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  March 22, 2017

Maryland Democrats Push Back Against Gov. Hogan's Support for ACA Repeal

Four members of the MD Democratic delegation rallied in Annapolis Monday urging republican Governor Larry Hogan to join with other GOP governors in opposition of the Obamacare repeal
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KIM BROWN: She came to hold her sign and have her voice heard. Meet Gail.

GAIL: I'm a breast cancer survivor and many of my friends who are breast cancer survivors, who don't have the... are concerned about the future of healthcare.

KIM BROWN: She's one of dozens who joined with members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation on Monday in Annapolis to urge Governor Larry Hogan to voice opposition to the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

GAIL: Many of them right now are under the ACA, and they have the treatment that they need, and thatÂ’s being provided to them. There's a lot of concern from my friends, and other breast cancer survivors, that the new legislation would put them in a pool of folks that are high risk. And that their premiums, their insurance premiums, will go up even higher now.

BERNIE SANDERS: Now, I want to tell you something interesting about the naming of their bill -- the American Healthcare Act. What did they leave out? ... Affordable! They dropped that word. It's the only step they've taken so far that's been an honest step.

KIM BROWN: House Republicans released their plan to replace the ACA earlier this month titled, "The American Healthcare Act" and a vote is scheduled in the House on Thursday.

PAUL RYAN: The House Budget Committee took up the American Healthcare Act. It is the third committee to debate this bill as part of our ongoing open and transparent regular order process. We look forward to strong support there, putting us another step closer towards keeping our promise. Keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. From there, the bill will go to a fourth committee before it goes to the House floor.

MAN: They actually made us vote in the committee on sending this to the floor without having the information in our hands from the Congressional Budget Office. That's the opposite of transparency. That's the opposite of regular order. They turn the whole process upside down.

But now we know why they didn't want us to discuss this CBO report in that hearing. Because now we have it available to us and it says that 24 million Americans are going to lose their coverage.

KIM BROWN: The Congressional Budget Office's cost assessment of the GOP healthcare plan does say that fewer Americans will be covered, which has drawn criticism from all sides. Including some Republican lawmakers.

REPUBLICAN MAN: I don't think this bill passes the Senate. I sure hope it doesn't pass the Senate. I think that the situation is the road map is, maybe it'll pass the House, maybe it won't. But when it gets to the Senate, we have to involve both parties in the discussion.

KIM BROWN: That's what these Maryland Congressmen say they came to Annapolis to do: apply political peer pressure to Governor Hogan.

MAN: I think that we need to salute all of the Governors across the land, and the Mayors, who are standing up to speak out for their people, but especially, the GOP Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas and Nevada. Let's show our appreciation for what they're doing.

CROWD: Cheers and applauds.

MAN: Because they are putting principle and people ahead of party.

KIM BROWN: Repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave over 300,000 Marylanders without health coverage and potentially cost the state billions, according to an analysis released by Maryland's Department of Legislative Services in January.

MAN: Because ultimately it comes down to our budget and our ability to insure these individuals. So, I think it's time that we all join together, Governor Hogan, Congressional Delegation, and Legislature -- to make sure that we are on record opposing anything that would diminish the Medicaid role in the State of Maryland.

KIM BROWN: During Monday's rally, Larry Hogan released a statement, which read, "This type of grandstanding is exactly why Marylanders and Americans are sick of politicians, and why Congress has an approval rating in the single digits. Moreover, these members are disregarding the Governor's direct appeal to them to work in a bipartisan manner, to come up with responsible solutions for Maryland."

Congressman Elijah Cummings reacted forcefully.

ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I was very disappointed to hear the Governor's response. I want you to think about what has been said here already. We met with the Governor, what, about a month ago? That wasn't grandstanding. We believe that healthcare should be a right!

CROWD: Yes! (applauds)

ELIJAH CUMMINGS: So, how dare you talk about grandstanding! We're talking about saving people's lives!

CROWD: (Cheers and applause)

ELIJAH CUMMINGS: And I personally resent that.

WOMAN: So do I!

MAN: Bravo!

ELIJAH CUMMINGS: We are a state that has led the nation with regard to healthcare! Governor, on Thursday they're bringing a bill to the House. So, we came to see you. And we asked you off. And remember what I said, Governor? With all due respect, I didn't ask you to help. I begged you! That does not sound like somebody grandstanding, coming begging for help -- not for me, not for him, but for all of us.

MAN: The Affordable Care Act is not perfect. But it did more than any other law since the Medicare and Medicaid of the '60s to expand healthcare in Maryland. We can all be proud of what Barack Obama and Congress did. Over 20 million Americans got healthcare, including 100s of 1000s of Marylanders.

Donald Trump does not know what he's talking about. He said recently how shocked he is that healthcare is so complicated. Well, Mr. Trump, it's both complicated and simple. It's complicated to do something like you're trying to do, which won't work; but it's simple -- Americans got healthcare under the Affordable Healthcare Act. Let's keep it. Let's not throw out one of the best laws enacted in a 100 years to expand healthcare in America. It's working, let's keep it.

KIM BROWN: Regardless, if repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act is successful, its presence has affected those with it and those without it.

GAIL: So, I just want the Governor to recognize many, many Marylanders who have been diagnosed with many illnesses. But I'm here specifically talking about breast cancer, and all of my friends. I personally am not on the ACA but I'm fighting for the others that may not have the income. They may have the access but it will not be affordable for them.

KIM BROWN: Reporting from Annapolis for The Real News Network, I'm Kim Brown.




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