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Red-State Democratic Governors: GOP Health Care Bill ‘Detrimental to Our States and Our People’

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Governors Bullock and Edwards Call for Bipartisan Compromise on Health Care

Today, Governors Steve Bullock (D-MT) and John Bel Edwards (D-LA) highlighted the negative impact the Republican health care bill would have on their states. Both governors successfully implemented Medicaid expansion over the past 2 years. The expansion – which is under threat from the Senate bill – has been a lifeline for rural hospitals and led to millions of dollars in budget savings in both states.

Below are highlights from the press call:

Governor Edwards:

  • “There is a bipartisan concern among governors in states across the country who expanded Medicaid because what we’re seeing in Congress today is certainly going to be detrimental to our states and our people.”
  • “We know we’re saving lives today. We are literally saving lives – we have hundreds and hundreds of people diagnosed with cancer and they’re being treated. They wouldn’t have known but for the fact that they now have Medicaid. We take that away, and we can say with certainty people will die.”
  • “I believe providing extra flexibility to the governors to design programs which are suited for their particular populations is a good thing. But we cannot pretend that giving me all the flexibility in the world will allow me to provide meaningful coverage to the same people who have it today if you give me half as much money.”

Governor Bullock: 

  • “Governor Edwards and I come from states where working together isn’t just something that is an option, it’s a necessity. That’s how we get things done.  I hope that Congress, as they go forward, will work to do the same thing, to actually work together and bring folks in on this, because at the end of the day, whether you’re from a red state or a blue state, you want a government that works to solve problems.”
  • “If I look at where we are today, now more than 79,000 Montanans gained access to affordable healthcare because of our Medicaid expansion. Our uninsured rate in Montana dropped from 20 percent in 2013 to just over 7 percent last year. Folks are finally starting to receive the treatment that they deserve.”
  • “In Congress, they are still talking about cutting a program that saves lives in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy.  And I think that sort of approach is exactly the sort of Washington D.C. problem that regular hard working, middle class families are sick and tired of.”