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Democratic Health Leaders Urge Republicans to Work With Them to Improve the Affordable Care Act

Jul 28, 2017

Washington, D.C. – The Ranking Members of four House Committees with jurisdiction over health care expressed their willingness to work together with Republicans today to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In a letter sent to the Chairmen of their respective committees, the four Democrats called on Republicans to set aside efforts to repeal the ACA and instead to focus on expanding access to health care and lowering the cost of coverage.  The letter comes after the vote on Trumpcare failed in the Senate early this morning.

The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth (D-KY). 

“We write to express our willingness and interest in working together to strengthen our nation’s health care system,” wrote Pallone, Neal, Scott, and Yarmuth.  “Democrats stand ready to work together if Republicans are ready to set aside their proposals to repeal the ACA, make devastating cuts to Medicaid, and give massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate interests.  We stand ready and willing to work together in hopes of finding common ground for the good of the American people.”

The four Democratic health leaders requested that public hearings be held under regular order.

“Many House Democrats have been working on proposals that would directly lower out of pocket costs for families and improve health coverage,” the four Ranking Members continued.  “We urge you to begin the process of holding hearings to consider some of these ideas, along with any Republican ideas that can accomplish our shared goals, in the hope that they can then be moved through regular order by our Committees.” 

Full text of the letter is available below:

 

Dear Chairman Walden, Chairman Brady, Chairwoman Foxx, and Chairman Black,

We write to express our willingness and interest in working together to strengthen our nation’s health care system.  It is time to put partisanship aside and come together and work to lower health care costs for working Americans, promote stability in the individual market, and make further progress in expanding access to coverage.

The American public overwhelmingly supports making improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rather than repealing it; last night’s vote in the Senate only underscored that building on the ACA’s progress should be our path forward.  Democrats stand ready to work together if Republicans are ready to set aside their proposals to repeal the ACA, make devastating cuts to Medicaid, and give massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate interests.

Many House Democrats have been working on proposals that would directly lower out of pocket costs for families and improve health coverage.  We urge you to begin the process of holding hearings to consider some of these ideas, along with any Republican ideas that can accomplish our shared goals, in the hope that they can then be moved through regular order by our Committees. 

We stand ready and willing to work together in hopes of finding common ground for the good of the American people. 

Sincerely,

Frank Pallone, Jr.
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce

Richard E. Neal
Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
Ranking Member
Committee on Education and the Workforce

John A. Yarmuth
Ranking Member
Committee on the Budget