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RELEASE: Senators Stabenow, Warren, and Murray Hosted Forum with Americans Who Would Be Hurt by Tom Price’s Policies and Healthcare Repeal

Jan 19, 2017

Price has been an advocate for gutting Medicare and Medicaid and is a leading architect of repealing the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined other Senators to host a forum with Americans from across the country who would be hurt by healthcare repeal and the policies supported by Congressman Tom Price, the nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The 12 Senators who participated in the forum included: Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Bob Casey (D-PA). 

Click here for copies of the witnesses' testimonies and the Senators' opening statements.

"Congressman Price has consistently and vigorously sought to privatize Medicare, cut Medicaid, and take away health care from millions of Americans," said Senator Stabenow.  "And just last week, Republicans voted to pull the first thread that would unravel our entire healthcare system.  That is why it was so important, as the Senate considers Rep. Tom Price's nomination to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, to have the opportunity to hear directly from Americans who would lose health coverage and vital patient protections if his plans are adopted.  I want to thank all of the witnesses who came today to tell their stories.  I am committed to doing everything I can to protect access to medical care for Americans, young and old."

"Twenty-four senators asked that Congressman Price's nomination hearings include witnesses who could talk about the impact that his radical health policy views would have on their own lives," said Senator Warren. "I'm sorry that the Republicans decided the stories we heard today weren't important enough to include in the hearings, but I know the people we heard from speak for millions of other Americans who are worried about Congressman Price's support for defunding Planned Parenthood, ripping up the Affordable Care Act, privatizing Medicare, and cutting Medicaid."

The Senators heard testimony from the following witnesses:

Ann Serafin - Ferndale, MI

Ann lives with multiple sclerosis and is covered by Medicare. Ann and her husband also supported Ann's mother for the last decade and, after years of financial stress, were able to get her mother into a nursing home, with the cost of her care covered by Medicaid.

Diane Fleming - Washington, D.C.

Diane is 75 years old and lives in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  She went on Medicare at age 65.  Five years ago, Diane was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and Medicare has covered the bills from the four surgeries, radioactive iodine treatment, CT scans, sonograms, MRIs, and needle biopsies she has needed to treat her cancer.

Kanisha Hans - Boston, MA

Kanisha receives coverage through her parents' insurance plan because she is able to take advantage of the ACA requirement that young adults be covered until age 26. She also receives health care from Planned Parenthood where she was able to get access to affordable birth control. Kanisha recently went back to Planned Parenthood to get a new IUD - years before her current one needed to be replaced - because she is fearful that coverage for women's reproductive health care will disappear when the ACA is repealed.

Alyce Ornella - Harpswell, ME

Alyce and her husband were self-employed when they were able to get health insurance coverage through the ACA exchange. Alyce's plan provided free prenatal care, including prenatal tests, while she was pregnant with her son Sam. When Sam was unexpectedly born with serious birth defects, her plan covered all his intensive care and surgery costs. Sam now receives care through Medicaid, which has covered every test and exam that he has needed.

Holly Jensen - Cleveland, OH

Holly is self-employed as a nonprofit consultant in Cleveland and runs her own LLC. Holly was able to access mental and behavioral health services through Medicaid. She now has regular meetings with a therapist and is also able to access medications through her Medicaid coverage. Holly says, "This care not only saved my life, but also gave me back my life. Thanks to Medicaid, I am becoming the professional I want to be again - and the person I want to be again."

Last week, 24 Democratic Senators sent a letter to the Chairmen of the Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees calling for their hearings on Congressman Tom Price to include outside witnesses who can speak to the consequences of Price's policy views on American families.