WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the following statement after Republicans voted to open debate on their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“Make no mistake about what Republicans did on the floor of the United States Senate today. In spite of hearing from tens of thousands of their constituents who begged them to stop their cruel campaign to repeal the ACA, raise their premiums, take away protections for their pre-existing conditions, and strip their loved ones of affordable coverage – they did it anyway.

“And while the bill they’ll try to use to rip apart the ACA may be a mystery, the consequences are very, very clear: Tens of millions of Americans will be kicked to the curb, losing their healthcare coverage. People with pre-existing conditions will be cast aside. Millions of children, the disabled, seniors and low-income families will be left to fend for themselves while big corporations get another tax break they don’t need.

“It is shameful. But the fight isn’t over. We need Americans to keep calling, writing, speaking out and sharing their stories. There is still time for Republicans to do what’s right, finally listen to their own constituents and reject the awful measures that are coming.

“And when they do, I stand ready and willing to work toward bipartisan solutions to improve health care for all Americans.”