February 10, 2017

Whitehouse Statement on Price Confirmation

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement today on the Senate’s 52-47 vote to confirm Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) to be Secretary of Health and Human Services:

“Right now, one-year-old Henry from Warwick, Rhode Island, who’s battling cystic fibrosis, can no longer be denied insurance because of his pre-existing condition.  Martha from Cranston doesn’t have to worry about her son, who can stay on her insurance policy until he turns 26.  Timothy from Rumford, who has a heart condition, doesn’t have to worry about hitting a lifetime limit on coverage.  Catherine and her husband, who run a small business in Cranston, can finally afford quality health insurance.  And seniors on Medicare, like Susan from Kingston, no longer face the ‘doughnut hole’ that forced some to choose between paying for medicine and paying the mortgage.  These are just some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act—a law that’s meant hundreds of millions of dollars in savings in Rhode Island and new-found peace of mind for so many Americans.  Now Republicans, like Congressman Price, want to take away those protections.

“During the confirmation process, Congressman Price had a chance to ease Rhode Islanders’ concerns about losing the reliable care and economic security they receive through the ACA and other important programs.  He could have explained how the Trump Administration can build on the gains we’ve made through the Affordable Care Act.  Instead, he echoed Tea Party talking points and defended his efforts to voucherize Medicare, passing costs to seniors while eroding benefits.  He wouldn’t answer simple questions about his commitment to science or the harm his own legislation may cause Rhode Islanders facing addiction or behavioral health issues.  And like the rest of the Republicans in Congress, he failed to outline a realistic vision for replacing the Affordable Care Act that lowers spending and gives Americans access to the care they need.  That’s why he didn’t get my vote tonight.”


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