U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after Senate Republicans released a discussion draft of legislation to replace what he characterized as the ‘failed Affordable Care Act (ACA)’:
“After years of debate, hearings, and stories from folks harmed by Obamacare, today is a critical step towards delivering on our promise to provide the relief Texans so desperately need.
Our plan will help lower skyrocketing costs, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and ensure Medicaid is there for the Texans who need it most. Under this plan, gone are the days where people are forced to buy insurance they don’t want and can’t afford.
“The time to close the book on Obamacare is now. Our plan will help deliver access to better care at a price the American people can actually afford.”
THE SENATE REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE PLAN
Protects Texans’ Access to Health Coverage
- Safeguards Medicaid for the Texans who need it most.
- Preserves access to care for Texans with pre-existing conditions.
Provides More Options for Texas Patients
- Will help boost options for the approximately 1.5 million Texans who buy their insurance on the individual market, which will be especially helpful for Texans in the 88 counties (one out of every three in Texas) that currently offer only one insurance option.
- Repeals the employer mandate penalty, which means employers will be able to offer employees more choices at a lower cost, helping the 48% of Texans who receive health insurance through work.
Makes Care More Affordable for Texans
- Slows down sky-rocketing premiums, which Texans have seen go up 82% in the past 4 years alone.
- Provides tax credits to help low-income Texans living below the federal poverty line – 4 million of whom receive no help under current law — afford health care.
- Repeals the health insurance tax, which drives up premium costs, and repeals the tax on individuals who choose not to buy insurance.
- Increases funds for Texas’ first-class hospitals that serve low-income patients who don’t have insurance.
- Increases Medicaid funding for those struggling with mental illness.
- Provides new funding to combat opioid abuse. 4 of the 25 U.S. cities with the highest rates of opioid abuse are in Texas.
On the Senate floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke about the discussion draft of legislation introduced by Senate Republicans to replace the failing Affordable Care Act. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be downloaded here.
“We’ll have a process next week whereby any Senator who has an amendment to the bill has an absolute right to file that amendment.”
“I can’t imagine a more transparent and open process than put it on the internet, invite people’s comments and discussion, and then have an open amendment process following debate, and then vote.”
“This, I believe, is a framework for better care. But we’re going to continue to discuss this plan and talk to anyone who is willing to talk to us and work with us. If there is a way the bill can be strengthened, I am open to it. But the status quo isn’t working, and our Democratic colleagues know it.”