Virginia Democrats comment on Senate GOP healthcare vote

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to move forward on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Virginia Democrats responded in a flurry of statements decrying the move.

mark warnerSen. Mark Warner:
“Today’s vote will have very real and disastrous consequences for millions of Americans. The only question is how many people will be harmed, since Senate Republicans voted to move forward on a bill no one has yet seen but which we already know will raise costs and kick millions off their health insurance, including millions of children, elderly and disabled Americans who depend on Medicaid. There is still time for reasonable Republican senators to abandon this partisan process. It is long past time for Republicans to sit down with Democrats and work on a bipartisan solution that actually improves our healthcare system.”

tim kaineSen. Tim Kaine:
“As one of my colleagues has said, not a single one of us came to the United States Senate to hurt people, but that is exactly what Republicans have set in motion with today’s forced vote on a secret bill. For many of my constituents in Virginia and millions of people across America, this bill likely means losing insurance or paying much more for health care. I spent Friday volunteering at the RAM Clinic in Wise County, where thousands of people had traveled far from their homes—many of them sleeping in their cars and outside in the heat—to get care. The magnitude of the need was heartbreaking, and the message from these families was clear: ‘help us, don’t hurt us.’ As the wealthiest and most compassionate nation in the world, we must make our health care system better, not worse, for these families. We have to do our jobs to protect the health care of the kids whose parents who have been writing to me and asking Congress to stop this heartless bill. This is about what’s right and wrong. This is about who we are as Senators. This is about what thinking, feeling, breathing, believing human beings in positions of leadership will do to help people, not hurt them. Americans—healthy and sick—need us to get this right, but Republican Senators got it wrong with today’s vote. In the coming days, I hope we’ll change course, move to a more open process, and get back to helping people.”

terry mcauliffeGov. Terry McAuliffe:
“Congressional Republicans once again are hastily working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and rip away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans. This process has been negotiated in secret and there is no clear path forward. Both the House and Senate versions to replace the ACA would leave hundreds of thousands of Virginians without insurance, decimate our state budget, and severely impact our ability to provide quality health care coverage and long-term care for those who need it the most. On behalf of all hard-working Virginia families, I urge the Senate to reject any legislation repealing the ACA. Instead, let us work together in a bipartisan manner to improve the ACA, stabilize our private health insurance markets, and increase health insurance coverage for all Americans.”

ralph northamLt. Gov. Ralph Northam:
“Today’s motion to proceed with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act over the loud protests of millions of Americans is a shameless prioritization of politics over people that many will pay for with their lives. As a doctor, I am disturbed by this move that could strip healthcare from over 520,000 Virginians who rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid for their access to quality, affordable healthcare. The senators who have today voted to pursue this reckless action through a secretive process that didn’t provide the American people the proper transparency even though their lives depend on it.  through a secretive process that didn’t provide the American people even though their lives depend on it. Just this weekend, I joined other providers in volunteering my medical services to Virginians who are underserved and underinsured and who would encourage our legislators to put party aside to find them solutions. This process, done in the shadows and under the cover of uncertainty, does them the ultimate disservice. We are once again dooming people to being one medical emergency away from financial demise — this is is unacceptable in the richest country in the world. As governor, I will keep fighting for access to quality, affordable healthcare for Virginians.”

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