Washington D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement on the Senate’s failure to pass the Health Care Freedom Act, the fourth formal iteration of “Trumpcare”:
“Trumpcare's failure is not a ‘win’ for Democrats. It is a signal to the millions of Americans who owe their health to the protections and coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that our voices will be heard. This debate should never have been about the politics of ‘winning.’ A White House victory doesn’t always translate into an American victory. There is no victory in denying health care to millions of Americans—whether its 22 million, or 32 million, or 16 million, depending on which half-baked bill we’re talking about. The victory is in protecting millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, or cancer, and preventing women from being charged more just for being women. It is about health care in the world’s greatest democracy being a right, not a privilege for the few.
“I applaud not only my Democratic colleagues, but also the three Republican Senators who refused to vote for a bill they knew would hurt their constituents. They adhered to their principles and deserve our gratitude.
“Today, we take solace in Trumpcare’s failure. But, tomorrow, we continue to fight.
“The President has made clear that he welcomes a crisis in our insurance markets, and he has already taken steps to fulfill that prophecy. I hope my Republican colleagues here in Congress aren’t bullied into joining him. Democrats want to make our health care system better, but the only way to do that is via an open and well-tested committee process. 79 hearings were held, and 181 expert witnesses were heard from, before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. Trumpcare had zero. What’s more – the final GOP bill wasn’t released until just before the vote. After years of decrying what they claimed was an opaque and rushed process around the ACA, Republicans barely allowed time to let the ink dry on their final bill before voting on it – much less fully understand what they were voting on.
“Let’s not stamp our feet and take our toys home because commonsense prevailed. Instead, let’s abandon this closed-door approach to governing. Let us quell the flames this Administration has stoked in the marketplace. And, above all, let us remember that our actions aren’t meant to scores wins – they’re meant to serve the American people.”
Please note this statement was originally published on July 28, 2017 by Congressman Engel’s House of Representative’s office and posted to this website no sooner than 72 hours after initial publication.