Sen. King: Republican health care proposal will “shaft” Mainers who need coverage

In a blistering speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, independent Senator Angus King criticized the  proposal backed by Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump.

“I don’t think there is much question that this proposal will hammer Maine and my people, and I can’t stand for that,” said King. “I hope that the House will have a more vigorous process, that they’ll understand what the implications are, and take a more vigorous approach so that we’re not tearing insurance out from under people, we’re not going to make the costs be driven up, we’re not giving a tax break to people that make over $250,000 a year, and, at the same time, taking coverage away from people who make $30,000 a year. That’s wrong.”

King cited estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation finding that under the Republican proposal, a sixty year old in Aroostook County with an income of $30,000 a year would lose approximately 70 percent of the federal support for their health insurance plan provided by the Affordable Care Act, sharply increasing the costs that person pays out of their pocket for health insurance. Kaiser estimates that that support would fall by nearly 50 percent across the rest of the state.

“The pattern is shift and shaft: shift the cost and shaft the people who need coverage,” said King.

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