Politics

Dem Senator: ‘My Job’ to Explain ‘Disastrous’ GOP Health Care Plan

Murphy says 'American public doesn’t understand' Obamacare bill, need Democrats to decipher

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said the American public needs him and other Democrats to explain to them “what a disaster” the GOP House leadership’s health care reform proposal is during an interview Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”

When “New Day” co-host Alisyn Camerota asked Murphy about his opposition to the American Health Care Act proposed in the House last week, the Connecticut senator blasted it as a “disaster” and criticized the GOP Republicans’ apparent wish to ram the bill through the various committees without debate. But when Murphy insisted that the American people required some assistance in understanding the legislation, Camerota began to push back.

“And the American public doesn’t understand it, right? So it’s my job to explain to the American public that this will kick millions of people off their insurance.”

“Republicans have a plan that they are going to rush through the next few weeks, and so we need to spend our time right now explaining to the American people what a disaster it is to stop it,” Murphy said.

Camerota asked whether it was Murphy’s “job” to interpret the legislation for the people’s benefit.

“Why is that your job when you’re a senator paid — your salary is paid for by the American people?” Camerota asked. “Why is it ever your job to just communicate how disastrous it will be rather than saying, ‘Hey, we know this is going to change. Here are the things that I am working with those on the other side of the aisle to make better’?”

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Murphy insisted that it is “his job” to explain what a “disaster” the bill is because “no Republican in leadership has shown any willingness to work with Democrats.” But Camerota took issue with that explanation and asked why Murphy and other Democrats couldn’t initiate the process themselves.

“There are actually a number of Republicans, especially senators, who you know don’t love it at all and won’t vote for it in this form,” Camerota noted. “Isn’t there an opening for you there?”

Murphy adamantly rejected the idea.

“No. Right now, there is not an opening because Republicans have crafted this bill in secret. Now if they want to work with us, they know where they are,” Murphy said.

The “New Day” co-host then took the opportunity to point out that the proposed legislation isn’t so “secret,” after all, and that American citizens can go online and read the text for themselves without the need for an interpreter.

“It’s all online. People can read it. It’s less than a hundred pages,” Camerota said.

But Murphy still insisted the public needs help interpreting the bill.

“Right now, [the Republicans] are trying to rush this bill through,” Murphy said. “And the American public doesn’t understand it, right? So it’s my job to explain to the American public that this will kick millions of people off their insurance.”

Camerota still pushed back, saying, “Why do you say the American public doesn’t understand it? I mean, it truly is all up online and people can read it. And it’s not nearly as long as the Obamacare bill was.”

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In response, Murphy noted that the Affordable Care Act itself had been debated “over the course of a year,” and thus was open to a longer period of scrutiny and debate.

“The American public are busy, right? They don’t have the ability on a week’s notice to understand a complicated health care bill,” Murphy said. “This is being rushed through so that the American people won’t understand what is happening here and I do think it’s my responsibility to try to explain to my constituents and people throughout the country what will happen to their insurance rates, that they will spike if this bill goes in effect so that we build pressure on Republicans to come and work with Democrats.”

But the Democrats have no intention of initiating any efforts to work with Republicans, Murphy indicated.

“Right now, there is not enough pressure on Republicans to truly reach across the aisle because they think that they can rush through a bad bill that the American public won’t ever see or understand before it’s passed into law,” Murphy concluded.

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