Former President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned the newly revealed Senate bill to repeal and replace his eponymous landmark health care legislation.
“I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party,” Obama wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.”
He said that Democrats did not work “for more than a year in the public square” to pass Obamacare “for any personal or political gain.” By contrast, a secretive working group of 13 Republican senators deliberated for two and a half months behind closed doors to draft their repeal bill.
“We fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course,” Obama said. “I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win.”
He said the purpose of public service is “to make people’s lives better, not worse.”
“But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite,” Obama said. “That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses.”
He described Senate Republicans’ proposal as “not a health care bill” but rather “a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”
“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” Obama said. “And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”