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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Louise Line: Protecting Public Health

November 14, 2017
Louise Line
September 25, 2017

Last week, I was honored as the 2017 recipient of the Anthony Jordan Health Center Lifetime Achievement award for my work in health-related policy.

One of my top priorities in Congress has been working to protect public health. It’s a busy job that’s included everything from bringing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the House floor as chairwoman of the Rules Committee and working for 14 years to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to defending reproductive health rights.

We can’t stop defending public health now as Senate Republicans consider steamrolling ahead with the Graham-Cassidy bill, a last-ditch resurrection of Trumpcare that would punish states like New York that have increased access to health care, end Medicaid expansion efforts, eliminate the subsidies that help people purchase coverage, and create instability in our insurance marketplace. This bill is so bad that experts from organizations like American Medical Association, March of Dimes, the National Organization for Rare Diseases, Planned Parenthood, America’s Health Insurance Plans and dozens more have come out in strong opposition.

Worse still, the bill could be rammed through the Senate in just five legislative days without analysis from the experts at the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, meaning we have no idea the impacts it would have on our economy, premium prices, or tens of millions of Americans’ access to coverage. Despite Senator John McCain’s announcement on Friday that he opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill, Senate Republicans are continuing to push ahead and use a process called reconciliation to try and pass their bill and repeal the ACA with just 51 votes.

During my speech at the Jordan Health Center, I said that the lifetime achievement award wasn’t mine, it’s yours. That’s because I fight every day in Congress to protect the health of the people I’m elected to serve. The Graham-Cassidy bill is a rush job and nothing more and I believe it would be detrimental to the health of millions of Americans. That’s why despite all the partisan theatrics, I will continue to fight tooth and nail to defend the care you’ve come to count on.