Action Alert! Senate Delays Healthcare Vote – Keep Up the Pressure!
June 30, 2017
After days of fierce advocacy by the disability community and our allies – a special shout-out to ADAPT activists in DC and around the country – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delayed the vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) until after the July 4th recess.
The BCRA would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and threaten the lives and independence of people with disabilities. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the BCRA would cut Medicaid by $772 billion and that 15 million people will lose Medicaid coverage over the next 10 years.
The bill would change the Medicaid system to a per capita cap, which would limit the amount of funding states receive each year, leaving individual states to decide if they limit the amount of services they provide, limit the number of people they cover, or some combination of both. Either way, millions of people with disabilities would lose the services that allow us to go to school, work, and live in our communities.
The Senate vote on this bill was delayed, but the fight is not over yet! We saw this scenario play out with the House bill in May – after the initial bill did not have enough support to pass, the bill was tweaked to appease certain Members and it passed. We can’t let that happen with the Senate bill. NO tweaks can fix this bill!
We can’t get complacent! Call, visit, tweet, and email your Senators to tell them to VOTE NO on the BCRA! If your Senator has stated they won’t support the bill, thank them and ask them to hold firm on their stance. If you have already contacted your Senators reach out again! Every Senator needs to hear from the disability community that this bill is a threat to our life, liberty, and independence.
Engage your Senators In-Person
The Senate is on recess beginning today (6/30) through Sunday (7/9). Take advantage of this time to engage your Senators during town halls, July 4th parades, barbeques, office visits, etc. You can find public events for Members of Congress all across the country thanks to the Town Hall Project.
The message is clear: “Senator _____ must reject any bill that causes large coverage losses, ends the Medicaid expansion, caps and cuts the Medicaid program, or guts critical protections for people with health conditions.”
When you meet your Senators in-person, share your story of how access to health care and home and community-based services are important to you or your loved ones with disabilities. Those stories will particularly be impactful.
Call, Tweet, and Email your Senators
Contacting Congress allows you to easily search for your Senators and access multiple methods to contact them (phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and addresses of their home state offices.
- Civic Engagement Toolbox for Self-Advocates – Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- How to Set up a Meeting with your Member of Congress – Families USA
- Call Script – Center for Public Representation
- Email Template – Center for Public Representation
Senators to Target
It is important to contact the Senators in your state. In addition to that, we are also focusing on these Senators, which we believe are critical to stopping this bill:
- Portman (OH)
- Capito (WV)
- Moran (KS)
- Paul (KY)
- Murkowski (AK)
- Collins (ME)
- Heller (NV)
- Johnson (WI)
- Lee (UT)
- Flake (AZ)
- McCain (AZ)
- ·Cassidy (LA)
- Cruz (TX)
- Gardner (CO)
- Daines (MT)
Engage Your Senators on Twitter
Tweet your Senators and use the hashtags #ProtectOurCare, #SaveMedicaid, #ADAPTandRESIST, #NoCutsNoCaps, #KeepAmericaCovered, and/or #CoverageMatters
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Over 10 million people with disabilities rely on #Medicaid for healthcare coverage. Please – #ProtectOurCare & #SaveMedicaid.
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Don’t allow insurers to discriminate against people w/ disabilities because of pre-existing conditions. #ProtectOurCare
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] The #BCRA is a threat the life, liberty, and independence of people with disabilities. #ProtectOurCare #SaveMedicaid
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Medicaid provides essential services to millions of people with disabilities. #SaveMedicaid #NoCutsNoCaps
Social Media Graphics:
You are welcome to use any of the graphics below as part of your social media outreach. Thank you to SuMo Design Workshop for pulling these together!
- #ADAPTandRESIST Flyers – ADAPT
- Don’t Take Our Healthcare Graphics – MoveOn.org
- Preexisting Condition Graphics
Record Short Videos on the Impact of the ACA and Medicaid
Please share short videos about the impacts of the ACA and Medicaid and consequences of the BCRA. Short 1-2 minute videos from your phone are great. You can do it at home, in the office, while at lunch, etc. You can post to twitter and/or Facebook and tag Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) at @SenBobCasey and #USSpeaksOut. You should also tag your own Senators. Here are the points you can address in your video:
- Say who you are
- Where you are from
- Why saving Medicaid is important/what it does for you or why you oppose the current Senate bill
- Oppose the current Senate bill
- Call for Senators to work on a bi-partisan solution to health care
Additional Resources and Analyses
- New CBO Estimate: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Republican Health Bill – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Tracking Reports About the Emerging Senate Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- The Impact of the Senate Health Care Bill on Veterans: State-by-State Breakdown – Center for American Progress
- Senate Repeal Bill Will Increase Average Costs for Exchange Enrollees by $2,294 – Center for American Progress
- Statement of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities on the Congressional Budget Office’s Score of the Better Care Reconciliation Act – Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities
- 2017 State Medicaid Fact Sheets – Children’s Hospital Association
- 50 State Medicaid Cap Fact Sheets – National Housing Law Project
- Action Alert! Last Chance to Tell Your Senators to Save Healthcare – AAPD