News broke yesterday that the Senate is closer than ever to a plan to repeal-and-replace the ACA, in large part because Senator Cassidy – OUR senator – appears to be flipping.
For the better part of a month, Cassidy has expressed reservations about the direction in which his fellow Republicans had taken their repeal effort. Arguing that any replacement plan needed to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel Test", in which nobody who needed health insurance would go without, he had even started to sound downright moderate.
Now, after yesterday's meeting with Republican leadership, Cassidy says he's "very encouraged" by what the Senate has cooked up so far. "Of course it's not everything I want, but that's life," he told reporters.
Of course, none of us know yet precisely WHAT'S in that draft legislation that's so encouraged our Senator. Republicans aren't holding any public hearings on the bill, and they don't plan to before the vote – which is in itself very unusual.
But we do know that, at the very least, the bill still would end the Medicaid expansion, albeit at a later date than AHCA. That means millions of Louisianans, including children, nursing home patients, and the disabled, would lose their insurance. We can't let that happen.
We have to ask Cassidy (and Kennedy too, while we're at it): How many Louisianans losing their health insurance are they willing to accept, just for the optics of passing a bill before August recess?
WHO TO CALL: Senator Cassidy and Sen. Kennedy
Senator Bill Cassidy - in DC at (202) 224-5824, and in METAIRIE at (504) 838-0130
Senator John Kennedy - in DC at (202) 224-4623, and in MONROE at (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 because I am concerned that the Senate's current plans to repeal and replace the ACA will end the Medicaid expansion, which has ensured almost half a million people in the state of Louisiana. One out of every three Louisianans use Medicaid for health insurance. So I'm asking the Senator to please make sure that the Medicaid expansion stays in place.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.