March 12, 2019

Hirono Leads Entire Democratic Caucus in Fight to Protect Health Care for Millions of Americans

In a Speech on the Senate Floor, Senator Hirono Calls on Senate to Pass Resolution Urging the Department of Justice to Defend Protections for the 133 Million Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech on the Senate floor today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) led the entire Senate Democratic Caucus in urging swift passage of a resolution urging the Department of Justice to defend the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing condition protections in the ongoing Texas v. United States case. Senate Republicans blocked the resolution from passing by unanimous consent.

From Senator Hirono’s Remarks

“The entire Senate Democratic Caucus and I are introducing a resolution that simply asks the Department of Justice to do what it’s supposed to do – defend the duly enacted laws of this country.

“This resolution shouldn’t be necessary. But last year – as 19 states joined Texas in challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act – Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to defend the ACA in court and in fact, filed a brief arguing that several vital protections of the law should be ruled unconstitutional – including protections for Americans living with pre-existing conditions.

“The Justice Department’s actions were blatantly political and had a specific outcome in mind: accomplishing through the courts what Republicans have tried, and failed, to achieve through the legislative process – repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“This is not a game. Lives are at stake. Without the ACA’s protections, millions of Americans living with conditions as common as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or cancer could be charged exorbitant premiums or denied insurance coverage altogether.”