“In addition, the 20 million people who buy their own insurance, they would lose coverage as well. You also need to know Democrats’ proposal ends current government health care programs.
“Medicare for seniors will be gone.
“Federal employees’ health insurance will be gone.
“TRICARE for the military will be gone.
“And the children’s health coverage also will be gone under this Democrat healthcare one-size-fits-all plan.
“That’s confirmed by the Congressional Research Service.
“Congressional Research Service recently sent me a formal legal opinion. I’ve requested it from them. That’s a formal legal opinion stating: ‘Medicare for All would … largely displace these existing federally funded health programs as well as private health insurance.’
“Detailing how the bill cuts off funding, the CRS memo concludes: ‘These payment prohibitions would effectively terminate all those programs that I’ve mentioned in their current form.’
“Let me repeat: The Congressional Research Service finds that Medicare for All actually terminates Medicare. Terminates Medicare in this country.
“So Democrats want to turn Medicare that is currently for 60 million seniors, they want to turn it into Medicare for None. Not Medicare for All, it will become Medicare for None.
“Plus, the 22 million people would lose their Medicare Advantage. I know many of my patients who’ve signed up for Medicare Advantage because there are advantages to doing it.
“Coordinated care, working on preventative medicine, there are reasons that people sign up for Medicare Advantage that will all be gone under the one-size-fits-all approach that the Democrats are proposing.
“That’s not all.
“This report says the Sanders bill ends federal employee health insurance. More than 8 million federal workers, their families, our retirees they rely on this Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.
“Plus, the Congressional Research Service says that the bill, sponsored by over 100 members who are Democrats in the House of Representatives, sponsored by a number of Democrats in this body, will abolish TRICARE. The insurance for the military. Now more than 9 million military members, their families and retirees rely on TRICARE for their healthcare.
“And the report says the bill ends the Children’s Health Insurance Program – 9 million of our nation’s children rely on the CHIP program.
“Interestingly, Obamacare would end as well, according to CRS report. After less than a decade, Democrats want to repeal and replace their failed Obama health care law with a one-size-fits-all system.
“And again, the Congressional Research Service says the bill bans private health insurance – 180 million people get their insurance through work.
“So to sum up, hundreds of millions of American citizens stand to lose their insurance.
“And I believe that’s just the start of the pain for American families.
“In the new system, we would all be at the mercy of Washington bureaucrats.
“That means we’ll be paying more to wait longer for worse care.
“Democrats’ massive plan is expected to cost about $32 trillion – $32 trillion with a T. And that’s just a 10-year price tag.
“Guess who is going to pay that mindboggling bill? Of course, every American taxpayer.
“Senator Sanders admitted in the Democrat debate the other night that his proposal would raise taxes on middle-class families.
“In fact, even doubling our taxes wouldn’t cover the huge cost of what they’re proposing.
“So Washington Democrats are planning to drastically cut payments to doctors, to hospitals, to nurses—the people who are actually providing the care.
“And bureaucrats of course would then ration care, restrict care, the care that you get that you need. You would be restricted in terms of treatment as well as technology.
“People would lose the freedom to choose the doctor or hospital that they want.
“As a doctor, I’m especially concerned about the impact on patient care.
“Patients could wait weeks, even months, for urgently needed treatment. Keep in mind, care delayed often is often care denied. So Democrats’ grand health care vision is to force you to pay more, to wait longer, for worse care.
“As a senator and as a doctor, of course I want to improve your care. Make it less costly—let you get insurance that is appropriate for you and affordable.
“You should be free to make your own medical decisions.
“And no question, health care needs to be more affordable. Republicans are working to lower costs without lowering standards. To me, that is the big difference.
“But Democrats are proposing the reverse. Their plan would lower your standard of care and raise your costs.
“So Democrats can keep campaigning hard-left on health care, that’s where they are headed.
“Republicans are going to stay focused on real reforms. Reforms that promote: more affordable health care, cheaper prescription drugs, protections for patients with preexisting conditions and of course the end of surprise medical bills.
“President Trump recently took executive action that increases price transparency to lower the costs that patients pay.
“You just need to know the facts about the Democrats’ one-size-fits-all health care.
“Don’t let far-left Democrats fool you.
“Radical Democrats want to take away your current health care. No more Medicare or private plans, just a one-size-fits-all Washington plan.
“Why pay more to wait longer for worse care?
“Instead, let’s give patients the care that they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs.”