Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen joined MSNBC’s Craig Melvin to discuss continued attempts by President Trump and Senate Republicans to pass legislation that would cause turmoil in our health care system. A transcript of the exchange is below, and video is available here:
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC: I want to bring in Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from Maryland. Senator, were you able to hear the President's comments there?
U.S. SENATOR CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: I was, and it's very clear the President has not read the Senate Republican bill. Because it doesn't do any of the things he said it would do. Which is why you have all the people who are a part of our medical system opposed to this bill. The doctors, the nurses, the hospitals. Every patient advocacy group. The American Cancer Society. The American Diabetes Association, Alzheimer's Association. All of them. They're not Republicans or Democrats. And they're against this bill.
So the American people are on to this bill. No amount of selling something that's a real stinker is going to persuade the American people to come on board. As we just heard, only 12 percent support it. And frankly, I haven't found those 12 percent, even though I've gone to Trump territory in the State of Maryland. So on this bill, even those who supported Trump, I think see it as a betrayal.
MELVIN: Senator, this idea that the President is now encouraging you and your colleagues to delay your summer recess, urging Senators not to leave town until they get a repeal and replace bill on his desk. I imagine you have Republican friends in the Senate. Do you get the sense that's something that they are willing to do?
VAN HOLLEN: So, look, I want to be really clear. First of all, we should defeat and bury this Senate Republican bill.
For all the reasons that we have heard, it would result in more than 20 million Americans losing access to affordable care. The new Trump proposal with Ted Cruz on the insurance markets would blow up insurance. So we've got to defeat that.
But Democrats have been willing to work from day one – and stay here in August – if we're focused instead on improving those parts of the Affordable Care Act that can be improved. The exchanges can be strengthened. There's no doubt about it. There are other things we can do.
But first we have to defeat this unconscionable proposal. I would just remind you, we heard the President talk in public about the House bill. And in the Rose Garden, he was celebrating it as the greatest thing ever. Behind closed doors, it was a mean bill. The Senate bill is even meaner.
MELVIN: Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Senator, thank you for your time. I know you've got to get running. I appreciate it.
VAN HOLLEN: Thank you