King searches Senate chamber for Republican health care repeal bill

King searches Senate chamber for Republican health care repeal bill

Sen. Angus King opened and examined desks on the Senate floor on Wednesday in a mock attempt to find where Republicans have hidden a health care repeal bill they’ve spent weeks developing in secret and plan to rush to a vote in the coming days.

The search was a humorous opening to a serious speech on the Medicaid cuts contained in the legislation, which King said would be devastating for Maine seniors.

“If we’re talking in this bill, and if anyone finds it, let me know, but if we’re talking in this bill about significant cuts to Medicaid, we’re talking about people’s ability to have long-term care and nursing homes. Make no mistake about it, you can’t cut Medicaid by over a trillion dollars over ten years and not have it affect those people,” said King.

The Senate bill, a draft of which was leaked to reporters this afternoon, contains even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House proposal.

“Some people say we’re giving the states flexibility, well we’re giving the states flexibility to make agonizing decisions between disabled people and children and seniors. That’s not flexibility. To quote the president, that’s mean. That’s cruel,” said King.

King also posted a video to his Facebook page this morning where he criticized the reported substance of the bill as being terrible for Maine, hurting rural hospitals and rural communities; skyrocketing the price of insurance for older, working class Maine people; and making coverage harder to get for people across the state in order to give a massive tax break to the wealthiest Americans.

“All of the pieces on this are wrong, and it’s being done in the wrong way. We can do better around here. We can openly debate and discuss and take some time and understand what the ramifications are, but to vote for a bill like this without fully appreciating the consequences? I don’t get it and it’s certainly not what I intend to do,” said King.

 

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