Washington, DC— Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray, of the Senate HELP Committee, and Senator Debbie Stabenow, of the Senate Finance Committee, held a conference call this morning to discuss the refusal by most Senate Republicans to engage in an honest debate on the best way to deliver real reform to our broken health insurance system. Despite having ample opportunity to get involved in the process, Senate Republicans have refused to work in a bipartisan fashion.
Said Senator Murray: “Throughout this process, Democrats and the HELP committee have done everything within reason to provide Republicans opportunities to participate in reforming health insurance in this country. Yet they are still claiming that Democrats are going it alone, and haven’t given them a chance to get involved. Clearly they have made a political calculation that claiming they haven’t been treated fairly is the best way to kill reform.”
Said Senator Stabenow: “Republicans don’t have a plan. Most of them want to maintain the status quo and let insurance companies continue to do business as usual. Democrats are focused on helping middle-class families obtain and keep affordable health insurance. Americans have waited long enough.”
Most Senate Republicans support a plan where insurance companies will deny coverage when Americans get sick and can dump them for a pre-existing condition, for reasons such as aging or gender. Senate Democrats have proposed a plan that allows Americans to keep their existing coverage if they like what they have, and will ensure access to affordable choices that can’t be taken away. This week, a number of Republicans outside the beltway stated their support for health insurance reform. It is unfortunate that their counterparts in Congress have instead chosen to just say no.