Suddenly, there's a slim, slight hope. After the CBO released its assessment of the Better Health Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), aka TrumpCare, on Monday, four Republican Senators announced that they plan to vote no on advancing the bill in its current form, including moderate Senator Susan Collins and hardliner Senator Rand Paul.
But TrumpCare isn't dead. Not yet.
Mitch McConnell has some $200 billion he can use to add incentives to entice current objectors and fence-sitters to vote for this bill. (The $200 billion comes from the amount saved between the Senate and House versions of the bill.) And you can bet he'll use every penny.
That's why we still need to pressure our own Senators Kennedy and Cassidy to stand against TrumpCare. Senator Kennedy is likely a lost cause, to the extent that anybody can pin his stance down (or even locate him—where is the guy, anyway?). But Senator Cassidy has made conflicting and conflicted statements to the media, declaring he was "undecided" on Sunday, but willing to be swayed given enough incentive; and yesterday indicating that he was now "more concerned" by the CBO score, but still unwilling to commit to opposing it outright.
That means we have to call, visit, and speak up in opposition as often as we can and as loud as we can. We have the power to put immense pressure on Cassidy (and Kennedy) to reject this terrible bill that will kill thousands and hurt millions.
Most of you have been calling until your fingers ache. Today, I want you to try something different. Make your calls, of course, but today, I want you to reach out to someone you know who would be deeply impacted by this bill, someone who hasn't picked up the phone yet – and ask them to call. Even help them do it, if they need it (they can even just read the sample script below, word for word!)
That's because while emails and faxes are fine, they don't have the same weight as a phone call or a visit. Phone calls and visits must be logged, and their content generally must be conveyed to the Congressperson in some way. But most offices aren't officially required to do the same for email or faxes. They probably do. We think. Maybe. But we have no way to know for sure.
WHO TO CALL:
Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy
Senatr Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy: DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from]. I don't need a response.
I'm calling to tell the Senator to vote NO on the BCRA. This bill is devastating to Louisiana families, health care providers, and the state budget, all while providing a huge tax cut to the wealthy. It would remove coverage from hundreds of thousands of Louisianans, and make premiums go up for millions more. So I want him to vote no on this bill.
Thank you for your time, and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
Bonus call: Call Governor Bel Edwards in support of the letter he sent to Senators Kennedy and Cassidy asking them to oppose the BCRA: (225)342-0991 or (844)860-1413.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.