Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after President-elect Trump nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-MI) for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Despite promises to preserve and protect Medicare and Medicaid, it is clear that the new administration is joining the chorus of Republicans who consistently advocate for the destruction of these fundamental America programs,” Rep. Grijalva said. “The nomination of Tom Price – one of the GOPS’s most prominent opponents of these programs – is yet another sign of Trump’s true intentions. If Republicans think that Democrats will stand idly by while the incoming Republican Party attempts to voucherize and privatize Medicare and push Medicaid into the abyss, they have another thing coming.”
Candidate Trump promised to protect Medicare without cutting any funding – President-elect Trump has nominated a Secretary of Health and Human Services dedicated to doing exactly the opposite,” Rep. Ellison said. “Rep. Price’s nomination represents a return to the Republican standard of destroying the programs that millions of Americans depend on. Republicans have promised to privatize Medicare, destroy Medicaid, limit access to reproductive healthcare, and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this nomination, Donald Trump has signed onto this agenda that will cost us billions of dollars, and thousands of lives. Privatizing Medicare means more expensive, lower-quality care. And Gutting Medicaid through “Block Grants” would mean millions of older Americans, pregnant women, and children would likely become uninsured.
The health and wellbeing of American’s is at stake. Nominating Rep. Price is an endorsement of an uncertain future for millions.”
“President-elect Trump’s nomination of Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services signals a sharp deviation from Trump’s campaign promise to prevent any cuts to the Medicare program and could put millions of seniors’ health care at risk,” said Rep. Pocan. “As a Member of the Budget Committee, I’ve consistently opposed Chairman Price’s attempts to voucherize Medicare, a program that every American contributes to and that millions of seniors rely on. We should be expanding access to health care not weakening it. I will continue to oppose any attempts to privatize Medicare.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.