Here’s your list of “tax reform” milestones:
1) Blow up Medicaid.
2) Repeal, shift the offshoring of jobs overseas.
3) Blow up the consumer-price index.
So, here’s my question for you: Have you crunched any of the numbers yet, or are you just glad to have a fight? Because this country needs to see our taxes reduce or its debt unload from under us and not win that fight. But hold the champagne. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act was a fight that Republicans lost, with this country losing the battle to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. You lost. And you have to feel good about losing because it would have been shameful to lose a health care battle.
So, rather than fight, we’ll give you a pass and let the legislation leave you to defend tax cuts only among the very rich and job creators. While most Americans still get it for free. And realize if those bills passed, how bad the fiscal situation would be going forward.
But before we do that, we really have one last fight to do. And that’s tackle drug addiction. You will do it and we have to do it. Not if it hurts your healthcare efforts, but if it hurts a child’s or your family’s or their health. Especially if it forces someone to make decisions they might not otherwise make, or if it makes them unsure or maybe afraid to go to the doctor. Let us be the ones.
Mr. Speaker, this week my father passed away and I don’t have the words to describe the pain and sadness that I, my mother, sister and brother feel. And I know I speak for all of us when I say he made every effort to stay alive. But because of one of his medication choices, he gave up his fight. That could be you, son, or daughter. It could be any of us, I’m afraid. And it could be a “forgive us we’ve become numb to it” heartbreak that you will remember all your life.
I know you see us each day, through our energy and humor and love and determination and togetherness. And my son and I know that the GOP’s decision to once again hold us hostage is just an unnecessary distraction. So, can you let us have a happy week? Can you drop this faux fight. And let us meet in the middle with a bipartisan bill that truly reforms how our money and tax dollars are spent. It’s the one that will leave our country stronger and more prosperous.
Because it should be our focus. This is really the only thing on which we are all united. And it’s how we, as a nation, define ourselves. Because we recognize that we were founded on a promise. We were raised on a promise.
And that promise was simple. As people who strive to serve our country, we can help our country be more equal. It was predicated on what Americans can do as individuals to help serve their neighbors and families. And it’s why I chose to fight, and why thousands of people have fought and continue to fight. Because there are always those who want to discriminate against their neighbors, people of color, women, the LGBT community, the elderly, the deaf, the blind and people with disabilities. That’s why we need fair and just laws. That’s why we need laws that protect our love, our kindness, our family values, our faith, our respect for the environment, and our faith in our greatness as a great nation. And that’s why we have to pass laws that protect the truth. That’s why we must pass the truth to those still stuck in pain. Because someone is struggling and you’re worried about losing health care is because you’re afraid, when it could be someone you love.
So, here’s the deal. As we move through this week and beyond, I know we all have to make tough decisions about health care. I understand that we have to make hard choices about job security and making certain American families can afford a place to live. I understand that we have to move this nation forward. I understand how much this country needs to stay united. But our red lines are clear. It has to be our values, about good schools, about unity, about compassion, about looking out for those who need us, but it has to be our values. All of us.
If your values are to make our children less of a burden and a burden to the nation, I see no reason to pass this bill, let alone repeal the healthcare we all came to fight for together.