WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

Senator Gillibrand on Senate Health Care Bill

Gillibrand: "I think it's really harmful for New Yorkers"

Mike Baggerman
July 15, 2017 - 7:44 am
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - In her visit to Buffalo on Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand talked about the recently amended health care bill introduced by Senate Republicans.

"I think it's really harmful for New Yorkers," the senator said. "It's really going to undermine people's access to affordable care. It doesn't guarantee health care to the 22 million people who need it. It will raise rates for anyone with a pre-existing condition, there's no requirement that you have to cover someone at an affordable rate."

She said the way to fix health care is to focus on opening up medicare by letting people buy medicare at a price they can afford.

"You need a not-for-profit public option," Gillibrand added. "One where you're not guaranteeing huge profits just to insurance companies."

For republicans, gathering the votes to pass the replacement to the Affordable Care Act has been difficult. All democrats oppose the health care bill and the GOP can only afford to lose three votes. At least two are a guaranteed "no", Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky. However, other republicans told media outlets they are skeptical of voting for the bill because of its proposed cuts to Medicaid. 

Gillibrand said she doesn't know if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will get the votes.

"I certainly hope our republican colleagues show courage and stand up and say they won't vote for this harmful bill," Gillibrand said.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives underwent a similar story. A bill was introduced, then taken away from a floor vote, only to come back a short-time later and it received the necessary votes. Gillibrand said those house republican votes were "paid for", including local votes.

"I think it's cynical, it's harmful, and it's not how government is supposed to work," she said. "We should push back against that. Maybe if Mitch McConnell can twist enough arms he can get the votes he needs. That is not good government and that is not about helping people."

She then said changing the bill to help one state or one small constituency is how Washington operates, which she called "disgusting". 

The senator also acknowledged the Collins-Faso amendment, calling it "outrageous" and said that constituents need to speak out against it.

LISTEN: Senator Gillibrand discusses the Senate health care bill


 

Gillibrand HC- Gillibrand RAW.mp3

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