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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

While they review the much-maligned American Health Care Act, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) issued a stern warning to his Republican colleagues in the Senate.

“I don’t think the Republicans can do this themselves, and they shouldn’t,” he said in a “CBS This Morning” interview May 30. “What came out of the House is just dreadful.”

Franken is co-chair of the bipartisan rural health caucus. After speaking with hundreds of experts in over two-dozen town meetings, he introduced a legislative package last July to address barriers to affordable health care for rural Americans.

According to Franken, “measures aim[ed] to address three keys areas: ensuring rural residents have access to the health services they need, helping rural health care providers recruit and retain skilled workers, and increasing the quality of care delivered in rural communities.”

The latest Congressional Budget Office report finds the new bill would leave up to 23 million Americans uninsured by 2026.

“People in rural Minnesota, all over Minnesota, are terrified [of the bill’s ramifications] and they should be,” added Franken. “This is unconscionable: $830 (and some) billion cut from Medicaid—Trump said he wouldn’t cut Medicaid at all, to pay for a $900 billion tax cut. The richest people in the country jeopardizing protections for preexisting conditions.”

“This is just an awful bill,” Franken hammered. “And I hope we can get in the Senate to working in a bipartisan and open way.”

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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.