Like an extended horror movie that just won’t end, news outlets and pundits alike are increasingly abuzz about Senate GOP efforts to squash Obamacare – yet again. The latest piece of proposed legislation to repeal/replace provisions of the Affordable Care Act needs to beat the September 30 deadline and like a pack of pesky zombies who once seemed dead the new bill, Graham-Cassidy, like the other GOP healthcare reform bills before it is suddenly making Obamacare repeal efforts seem very much alive. Or, at least, not quite yet dead.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Like the GOP reform bills before it, Graham-Cassidy eliminates Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies and replaces them with, you guessed it, per capita caps that limit Medicaid spending
- Allows states to eliminate current protections for pre-existing conditions
- Allows states to get rid of requirements to provide treatment for mental health and substance use services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and maternity care
- Penalizes states that have invested in expanding healthcare via Medicaid
Contact information for Senators in key states are listed at the bottom. Please call, write or visit your Senator now, using the following script:
GRAHAM-CASSIDY CALL SCRIPT
Constituent: My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how Senator [ ] will vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill if it comes up for a vote?
Staffer: The Senator hasn’t reviewed the bill yet and hasn’t taken a position on it. As of right now, there is no vote scheduled on that bill.
Constituent: Senator [ ] should oppose Graham-Cassidy when and if a vote is held. By turning Medicaid into a capped system Graham-Cassidy will, in effect, stop delivery of vital home-based supports and services that millions of Americans rely on to live independently so that they can go to school, work and make their own decisions. Disabled people are one in five of the U.S. population and this bill hurts disabled people across the board — just like the earlier GOP reform bills. No one will go unharmed. This includes children with disabilities, students with disabilities, working people with disabilities, senior citizens, and even victims of natural disasters like Harvey and Irma who suddenly find themselves needing unexpected and ongoing healthcare. In addition, it also seeks to cut and eventually eliminate funding for Medicaid expansion and life-saving subsidies that help people buy health insurance through the marketplace, allowing states to get rid of important mandates like non-discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
Staffer: Obamacare has failed. The Senator believes we must stabilize the market and lower premiums.
Constituent: Everyone recognizes the need to stabilize markets and lower premiums. I’m pleased that the Senator recognizes this too. The question isn’t what, but rather how. The bipartisan, transparent process Senators Alexander and Murray are advancing through the regular order are much preferred and will immediately help people without an unwarranted attack on Medicaid recipients. To truly help over 57 million Americans with disabilities, the Senator should respect regular order and reject the Graham-Cassidy bill if it comes to a vote.
Staffer: I’ll let the Senator know your thoughts.
Constituent: Yes, please do. Myself and thousands of your constituents in the disability community will be watching this vote closely and we need Senator [ ] to oppose Graham-Cassidy. Our lives depend on it. Please take my contact information so you can let me know when the Senator makes their decision.
Note: If the staffer answers that the Senator has already decided to support, or to reject Graham-Cassidy, we should either reiterate our disappointment and/or thank them, and express that we will be spreading the word either way.
Contact information for GOP Senators in key states:
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-6665
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-2235
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-5941
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Phone: Phone: (202) 224-6521
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-2523
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-3353
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
U.S. Capitol: (202) 224-6472
For other Senators Contacting Congress to find out how to call, email, visit, or otherwise contact your elected officials using social media by searching with your zip code.