Remarks Defending Medicaid in the House Budget Committee

“Thank you, Chairman Black. Unfortunately, we are here today for the most tragic of reasons — to fulfill a plan that is a betrayal of the American people.

“How is this plan a betrayal? When you cynically strip 24 million people of healthcare and double the number of uninsured in the county from 28 million to 52 million, that’s a betrayal;

“And when you undermine the health care safety net for more than 70 million Americans like seniors, children and their parents struggling to get by on poverty-level wages, and people too disabled to work, that is a betrayal;

“Last night on CNN, I listened to Sec. Tom Price try to counter angry rural doctors, retired teachers and cancer survivors who KNOW that this bill is a betrayal. When asked by Dana Bash if he could promise that no 50–60 year old would see their costs increase, Sec. Price could not answer.

“This motion to instruct would turn back the misguided attempt to strip $880 billion from Medicaid from 14 million Americans in 31 states across the country.

“The reality is that even Republican Governors from states like Michigan, Ohio and Nevada agree that Medicaid expansion has been a huge benefit to real people in their states.

“In my home state of Washington, Medicaid expansion has helped over 600,000 people and cut the number of uninsured in half to just 5.8 percent.

“Stripping Medicaid also affects over 1 million people who suffer from substance abuse disorders, like opioids, and are finally getting much needed treatment.

“One of the most cynical actions under this bill is the wholesale transfer of billions of dollars of Medicaid costs to the States. This is the opposite of state’s rights — it’s like telling states “You are left holding the bag” — in this case, body bags for the millions of people who will suffer life-and-death consequences.

“I now yield three minutes to Ms. Jackson Lee.”

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