Mr. President, as a candidate, you promised to be a champion for people struggling to make ends meet … and I hope you live up to that promise.
But one of your first executive orders makes it harder for those families to afford a mortgage.
Then you started rolling back rules that provide oversight of the financial industry and safeguard us against another national economic meltdown.
And you picked a Cabinet of billionaires and Wall Street insiders who want to eviscerate the protections that most Americans count on and that help level the playing field.
That’s not being our champion. That’s being Wall Street’s champion.
*** And even more troubling is that you and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it.
*** But so far, every Republican idea to “replace” the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite promises to the contrary.
Mr. President, folks here in Kentucky expect you to keep your word. Because this isn’t a game – it’s life and death for people.
These ideas promise “access” to care but deny the importance of making care affordable and effective. They would charge families more for fewer benefits and put insurance companies back in control.
Behind these ideas is the belief that folks at the lower end of the economic ladder just don’t deserve health care – that it’s somehow their fault that their employer doesn’t offer insurance or that they can’t afford to buy expensive health plans.
But who are these 22 million Americans, including 500,000 people here in Kentucky, who now have health care that didn’t have it before? They aren’t aliens from a distant planet.
They’re our friends and neighbors. We sit in the bleachers with them on Friday night and pray in the pews with them on Sunday morning.
They’re farmers, restaurant workers, part-time teachers, nurses’ aides, construction workers and entrepreneurs working at high-tech start-ups.
And before the Affordable Care Act, they woke up every morning and went to work, praying they wouldn’t get sick; knowing they were just one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy.
President Trump also needs to understand that people may disagree with him – but that doesn’t make them his enemies.
When the president attacks the loyalty and credibility of our intelligence agencies, the court system, the military, the free press and individual Americans – simply because he doesn’t like what they say – he is eroding our democracy. And that’s reckless.
Kentucky made real progress while I was governor because we were motivated by one thing: Helping families.
Democrats are trying to bring that same focus back to Washington.
Americans are a diverse people. We may disagree on some things … but we’ve always come together when we remember that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.