Action Alert! 10 Days to Stop Latest Health Care Repeal Effort
[UPDATE – September 21, 2017]
The Senate Finance Committee is collecting comments on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill (the one that proposes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and decimate Medicaid) in advance of their hearing this Monday.
Please submit your comments on how this bill is harmful to people with disabilities. Comments can be submitted in the form of letters, testimony, video links, photos, and stories. Sharing your personal story can be particularly impactful. Comments can be submitted until 1pm ET on Monday (9/25). Please email your comments to GCHcomments@finance.senate.gov. You should also cc your Senators.
If you are in the DC-area please consider attending the hearing – Monday (9/25), 2pm ET in room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
We are now 9 days away from the end of the budget reconciliation process for fiscal year 2017, which would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority (51 votes).
- Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Bill Would Reduce Federal Funding to States by $215 Billion – Avalere Health
- #ProtectOurCare Toolkit
September 20, 2017
The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) bill – another effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and gut Medicaid – is gaining traction in the Senate. Last week Senator Cassidy (R-LA), one of the co-sponsors, told reporters he believes he has support from 48-49 Republican Senators, just two or three votes shy of the majority needed to pass this bill.
The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal would:
- Allow insurers to charge individuals with pre-existing conditions more money for health coverage
- Cap and block grant Medicaid (the equivalent of Medicaid cuts)
- Cut funding for Medicaid expansion
- Cut funding for financial assistance that helps low-wage workers and moderate-income families buy private insurance
- Repeal the ACA individual and employer mandates
This partisan bill undermines the bipartisan marketplace stabilization efforts that were taking place within the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee led by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
Proponents of this bill are aiming to pass it as part of the budget reconciliation process for fiscal year 2017, which will allow the bill to pass with a simple majority (51 votes or more – Vice President Pence is able to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a 50/50 outcome). However, the Senate Parliamentarian has advised that budget reconciliation process expires on September 30. These next 10 days are critical – please contact your Senators. If you’ve already contacted them, do so again.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is still in the process of scoring this bill. While they plan to have a preliminary analysis completed by next week, the CBO “will not be able to provide point estimates of the effects on the deficit, health insurance coverage, or premiums for at least several weeks.” Furthermore, few congressional hearings have been scheduled to discuss this bill. Voting on this bill without a full CBO analysis and congressional review is a disservice to the millions of Americans it will impact.
This latest health care repeal effort is reminiscent of the bad repeal bills we saw over the summer – it is just as harmful to people with disabilities and their families. Over the summer, some Senators broke party lines to vote against the healthcare repeal bills that would decimate Medicaid and leave millions of Americans without health coverage – we cannot assume that that these Senators will vote no on this bill.
Contact your Senators today and tell them not to support this bill!
Contact your Senators and share the following messages:
- Oppose the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal and any other bill that cuts, caps, or block grants Medicaid.
- Support bi-partisan efforts to stabilize the healthcare marketplace and improve healthcare for all.
Additional talking points on the Graham-Cassidy Bill from the Center for Public Representation.
Call your Senators
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators.
Meet with your Senators
Many Senators will be back in their home states from September 21-24, 2017 for the Rosh Hashannah break – this is a good time to engage them in-person. Contacting Congress allows you to request a meeting with your Member of Congress. You can also check the Town Hall Project for congressional events in your area.
- Civic Engagement Toolbox for Self-Advocates – Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- How to Set up a Meeting with your Member of Congress – Families USA
Tweet your Senators
Tweet your Senators and use the hashtags #SaveMedicaid, #NoCutsNoCaps, #ProtectOurCare, #ADAPTandRESIST, #KeepAmericaCovered, and/or #CoverageMatters.
Email your Senators
Contacting Congress provides unique links to email your Senators directly.
Key Senate targets include:
It’s important to contact the Senators from your home state. Additionally, the Senators listed below have been identified as key targets to convince to vote no on this bill.
- AK: Murkowski
- ME: Collins
- WV: Capito
- AZ: Flake & McCain
- OH: Portman
- AR: Cotton & Boozman
- CO: Gardner
- IA: Grassley & Ernst
- IN: Young
- KS: Moran
- NC: Tillis
- ND: Hoeven
- NV: Heller
- SD: Rounds
- TN: Alexander & Corker
- GA: Isakson
- KS: Roberts
- NC: Burr
- SC: Scott
- UT: Hatch
- WY: Enzi
- Graham-Cassidy Bill – Center for Public Representation
- Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Plan Would Add Millions to Uninsured, Destabilize Individual Market – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Graham-Cassidy Proposal: Gigantic Block Grants and Huge Health Care Cuts – Families USA
- How Does Graham-Cassidy Compare to Previous Repeal Bills? – Families USA
- New Threats to Medicaid: Action Needed – The Arc
- Protecting Medicaid and the ACA – Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities