This isn't a health care bill

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The Republican Trumpcare bill isn’t a health care bill. A bill that strips health care away from millions of people in order to fund an enormous tax break for the rich is not a health care bill.

Make no mistake: The bill that the House Republicans passed today is the same cruel bill they tried to pass weeks ago. The only difference is that the new plan is even more brutal – opening the door to discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

The American people – Republicans and Democrats, independents and Trump voters – despise this bill. They rejected it before. We’ll reject it again.

The ACA repeal bill will now head to the Senate – and I promise you: I will fight my heart out to stop this monstrosity.

But we need you – yes, you Lauren – to speak out and fight. Call, write, email, post, tweet, and share your story. Talk about what’s at stake for the people you love if they lose their health care.

It’s time to fight like your life is on the line – because for millions of people, it is.

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100 days

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It’s hard to believe that Donald Trump has only been in office for 100 days. I swear, I think 2017 is happening in dog years.

But this is an important moment, because presidents always try to use their first 100 days to do something big. President Roosevelt passed major parts of the New Deal. President Obama passed the economic stimulus and extended health care to 4 million children.

Trump’s first 100 days aren’t about accomplishments. They’re about how much he’s trying to destroy.

Watch my new video about Trump’s first 100 days and share it with your Facebook friends:



(Not on Facebook? Watch the video on YouTube.)

It’s been a long hundred days, and there are some real threats ahead of us. But we know this: this is our democracy and we have the power to stop President Trump.

We’ve lost some fights, but we’ve also won some fights – and we’re getting stronger.

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5.2 million ways to fight

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The energy, the strength and the generosity of our grassroots team never ceases to amaze me.

We just finished tallying the numbers for the first fundraising quarter of our re-election campaign, and holy guacamole: We raised $5.2 million – the most announced by any Senate campaign.

But it’s how we raised that money that’s really important to me. We didn’t run to Wall Street or Big Oil or any of the other powerful interests – we did it with thousands of people across Massachusetts and around the country chipping in $5 or $10 at a time. In fact, nearly 16,000 people donated to our campaign just in Massachusetts.


Asking for money is the very least favorite part of my job as a United States Senator. I’d rather have Donald Trump give me a root canal. I hate it because I know times are still tough for a lot of people out there – young people crushed by student loan debt, parents trying to pay for childcare, and seniors trying to scrape by on Social Security.

But I also know that we’re a team – and the contributions of this grassroots community send a powerful message to Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Koch Brothers, and the powerful interests that we’re not going to roll over and give up while they rig the system for the billionaires and bankers.

Your support – and the support of thousands more like you – is making a real difference in this fight. We couldn’t do it without you.

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The people v. Judge Neil Gorsuch

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When Justice Scalia died last year, giant corporations and their right-wing buddies spent millions of dollars to slime President Obama's consensus nominee and steal a Supreme Court seat for Donald Trump.

President Trump then returned the favor - picking a Supreme Court nominee off a list of "acceptable" names drawn up by far-right groups funded by those same powerful interests. (Really.)

Judge Neil Gorsuch is polite and well-spoken, but make no mistake - his record shows that he consistently favors big corporations over women, workers, consumers, and everybody else. And in the next few days, Gorsuch could receive a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

If a Supreme Court nominee isn't mainstream enough to get 60 votes in the United States Senate, the President should have to pick a new nominee. If you agree with me and oppose Judge Gorsuch's nomination, add your name to show your support.

Back before he became a judge, Neil Gorsuch made his far-right positions clear. He wrote in 2005 that "liberals have become addicted to the courtroom... effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education."



And on the bench - for more than a decade - he's twisted himself into a pretzel to help giant corporations:

  • In consumer protection cases, when he had to choose between the "rights" of corporations and the rights of swindled customers, Gorsuch sided with corporations.
  • In discrimination cases, when he had to choose between the "rights" of corporations and the rights of employees, Gorsuch sided with corporations.
  • And in the infamous Hobby Lobby case, when he had to choose between the "rights" of corporations and the rights of women who wanted access to birth control, Gorsuch sided with corporations.

Neil Gorsuch isn't just another Justice Scalia. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is actually more radical than Justice Scalia was. If Gorsuch had his way, he'd make it even easier for corporations to challenge health and safety rules that prevent them from polluting our air and water, poisoning our food, undermining public safety, or cheating people out of their savings.

Big companies and rich right-wing billionaires are spending top dollar to help Judge Gorsuch get over the finish line, whether he has the 60 votes needed or not. Join us now to give us the momentum we need to stop Gorsuch.

Just in the past few weeks, Donald Trump settled his $25 million lawsuit for cheating students at his scam university. A judge extended the block on Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban. And the FBI announced that it is investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

It's never been more important for our country to have a neutral, independent judiciary.

That's precisely why we cannot let President Trump hand over the Supreme Court to the highest bidder with a judge handpicked for his willingness to help those with money and power. It's time to fight back.

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Women are ready to fight

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Before I got to the Senate, I was a teacher and a researcher. I taught classes mostly about money: contract law, banking, bankruptcy – and I studied why working families were going broke.

Women are the main breadwinners, or joint breadwinners, in two-thirds of the families in America. And in my academic research, I uncovered some grim facts:

  • Having a child is the single best predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse.
  • Single moms are more likely than any other group to file for bankruptcy – more likely than the elderly, more likely than divorced men, and more likely than people living in poor neighborhoods.
  • And in case you think I’m just talking about young single moms who dropped out of school, I’ll also point out: single moms who have been to college are actually 60% more likely to end up bankrupt than those with just a high school diploma.

So why was this happening? Why are women still getting slammed? The deck has been stacked against working women and moms for years. And with the Republicans in charge, it’s getting worse – a lot worse.

Young women are doing exactly what we urged them to do: They work hard, play by the rules, and now are attending college at a higher rate than men. But the cost of college is through the roof, and that means more and more women are struggling with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. So I want to stop here to make a policy point: the Republicans are blocking our bill to refinance student loans.

Once women get into the workforce, they still only make 78 cents to the dollar that her male colleague earns. African American and Latina women earn even less. And women can be fired just for asking what the guy down the hall makes. So let me stop to make another policy point:  The Republicans are blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act.

We know more about what it means to be a working mom.  Moms are ten times more likely than dads to take time off when their kids are sick, and 60% are not paid for that time off. Too many women fear losing their jobs because they are stuck having to choose between work or caring for someone they love. So let me stop again to make a policy point: The Republicans won’t even let us have a vote on paid sick time and family leave.  

And what about women who are struggling to make it paycheck to paycheck? Minimum wage workers haven’t gotten a federal raise in seven years, and today nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. Mothers of very young children disproportionately work low-wage jobs in every state in the country. So let me stop to make another policy point: Republicans are blocking every effort to raise the federal minimum wage.

And what happens after a lifetime of work? Because women make less than men throughout their lifetimes, they receive, on average, about $4,000 less a year than men in Social Security benefits. This really hurts because women are less likely to have other assets, so they rely more heavily on those checks to keep them out of poverty. So I’m going to stop for another policy point: Republicans still threaten to cut Social Security for women and families.

I could keep going like this for hours, but you get the point: Across the board, issue by issue, women’s issues are economic issues, and women’s values are Democratic values.

Donald Trump was right about one thing: the game is rigged. It’s rigged for rich guys like Donald Trump. The system works great for those who can hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists, but it leaves women and families behind. A system in which Republicans work tirelessly to rip away health care from millions of women and defund Planned Parenthood health clinics, while giving away billions of dollars in subsidies to Big Oil. A system that cuts Head Start programs and NIH medical research, but protects tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations.    

For me, this is personal. Growing up, my family had a lot of ups and downs. My daddy sold fencing and carpeting at Montgomery Ward. When I was 12, he had a heart attack and the medical bills piled up. We lost our family station wagon, and we were about an inch away from losing our home. My mother, 50 years old, pulled on her best dress and walked to Sears to get a minimum wage job answering the phones. It saved our house, and it saved our family.

When my mother did that, it was a time in America that a minimum wage job would keep a family of three afloat. Today a full-time minimum wage job won’t keep a momma and a baby out of poverty. The policies we fight for matter. They matter to women, to families, to human beings all across this country. They are more than policies – they are the living embodiment of our values.

I truly believe that if we fight for those values – today and every day – we will win. I’m ready to right. Women are ready to fight. And America is ready to fight.

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Valentine's Day cake

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It’s been a busy few weeks here in Washington – and I’ve been fighting from the time I wake up in the morning to the moment my head hits the pillow. But I did take a little time in between snowstorms in Massachusetts this weekend to bake my heart-shaped cake.

My mother was born on February 14, and she loved her special connection to Valentine’s Day. I still have a stack of valentines that my daddy gave her, back when they were teenage sweethearts. When I was a little girl, I bought some heart-shaped pans at the dime store. Every year, I baked her a birthday cake.

Decades later, when my mother was 83, seemingly strong and healthy, she needed to have some minor surgery – and everything went fine. The teenage nieces and nephews took her on wheelchair races down the hallways, and we all laughed and had juice and cookies. We went home that evening expecting her to be released from the hospital the next day.

In the middle of the night, my brother called. He said Mama was dead. Daddy had been sitting with her when she leaned forward and said, "Don, there's that gas pain again." Then she died. The autopsy showed that she had advanced heart disease – never diagnosed, and never treated. No one had any idea.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women – causing 1 in 3 deaths every year. No longer considered just a “man’s disease,” doctors do a much better job screening and treating women for cardiovascular disease than they did when my mother had her heart attack.

But let’s be clear: We cannot stop heart disease in women if we don’t have regular access to quality, affordable healthcare. That’s why I’m fighting – with all my heart – to stop Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act gives women (and men) access to free annual wellness exams to detect and monitor heart disease. It allows heart attack survivors and others diagnosed with a heart condition to get insurance despite their pre-existing condition. It prevents insurance companies from charging people different premiums based on their health status, or charging women more for their insurance than men. It removes the lifetime coverage caps for people with serious or chronic illnesses. And it has expanded Medicaid access in Massachusetts and across the country so millions of people can get the care they need to stay healthy.

The Massachusetts Medical Society – 25,000 of the best doctors in the world – told me:

“Repeal of the ACA would be a disaster. In Massachusetts and elsewhere, this course would deprive many of the subsidies that make health insurance affordable, would end the Medicaid expansion that has helped so many, and would destabilize the insurance market, with a resulting exodus of insurers from the market and a likely increase in cost.”

And they’re not the only ones who are worried. The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association said that “a repeal of the ACA would turn back the clock.” Boston Medical Center President Kate Walsh said their health care services are “gravely in danger by plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

I still have my heart-shaped pans – and even though my mother is gone now, I still bake a heart-shaped cake every Valentine’s Day to remember her. But this year, I’m doing something more: I’m fighting to make sure everyone’s mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, wife, partner, friend and neighbor can get the health care they need to live longer, healthier lives.  

Fighting for the Affordable Care Act seems like the right way to celebrate the people you love.

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It's time to grow a backbone and fight

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Our country is in crisis – but that crisis didn’t begin with the election of Donald Trump.

We were already in a crisis because for years and years and years, Washington has worked just great for the rich and the powerful, but far too often, it hasn’t worked for anyone else. The excuses end now.

I spoke to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and told them: It’s time for Democrats to grow a backbone and to get out there and fight. Watch my speech and share it on Facebook:


The world has changed a lot over the past few months. I’m still finding my way, finding my footing, day-by-day, step-by-step. But with each passing day, we learn.

The lesson of history is that when faced with a danger like Donald Trump, the opposition must be willing to fight. It’s time for us to make clear – in every way, from every mountaintop we can – that we will fight back.

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2018

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Nobody expected 2017 to start this way. This isn’t the fight we were expecting to fight.

But this is the fight that’s in front of us. And the people of Massachusetts didn’t send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country.

This is no time to quit.  

I will fight today, tomorrow, next week, this year, next year and as long as I’m standing to build a future – not just for some of our kids, but for all of our kids. That’s why I wanted to let you know that I am running for re-election in Massachusetts in 2018.

There’s no big, fancy fundraising event or a splashy rally or slick TV ad. None of that because, frankly, we’ve just got too much work to do right now. But I don’t kid myself: the upcoming fights in the Senate – and our campaign in Massachusetts in 2018 – are likely to be uglier and nastier than anything we’ve ever imagined. I’m not taking anything for granted.    

The big banks and giant corporations aren’t lining up to give money for my re-election. In fact, a lot of them would rather see me pack my bags and go home. Nope, I’ve always relied on thousands of people like you chipping in $5 or $10 at a time, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and organizing cities and towns like yours to make our campaign possible – and I need your help again now.

Will you sign up now to be one of the first to fight for our 2018 re-election campaign? Let’s show Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and their powerful friends that we’re ready to fight.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will stand up to the Trump Administration’s racism, sexism, bigotry and hate. We will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, women, and LGBT Americans. Our diversity is what makes our country strong – and on this, there will be NO compromise.

We must also fight for the millions of Americans – from Boston to the Berkshires and all across this country – who bust their tails day after day and who can’t build a little economic security. They’re fed up with an economy and a political system that works great for those at the top, but that doesn’t work for them. So I’m ready to fight harder than ever for debt-free college, raising the minimum wage, protecting and expanding Social Security, investing in our public schools, affordable health care and childcare, securing workers’ rights, and defending Wall Street reform.

We MUST keep fighting for our values. We must prove to Donald Trump and the Republican leadership that when they run this country for the rich and powerful, the American people will hold them accountable.

Representing Massachusetts in the US Senate and fighting for working families here and all across this country is the best job in the whole world and the greatest honor of my life. But I also know this: We fought our hearts out to win in 2012, and I expect we’ll have an even bigger, more expensive fight in 2018.

The smears and right-wing attacks from Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Koch Brothers and Wall Street aren’t about to get a little worse – they’re about to get A LOT worse. We cannot and will not allow the Republicans and the powerful interests to sink our campaign the same way they sank so many campaigns in 2016.

You’ve been there for me every step of the way – and I know we’ll be there shoulder-to-shoulder to fight every step of the way ahead.

Help be a part of our next fight to keep leveling the playing field for working families. Sign up now to say you're in.

Win or Lose

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I believe down to my toes that America needs to double down on medical research. Research on cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, ALS, and other diseases will help people live longer, fuller lives. And, in the long run, it will save huge amounts of money.

But since the early 2000s, Congress has been choking off funding for basic medical research. Adjusted for inflation, spending on medical research is down 20% over the past dozen years. Since I arrived in the Senate, I’ve fought for every possible opportunity to increase our research budgets – NIH, NSF, FDA and even military authorizations.

The 21st Century Cures Act was supposed to be about funding research for medical breakthroughs. But that’s not the bill the Senate passed this week.  

First, some good news: The 21st Century Cures Act that went to the President’s desk includes really good, bipartisan pieces, including several that I’ve spent months and years working to write and then pass. My sections included:

  • Building on Senator Ted Kennedy’s work to protect patient’s genetic privacy
  • Supporting development of genetically-targeted therapies for people with rare diseases
  • Making sure women and minorities don’t keep getting left out of clinical trials
  • Reducing administrative burdens at NIH so federal research money is spent more efficiently.

And this bill finally – finally – puts some federal money into opioid treatment and improves access for mental health issues. I am glad – thrilled – that these and many other good provisions will become law. But I’m deeply disappointed by the high price we paid for the Republicans to pass this bill.

Republicans decided the only way they’d pass these good, bipartisan policies was if they also got a bunch of giveaways to the giant drug companies. Earlier versions that would have helped bring down the cost of prescription drugs were stripped out. And, as part of the final deal, Republicans broke their promise to substantially boost NIH and opioid crisis funding. In fact, most of the money promised in this bill will never materialize unless the Republican-controlled Congress passes future bills to spend it (and if they can’t get the votes to fund it now, no one can explain how they will get the votes to fund it next year or the year after).

I asked for your help to fight back against the 21st Century Cures Act, so I wanted you to know that fighting back paid off. With public attention, we changed a terrible provision in this bill that would have allowed Donald Trump to have complete control over how the opioid money would be spent. If Trump had wanted to punish states with terrible opioid epidemics that didn’t vote for him – like Massachusetts and New Hampshire – he could have denied us what little opioid crisis funding was in this bill. Thanks to your help, all states should now receive their fair share. That makes a real difference.

We also fought back and got a ridiculous provision removed that would have let drug companies hide the money, gifts and other kickbacks they give to doctors and hospitals for using their drugs. Big Pharma isn’t happy that they won’t be able to cover up bribes like they had wanted.   

We fixed some of the bad stuff – but I believed the final bill still wasn’t up to the standards we should expect from Congress. So I did what I said I would do and voted no. I did so knowing that I’m going to keep coming to work every day to fight for more NIH and opioid funding, to repeal the lousy giveaways in this bill, and to protect and strengthen the many good policies that I support in this bill.

No, the final vote on the Cures Act didn’t go the way I hoped it would. We couldn’t completely stop Big Pharma from hijacking this bill. But we did make the bill a heck of a lot better. And we pointed out the problems and refused to let people in Congress politely ignore them.  

The way I see it, the American people didn’t send us to Washington to roll over and play dead. We aren’t here to work for the Big Pharma, Big Oil, Wall Street, or giant corporations – we’re here to fight for working people. Win or lose, that’s what we’re going to do. 

This bill isn't a compromise. It's extortion.

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For two years, Congress has been working on legislation to advance medical innovation in the United States. From the beginning, I've argued that any "cures" bill must include substantial new funding for medical research (National Institutes of Health), or it’s not going to cure anything.



Finally we put together a pretty decent bill with some serious compromises and some good work: a bipartisan mental health bill, protection of genetic privacy for patients, a proposal to improve foster care, and some funding for Vice President Biden's Cancer Moonshot.



I support most of these proposals. Heck, I wrote some of them myself. But in the final days of this Congress, the 21st Century Cures bill has been hijacked by Big Pharma and big Republican donors.



Join me in telling the House and the Senate to stand up to Big Pharma and vote NO on this bill. Keep fighting for a better deal on the 21st Century Cures Act.



Democrats and Republicans had agreed that a medical innovation bill would not go forward without substantially more money for NIH. But the Cures deal has only a tiny fig leaf of funding for NIH.



21st Century Cures doesn’t reduce crushing drug prices. It doesn’t really expand the invention of new cures. And it doesn’t increase access to lifesaving therapies.



What does it do?

  • Legalizes fraud: It’s against the law for drug companies to market drugs for uses not approved by the FDA. You can’t sell a headache pill as a cure for cancer. Drug companies have paid billions in penalties for "off-label marketing." Instead of following the law, they’ve cozied up to Congress to have the Cures bill shoot holes in it.
  • Covers up bribery: Currently, drug companies have to disclose the buckets of money, gifts, giveaways, and free trips they give doctors and hospitals as kickbacks to use certain drugs. Once again, drug companies cozied up to Congress to gut that disclosure rule – allowing any gift related to “medical education” to be exempt.
  • Hands out special deals to GOP donors: A major Republican donor to Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC has big business plans to sell dangerous, unproven stem cell treatments before they have been approved by the FDA as safe and effective. Now that donor is collecting on his investment. The Cures bill creates a special deal so people can sell these treatments without meeting the FDA gold standards for protecting patient safety, undermining the integrity of the FDA and the safety of untold numbers of desperate patients.   

And there’s another scary thing hidden in this bill: for two years, Republicans have paid lip service to our nation’s opioid crisis while refusing to spend money on it. Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency, Republicans have agreed to set aside a few million dollars to address the crisis on the condition that the Trump Administration has complete control over the money when he takes office. If it passes, President Trump could use opioid crisis funding as a way to punish those suffering with this crisis when their political leaders don’t follow along with his agenda.



There’s more: Medicare cuts, making life harder for people with disabilities, raiding money from the Affordable Care Act, even a gun provision – but not even a 1% increase in funding for NIH. This bill has been so loaded with stink bombs that you can smell it all over Capitol Hill.



On November 8, a majority of voters supported Democratic Senate candidates, and a majority supported the Democratic presidential candidate over the Republican. The American people didn’t vote for Democrats to come back to Washington and play dead while the Republicans hand over control to billionaires and giant corporations. Drug companies and billionaire donors hijacked a decent bill, and we need to take it back or kill it off.



We need to invest in medical innovation in America – but we shouldn’t do it by making it easier for giant drug companies to commit fraud, give out kickbacks, and put patients’ lives at risk. Tell the House and Senate to keep fighting for a better 21st Century Cures Act by voting NO on this deal.

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