Six Senate Democrats are urging the chamber's leaders to make a stand against a Republican measure that would eliminate the healthcare reform law's public health and prevention fund in order to freeze student loan rates.
Senate Democrats urge protection of public-health fund
The Democrats' pleas came in a letter to Senate leaders after their party failed on a procedural vote to advance an approach to a student loan fix that relies on raising payroll taxes for some higher-income earners.
The impasse sets up what could be a protracted stalemate with Democrats vigorously opposing healthcare cuts as the answer. The White House issued a veto threat before the House passed a bill last week targeting the prevention fund.
Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) noted in the letter that the targeted healthcare fund includes $226 million toward fighting chronic diseases, $93 million for anti-tobacco education and $190 million for immunization programs. “To force our young people to choose between a healthy future and an affordable education is unconscionable, they wrote.
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