WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a hearing today on the Trump Administration’s proposed health budget, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, blasted Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar over the Administration’s ongoing actions to dismantle the Affordable Care Act – including actively arguing in federal court for the law to be struck down– and their abject failure to come forth with a plan to replace it, potentially leaving millions of Americans without health insurance.
“If tomorrow, the court decides that in fact the entire law is struck down,” Sen. Menendez said, “[Under the ACA,] millions have health insurance that didn’t have it before. Many, under the Medicaid expansion have health insurance that didn’t have before. Millions have protections for pre-existing conditions that didn’t have those protections before. Millions have no more lifetime caps – a ceiling on the expenditures that they have, especially if they have a serious illness.”
“So, what’s the Administration’s plan?” Sen. Menendez demanded. “What are you waiting for?”
As Azar fumbled to respond, Sen. Menendez pushed further, holding up a photograph of a young New Jersey boy named Junior, who received a liver transplant from a former Menendez staffer.
“See this young man? He’s alive today because of the Affordable Care Act,” Sen. Menendez said. “And like him, millions of Americans in my state and across the country are alive because of it. I don’t know what you’re waiting for.”
April 22, 2021