Congressman Jared Huffman

Representing the 2nd District of California

Lawmakers to Trump: You Can’t Pass this Buck

Jul 20, 2017
Press Release
Time to Take Responsibility and Work with Dems to Improve Health Care

Washington, D.C.-  A group of 36 Democratic lawmakers, led by Reps. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Mark Pocan (D-WI), called on President Trump today to stop trying to pass the buck on the future of health care and instead explain his health care proposals and answer direct policy questions from members of Congress, just as President Obama did when the Affordable Care Act was developed.

This call for President Trump to attend a public congressional forum on health care comes in response to the President’s latest efforts to duck responsibility for the failure of the Republican health care bills and the future of health insurance markets, telling reporters on Tuesday: “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”

In today’s letter, the members of Congress pointed out that assigning blame without engaging in tough policy choices is beneath the office of the President: “As the elected leader of our nation, we are concerned with your continued silence on this national health care debate. Short tweets and brief statements are not policy positions.”  

“With more than twenty million Americans projected to lose their health insurance – a reality you recently described as “mean” – as a result of the bills under consideration to date, we respectfully request the opportunity to ask you questions about your vision and to discuss how we can move our country forward on a bipartisan basis, just as President Obama offered in 2010,” continued the lawmakers.  

The full text of the letter can be found HERE or below.

 

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

Now that the Senate repeal effort has fallen short, we write to invite you to address the American people and their elected representatives in Congress to explain your vision for improving health care in this country.

On February 25, 2010, then-President Barack Obama held an extensive public discussion with members of Congress on how to improve our nation’s health care system. The Obama health care summit lasted seven hours, involved congressional leaders from both political parties, gave voice to opponents of the President’s proposal, and gave the American people a chance to hear directly from the country’s leaders about the policy recommendations that would ultimately impact their families and livelihoods. Just a few weeks before this well-televised event, President Obama appeared at the congressional Republican retreat to answer questions directly from members of Congress.

When the Affordable Care Act was crafted, congressional leaders held over 100 hours of hearings, considered a total of 239 bipartisan amendments, and allowed members of Congress and the public nearly five months to examine the text of the ACA before the bill was voted on in the House. During this time, members of Congress and President Obama held hundreds of town halls and health care-focused public events across the country.

As the elected leader of our nation, we are concerned with your continued silence on this national health care debate. Short tweets and brief statements are not policy positions. The American people, every one of whom will be impacted by changes to our health care laws currently under discussion, deserve to hear the specifics of your vision for a more affordable and better health care system.

With more than twenty million Americans projected to lose their health insurance – a reality you recently described as “mean” – as a result of the bills under consideration to date, we respectfully request the opportunity to ask you questions about your vision and to discuss how we can move our country forward on a bipartisan basis, just as President Obama offered in 2010. As Congress considers sweeping changes to our nation’s health care laws, it is important the Congress and the public have the opportunity to understand your views and how your policy choices will impact the nation.

Sincerely,

 

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