WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama stepped back into the political arena Thursday to call on supporters to stop the Republican health care bill from becoming law.
Obama reacted to the Senate GOP’s plan to repeal Obamacare in a post on his Facebook page late Thursday afternoon.
He criticized Republicans for rushing through their legislation after eight years:
“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.”
Obama went on to say the bill was “mean,” quoting President Trump’s thoughts on the House version of the bill.
Health care has always been about something bigger than politics: it’s about the character of our country. https://t.co/UqLO14Hef7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 22, 2017
“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation,” he said.
Obama later asks in part, “What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?”
The former president accused Republicans of forcing Americans “through that pain — while giving billionaires and corporations a large tax cut in return.”
President Obama called on his supporters to contact their members of Congress to attempt to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need. That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family,” Obama wrote.
House and Senate Democrats reacted similarly after Republicans in the upper chamber revealed the first draft of their health care repeal Thursday morning. At least four Republicans — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson — are currently withholding support for the bill until certain changes are made.