Schumer: Trump Trying to ‘Hurt Millions of Innocent Americans’

By Gage Cohen | July 19, 2017 | 7:34 AM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) attacks President Trump, urges Republicans to work with Democrats, and suggests "three rather modest things" that can be done now to keep Obamacare going. He spoke at a news conference on July 18, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday accused President Trump of “actively trying to undermine the health care system in this country, using millions of Americans as political pawns in a cynical game.”

Schumer said his Republican colleagues have a choice: They can “join President Trump in trying to sabotage the system and hurt millions of innocent Americans” -- or “they can start today working with Democrats.”

Three Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia – said on Tuesday they would vote no on a bill that would repeal Obamacare in two years.

Schumer told the news conference:

Now, it’s getting clearer and clearer that Senate Republicans won’t be able to pass either their bill or a backup plan of repeal without replacement. We Democrats believe that the time has finally come for our Republican colleagues to take us up on our offer of working together to improve the health care system rather than sabotage it.

Evidently President Trump is proposing a different path. He wants to throw up his hands rather than roll up his sleeves to work with us and solve the problem. But let's be very clear about what the president is proposing and where his path would lead. The President would not, be quote, “‘letting Obamacare collapse.’ He is actively, actively trying to undermine the health care system in this country, using millions of americans as political pawns in a cynical game.

By continuing to deny the insurance markets their certainty that they need to function, the President is playing a dangerous game with the health care of this country. So our Republican colleagues here in the Senate have a choice to make.

They can follow the President down a path that will lead to higher premiums, less care, and millions of Americans losing coverage. They can join President Trump in trying to sabotage the system and hurt millions of innocent Americans to try and make a political point that has failed already.

Or they can start today working with Democrats. We can work together to lower premiums. We can work together to stabilize the markets. We can work together to improve the quality of health care.

Schumer said Democrats are asking for "three rather modest things" that would improve Obamacare.

First, Democrats want to make cost-sharing permanent. Cost-sharing lowers out-of-pocket costs, based on income, for Silver plans bought on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Second, Democrats want to reinstate Obamacare's reinsurance provision, which sends taxpayer money to plans that enroll higher-cost individuals.

And third, Schumer endorsed a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), which would allow individuals in “bare counties”—counties with no insurers participating in the individual insurance exchanges—access to the same insurance plans offered to members of Congress and Congressional staff.


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