Washington D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House and Senate Democrats on the steps of the Supreme Court for a press event to highlight House and Senate resolutions calling on the Trump Administration to halt its assault on Americans’ health care in the courts. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Good morning, everyone.
It’s an honor to join the distinguished Democratic Leader of the United States Senate [Senator Schumer], Senator Shaheen – a leader on protecting the health care of the American people – and Colin Allred – from the House of Representatives, who has taken the lead on this issue from day one in the Congress.
We are here to condemn what the President did. Last week, the Trump Administration radically expanded its war on the Affordable Care Act – on America’s health care – asking the court to strike down every last provision of the ACA.
The distinguished Leader went through some of the concerns. Some bear repeating.
Imagine that he would say, after the Republicans misrepresented their position on pre-existing conditions – remember during the campaign they said, ‘Oh we’re for the benefit of not having pre-existing conditions be a barrier to your access to health care.’ They said that, in spite of the fact that over and over again they have voted to eliminate that benefit.
And now, the President is acting in a way to not only eliminate that benefit, which is so important, also to eliminate a companion benefit that goes with the pre-existing condition – to eliminate the ban on lifetime limits and annual limits on people who need health care. This is terrible.
Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition under the ACA. You can be on your parent’s policy. Lengthening the stability and solvency of Medicare – they don’t care. They think Medicare should wither on the vine. That is the Republican mantra.
When Medicare was passed, they said it would lead to a socialist dictatorship. They do not believe in a public role. They are anti-governance.
So, this is not an issues fight or a legislative fight; it’s a values fight for our country. That we value the health and well-being of the American people and we recognize that their financial stability is related to their health stability.
The Medicaid expansion, as the distinguished Leader said, this isn’t just about the 20 million people who now have access to quality, affordable health care. It’s about over 150 million American families who have better care, better benefits. Again, no lifetime limits, no pre-existing conditions ban and some of the other provisions that I mentioned.
Better benefits, lowering the increase in costs, improving the health – not just the health care, but the good health of Americans. It’s about prevention. It’s about nutrition.
It’s about so many things that perhaps they don’t understand, but what we do understanding is that they do not believe in public policy that affects the good health of the American people. And that is why we’re going to have this resolution debated on the Floor today, voted tomorrow. From day one, Congressman Colin Allred led the way. House Democrats voted to throw the full legal weight of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and we hope that some of the Republicans will join us against the Texas lawsuit, he’s from Texas.
But more than 190 Republicans voted to be fully complicit in everything this monstrous proposal puts forth.
So, now, because of the President’s actions, which are to be condemned, that lawsuit is even more dangerous than it was in January, and that is why we are bringing forth the Allred resolution this week.
The American people deserve to know exactly where their representatives stand on the Trump Administration’s vicious campaign to take away their health care. This is so interesting because the President has been trying to do away with the Affordable Care Act from day one. We know that. And the way it was protected was not just by our inside maneuvering, it was because of the outside mobilization of so many groups. Many of whom are present today.
Ten thousand events – they had 10,000 events around the country. The Little Lobbyists. The patient advocacy groups. HCAN. Protect Our Care. All kinds of organizations and individuals coming forth with the power of their individual stories.
It wasn’t just about statistics, as compelling as they are. It was about the individual stories of little children born with a pre-existing condition whose families need everything there – they need the health care, but they need Medicare and they need Medicaid as well.
Little children with pre-existing conditions – the President is saying to them, ‘You now have a lifetime limit on the insurance you can receive.’ Saying to little children, ‘Your pre-existing condition is going to ban you from having health care that is affordable. You can have health care but the costs will go through the roof.’ That is what the President is saying to these little children, not to mention every other age group and saying to seniors as far as Medicare and Medicaid are concerned.
So, Democrats will fight For The People. The For The People agenda for all of us was lowering health care costs, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, preserving the pre-existing medical condition as we increase the paycheck to increase their financial security, and have H.R. 1, which is our fight against big, dark money in politics. When we pass that as the law of the land, the American people have confidence that we can lower prescription drug prices, protect their health care, increase their paychecks and, again, today is equal paycheck day – Equal Pay Day – so hooray for us for passing [the Paycheck Fairness Act], under Rosa DeLauro’s leadership – equal pay for equal work. They are all connected because it is about the financial as well as the health security of the American people.
And now, it is my privilege to bring to the podium, yield the podium, in front of the Supreme Court, to Senator Shaheen who has been such a tremendous leader on this subject in the United States Senate and in the country. Senator Shaheen.