Tags: Donald Trump | Healthcare Reform | richard blumenthal | donald trump | sabotaged | bipartisan work | healthcare reform

Blumenthal: Trump 'Sabotaged' Bipartisan Work on Healthcare

(CNN's "New Day")

By    |   Monday, 16 October 2017 12:02 PM

The matter of government payments to insurance companies could have been handled a long time ago, but President Donald Trump "sabotaged" bipartisan work with his push for repeal and replace legislation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal claimed Monday.

"I think we need a bipartisan solution," the Connecticut Democrat told CNN's "New Day" program. "I think one is within reach, not only to make sure that those subsidies are legal, that funds are appropriate, but that states have some degree of flexibility. There are ways to build on the Affordable Care Act, not tear it down and destroy."

Blumenthal also accused Trump of "playing a very dangerous game of brinkmanship" with his decision to decertify the Iran deal and his call to kick the matter over to Congress to discuss sanctions.

"Now Congress must rescue the healthcare program of the United States," said Blumenthal.

The senator supports a bipartisan proposal negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, which calls for lowering premiums, stabilizing the healthcare markets, and authorizing cost-saving reductions.

"I think the Alexander-Murray talks are very promising, and I think we can avoid a government shutdown," Blumenthal said.

In Blumenthal's state, two marketplace providers have pulled out, while the other two have premiums climbing by an estimated third, and the senator Monday accused Trump of sowing "chaos and taking steps that lead to the premium increases."

"What has to be done is bring down the cost of medical care," said Blumenthal. "We have higher healthcare costs per capita with no really better results and particularly the pharmaceutical drug costs need to be diminished."

Blumenthal said state regulatory systems should also be strengthened to keep costs down.

"Perhaps the federal government ought to be taking over that kind of oversight and supervisory role," said Blumenthal. "Those premiums have been raised even more because of the president's chaotic policies."

The senator also spoke out about the situation in Puerto Rico, which continues to worsen nearly a month after Hurricane Maria hit landfall.

"I called for an investigation because of the faltering and failing relief efforts there and for a disaster relief czar who can offer better management and leadership," said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal said he will be sending a letter to the Centers for Disease Control calling for an accurate accounting on several issues in Puerto Rico, including on mosquito-borne diseases, Zika, chikungunya, dengue and more "real and imminent threats."

"One of the reasons people are leaving Puerto Rico and taking the talent, skills, energy to rebuild is the fear of a public health collapse, and that's what the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services needs to forestall."

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The matter of government payments to insurance companies could have been handled a long time ago, but President Donald Trump "sabotaged" bipartisan work with his push for repeal and replace legislation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal claimed Monday.
richard blumenthal, donald trump, sabotaged, bipartisan work, healthcare reform
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2017-02-16
Monday, 16 October 2017 12:02 PM
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