December 03, 2015

Hirono Fights To Protect Health Care Access For Hawaii Women And Families

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today voted against H.R. 3762, a Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood, undermine federal support for research on heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, and gut key Affordable Care Act provisions. The legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate 52-47. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill.

After the final vote, Senator Hirono released the following statement:

“The budget reconciliation legislation is yet another Republican attempt to push a far-right agenda on our country. Instead of bringing up legislation that will help create opportunity and raise wages for middle class families, Republicans continue to waste time on harmful, ideological proposals that they know will fail to become law.

“The one good thing to come out of this pointless exercise is that the Senate voted 90-10 to repeal the tax on so-called ‘high-cost health plans’ before it is enacted in 2018. ‘High-cost health plan’ is a complete misnomer- in reality, this tax would hit workers whose employers provide decent health care benefits as a key part of their compensation. I am a proud cosponsor of Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) bill that will repeal this tax in a responsible manner and look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to help working families by responsibly repealing this tax.

“I remain very concerned about continued attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Preventative health care services comprise the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s services, and under this legislation, thousands of women in Hawaii might be left without access to another provider. This legislation also eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which funds a number of key public health research initiatives. This bill would also repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which would severely impact the State of Hawaii’s ability to provide access to health care to our most vulnerable residents.

“While we continue to consider these partisan measures that are guaranteed to fail, Congress is getting closer and closer to hitting next week’s deadline to fund the government. Instead of wasting time on the Republicans’ ideological wish lists, the Senate should be debating legislation that supports and strengthens the middle class.”