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Tags: dick durbin | GOP | senate | healthcare | plan | open debate

Durbin: GOP Senate Should Subject Health Plan to Open Debate

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Wednesday, 28 June 2017 12:40 PM EDT

Senate Republican leaders should subject their healthcare reform legislation to an open debate on the chamber's floor and subject it to scrutiny in order to bring about a bipartisan approach to the legislation, Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday.

"Let's have a real national debate," the Illinois Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, agreeing that a healthcare bill can be devised that won't be thrown out when the next administration takes office.

"The key to it is the starting point, you know that," said Durbin. "If the starting point is to have a tax break for the wealthiest people in America, then you'll take more money out of the healthcare system. That means fewer people will have protection or help in paying their premiums, if you take tax cuts off the table."

Republicans are "really specialists" when it comes to tax cuts, said Durbin, but when it comes to healthcare, "turn to the Democrats."

"The question is whether we can create a political marriage here that says we can't take a trillion dollars out of the healthcare system over the next 10 years, primarily for tax cuts, and expect to have more people with health insurance coverage."

The cost of pharmaceuticals also needs to be on the table, Durbin said, as the Affordable Care Act has not dealt with constraining those costs, and it should have "from the very beginning."

"If you ask the American families and the insurance company executives, they'll tell you this is a big driver," said Durbin. "Now let me also say to television networks like your own, MSNBC, this directed consumer advertising by pharmaceuticals companies is only allowed in two countries, maybe three now.'

The senator also spoke out against directed advertising for medications.

"The consumers who don't understand the sophisticated issues about these drugs take the name of the drug into the doctor and say 'will you write me this prescription,'" said Durbin, and too many doctors do. "That drives up the cost of healthcare for drugs that are not effective or necessary," he said. "Should Medicare be able to negotiate pharmaceutical prices? You bet it should. Let's bring down the prices for senior citizens and for the government."

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Politics
Senate Republican leaders should subject their healthcare reform legislation to an open debate on the chamber's floor and subject it to scrutiny in order to bring about a bipartisan approach to the legislation, Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday.
dick durbin, GOP, senate, healthcare, plan, open debate
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2017-40-28
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 12:40 PM
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