Don't let up on work to stop the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill. Sen. McCain's declaration that he is not supporting the bill is helpful - but his vote alone doesn't make the difference. Senate Republicans still have until September 30 to pass a repeal bill and they are working hard to get the votes they need. We need to work just as hard to explain why this bill would be a disaster for millions of Americans. Here's some things you can do:
- Contact, or urge friends and families in their states to contact, Republican Senators to share concerns about the Graham-Cassidy bill. Key Senators are: Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Jeff Flake (AZ), John McCain (AZ), Rob Portman (OH), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), John Boozman (Arkansas), Cory Gardner (CO), Chuck Grassley (IA), Joni Ernst (IA), Jerry Moran (KS), Dean Heller (NV), Lamar Alexander (TN), Bob Corker (TN), Ron Johnson (WI), Todd Young (IN). Toll Free # 888-981-9704 (need a zip code from the state of the Senator you are calling); Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121 (need to know the state of the Senator you are calling).
- Urge friends and families in states which will lose substantial federal health care funds to contact their Republican Representatives. States which will lose more than $10 billion in ten years include California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Texas. For a more detailed analysis of what states lose, see this Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report.
- Join a protest action in Washington, DC.
If you are interested in joining DC direct actions being coordinated by Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and Housing Works on Monday and Tuesday, contact Jennifer Flynn Walker at email@example.com. There will be a direct action training on Sunday evening.
Members of the clergy and faith community who are interested in joining a faith action in DC on Monday, 9.25, contact Jennifer Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org, Faith in Public Life (FPL).
- Submit comments to the Senate Finance Committee. The Committee is holding a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill on Monday. Testimony must be submitted by 1 pm on Monday. Materials to help you prepare comments from Community Catalyst are here.
Background - from Protect Our Care, Families USA:
The latest Republican health care repeal bill is the worst repeal bill yet. It makes health care worse for everyone - it cuts coverage, raises costs, ends protections for people with pre-existing conditions and ends Medicaid as we know it. It cuts coverage for 32 million Americans - 15 million next year alone. Because repeal ends Medicaid expansion and tax credits for the ACA marketplaces - which means it is repeal without a replacement - 32 million could lose coverage in the next decade.
Raises costs for people by 20 percent or more. The increases would be higher because Graham-Cassidy makes even more radical changes than the previous repeal bills and there will be a lot more uncertainty. If you are over 50, you could pay as much as 5 times more for coverage. And, women who may get pregnant would pay more than men and would, once again, have their choice of providers restricted.
Allows insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. States could decide that people with pre-existing conditions would have to pay more for the care they need - meaning that if you have asthma, you could pay $4,000 more each year for coverage; if you are pregnant, $17,000 more and if you have cancer, $144,000 more.
Cuts health care funding for states by $4 trillion - including funding for nursing home care, care for children with disabilities, and mental health care. Every health analyst agrees that Graham-Cassidy will result in massive cuts to state budgets and that people will pay the price. It cuts more than $4 trillion over the next two decades from Medicaid, and eliminates Medicaid expansion and the tax credits for the ACA marketplaces that make coverage more affordable.