Hirono calls Senate health bill ‘mean, ugly’

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono is decrying the Republican health care bill as “mean, ugly” a day ahead of her own surgery.

Speaking on the Senate floor today, Hirono says people typically figure health insurance is a concern for someone else until they get sick. Hirono announced in May that she was being treated for kidney cancer. She is having surgery Tuesday to remove a lesion on her rib.

Hirono joined several Democratic senators in criticizing the GOP health care bill, saying it was a “tax cut for the rich bill.” The bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated today.

Hirono said health care is a right, not a privilege. And in light of the budget analysis that found 22 million more Americans would be uninsured, Hirono said, “it’s as bad as we thought.”