Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Senate Republican Healthcare Bill

For Release: 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Contact:

Marcus Mrowka
202-531-0689 (cell)
mmrowka@aft.org

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on the Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill:

“We’re a week out from the Senate voting on a bill that would radically affect one-sixth of the nation’s economy and millions of people’s lives. Now that we have leafed through the 142 pages of the Senate Republicans’ bill, it’s obvious why they wanted to keep it a secret. This proposal would be a disaster for America’s families—it raises costs, cuts coverage, weakens protections and ends Medicaid as we know it.

“Instead of repairing Obamacare, Republicans have doubled down on what the House-passed Trumpcare would do—rip away healthcare from millions to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. In the Senate, they just did it in a different way. By slashing Medicaid funding to the bone, Senate Republicans are going further than simply repealing the Affordable Care Act; they are tearing away the safety net from working people and the most vulnerable, and making our healthcare crisis worse than it was before we passed the Affordable Care Act. Let’s be clear—Medicaid is not a talking point; it’s an absolutely critical lifesaving program for the disabled, children and millions of other Americans whose lives depend on it. These senators are attempting to do all this while ramming it through with zero time for an honest debate.

“What Republicans are treating like a parlor game has real-life consequences for America’s families, many of whom are already hanging on by a thread. For nurses and health professionals, this bill would mean sicker patients and less funding for their hospitals; for parents of children with special needs, it would mean losing the school-based services that keep their children safe and healthy; for people with cancer, diabetes, asthma and other pre-existing conditions, it would mean skyrocketing premiums. This bill would crush seniors with higher costs and fewer benefits, plunge poor people even deeper into poverty, and put the majority of Americans one illness away from bankruptcy. The AFT’s 130,000 nurses and health professionals know firsthand the damage this bill will inflict on Americans, and we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent it from becoming law.”

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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.