Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on GOP’s Decision to Withdraw Graham-Cassidy

Bill failed in face of political activism, condemnation from the medical community, leadership from Senate Democrats and courage from a few Republicans.

For Release: 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Michael Heenan
202/585-4371; Cell:202/577-3941

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the failure of the Graham-Cassidy bill:

“Americans sent a message to Senate Republicans who thought a political win was more important than stripping millions of Americans of their healthcare: ‘Think again.’

“Americans across the political spectrum stood up for the most vulnerable among us—for patients with pre-existing conditions, students with special needs, and the elderly and disabled who live in nursing homes. They made sure Congress didn’t turn back the clock to a time when American families lived in fear that they would be one illness away from bankruptcy.

“We thank our members who contacted their senators, community allies who protested, and the brave senators who rejected this dangerous bill in spite of political pressure. The AFT couldn’t be prouder of the work we have done alongside our progressive allies to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare.

“But we must also be leery; this won’t be the last time that Trump and his allies will try to sabotage Obamacare. We cannot allow them to abandon our most vulnerable, just to reward the powerful. We urge the president to reach across the aisle, as he has done before, and work with Democrats to improve on the Affordable Care Act—starting with repealing the tax on high-quality health plans and then moving forward with expanding coverage and reducing prescription drug costs. This is the path forward, not dismantling the law that has brought healthcare—and hope—to millions of American families.”


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.