Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Rep. Ellison Statement on Republican Health Care Reform Bill

May 4, 2017
Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS–Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act: 

“In their first major vote under President Trump, House Republicans pushed through a bill that will increase insurance premiums and deductibles, slash hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, and leave millions of working people without affordable healthcare coverage – to finance a $1,000,000,000,000 tax cut for the top 2% of households. Everyday Americans will be forced to pick up this tab, and they’ll pay for it with their health, their security, and in some cases, with their lives.

“Calling this bill the “American Health Care Act” is a cruel irony – 24 million Americans will likely lose their coverage. Hundreds of millions of people who get their insurance through their employer could see their plans slashed. Seniors and people with pre-existing conditions will be priced out of their insurance plans. And as many as one million Minnesotans who have received affordable care through the expansion of Medicaid, essential health benefits, or the exchange will be worse off. 

“This vote is a message to every American who has ever struggled to pay for healthcare. For once, Republicans are being candid.

“To the expecting mother whose insurance won’t pay for her maternity care and delivery because her state was granted a waiver on covering essential health benefits, Republicans say: perhaps you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant.

“To the parents in Minneapolis working multiple minimum wage jobs with no employer health benefits and relying on Medicaid to pay for their children’s checkups, Republicans say: you may have to choose between your children’s health and paying your rent. 

“To the person born with a chronic illness, like my constituent Michael, born without eyes, who relies on Medicaid to help him live in his community, Republicans say: pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

“And to every single Minnesotan who has gotten insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans say: if you can’t afford to pay for health insurance yourself, you can’t afford to live a healthy life. 

“In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote about ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ There’s a reason life comes first. It’s hard to experience liberty or enjoy the pursuit of happiness if you aren’t healthy enough, or even alive, to do it.

“I’ve never thought healthcare should be a product to be bought and sold, taken for granted by some and out of reach for many, many others. Healthcare should be a right granted to every person. And while Republicans clearly don’t agree, we won’t stop fighting for working families – we never will.”