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Congressman Denny Heck

Representing the 10th District of Washington

Statement from Congressman Denny Heck on Graham-Cassidy health care plan

Sep 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After evaluating the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Republican legislation currently before the Senate, Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) gave the following statement:

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I do not support a partisan plan to reconfigure one-sixth of our economy, developed by Republicans behind closed doors, and without any input from health experts, economists, patients, constituents, and Democrats. This plan – like the several others the GOP previously attempted and failed – would once again return to the times when health insurers could discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions and when too many Americans went without health insurance.

“This reckless bill, if enacted into law, would also radically and detrimentally restructure and cut the Medicaid program, eliminate popular consumer health protections, and throw the individual health insurance marketplace into a downward spiral. It would be a drastic step backward, and would make our health care system even worse than it was before the ACA. Furthermore, the bill’s advocates are rushing this through in such a manner that the Congressional Budget Office doesn’t have enough time to adequately assess how much this change would cost, how the measure would affect the deficit, how many people might lose insurance, and what happens to the cost of health insurance premiums.

“Congress should focus our energy on bipartisan efforts to stabilize the health care marketplace, and end these repeated disruptions which only serve to engender fear and uncertainty for many Americans. People deserve our serious commitment to worthwhile efforts aimed at achieving universal health coverage.”

Heck is a cosponsor of H.R. 3748, the Medicare Buy-In Health Care Stabilization Act, which would allow Americans ages 50-64 to buy into Medicare, enacts new steps to stabilize the individual market, and requires the Department of Health and Human Services negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs for all Medicare beneficiaries. Heck is also a cosponsor of H.R.3258, the Marketplace Certainty Act, which would permanently fund Cost Sharing Reductions subsidies (CSRs) to help prevent health care from becoming unaffordable for American families and bring financial stability to the health care marketplace (the Washington Health Plan Finder).

On March 22, Congressman Heck spoke on the House floor and urged his colleagues to vote against the American Health Care Act. He also spoke on the House floor against repealing the Affordable Care Act previously,  telling Marty’s story on January 13, telling Shirley and Sarah’s story on February 3, telling Baby Gracie’s story on February 14, , and reading Sherry’s letter on March 8. Congressman Heck also invited Kelty Pierce to share her story with Congress as a guest for the President’s Joint Address to Congress.