Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called on Senate Republicans to reject the U.S. House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, calling the measure a “cruel and dangerous bill,” that would leave millions of Americans “stranded without the health care they need.”
Speaking at a news conference Sunday in Manhattan, where she was joined by health care advocates and New Yorkers fighting long-term illnesses, Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) pressed her Republican colleagues to oppose the GOP health care replacement plan that was approved by House members in a 217-213 vote Thursday. The plan is backed by President Donald Trump.
“For thousands of families in our state this is literally a fight to stay alive. . . . We must prevent this cruel and dangerous bill from ever becoming law,” Gillibrand said. Although the current bill was approved before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could review the measure, Gillibrand cited a study the office issued in March that indicated 24 million Americans would lose their health coverage over the next decade under an earlier version of the bill that was never voted on.
Earlier in the day, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate minority leader, speaking at an unrelated news conference, also criticized the new health care bill, saying he was concerned the measure would make it more difficult for Americans with pre-existing health conditions to find affordable coverage.
“Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have said this plan is no good,” Schumer said. “I hope that we will get rid of this idea of repealing the ACA, and instead work together, both Democrats and Republicans, to make it better.”
Gillibrand and Schumer’s remarks came hours after Trump urged Senate Republicans to support the House plan in a Sunday morning Twitter post. “Republican senators will not let the American people down!” Trump tweeted.
Senate Republicans and top White House officials have already indicated that the House proposal, shepherded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, is likely to undergo changes in the coming weeks and months.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning, said, “The bill that passed out of the House is most likely not going to be the bill that is put in front of the president. The Senate will have their chance to change the bill, improve the bill. The negotiations will continue again.”