Mr. President, I want to thank my colleague from Connecticut for that really good, detailed description of how we got to where we are. Because I think it is really hard to explain to Americans at home who are watching this, whether it is really a debate--I don't see my friend from the other side of the aisle here right now--but to watch what's happening here today.
Because what I have seen in my state over the last few months is extraordinary. Families coming up in the middle of a Fourth of July parade with their child with down syndrome, bringing him over and saying he is not just a preexisting condition. He is our child that we love. Or this last weekend when I was with a family with two identical twins, Maraya and Evelyn. One is the catcher and one is the pitcher on their 11-year-old softball team. Just in the last few years, one of them found that she has a severe case of juvenile diabetes. The other one is perfectly healthy. And what the mom told me was that they can hardly make it paying for th ecost fo the insulin, which has gone up astronomically over the years, paying for the testing strips, paying for everythng involved in this. And yet now, instead of a bill which reduces the cost of prescription drugs by including some of the provisions I have long advocated for from ending pay-for-delay, where big pharmaceutical companies are paying off generic companies to keep their products off the market or bringing in less expensive drugs from other countries, or allowing for negotatiation under Medicare Part D.
Instead of doing some of those innovative things that we need to bring costs down for regular Americans, what we see here is going to make it worse. And when I met with these two girls, I told them and their family that I had their back and that I would tell their story on the floor of the United States Senate.
Never once did I think I'd be saying it, even this last week, when we are facing this kind of onslaught to this family. Because what I would tell these girls now is that this bill from what we've learned--we have not see it. We don't know exactly what's in it. But what we've heard, what would happen--well, according to the nonpartisan Congresisonal Budget Office, it would kick 16 million people off of healthcare. And I would tell those girls, you know many people that is, girls? It is 14 states worth of people. It is the combined population of 14 states in the United States of America. What we have learned about this bill is that it would increase premiums by over 20 percent. Again, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. What I would tell them is that is more than their school clothes. That is more than their softball clothes. It's a good chunk of what could be their college education. So this is real money for real people. And this reduces coverage. And it makes it more expensive.
We can do so much better. A few months ago, we went to that baseball game where the Republican men's team played the Democratic team. I was there in the stands. And I watched at the end this beautiful scence when the Democratic team won, they took the trophy and they gave it to the Republican team. And they said to put in Representative Scalise's office. Why did they do that? Because they were saying we're really on one team. And that's what this should be. When we are dealing with one-sixth of the American economy, we shouldn't be at night passing a bill that one of our most trusted colleagues on the other side of the aisle, a Republican, has just called a fradulent disaster. That's not what we should be doing. We should be working on the fixes that so many of my colleagues have been working on for years. Bringing those drug prices down, making the exchanges stronger with reinsurance and cost sharing. These are things we could actually do together. So I ask my colleagues to work with us. We have opened the doors. We want to work together on these changes and not pass this fradulent disaster.