What a whirlwind week it's been.
Monday night, Senators Moran (from Kansas) and Lee (from Utah) declared their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA, aka TrumpCare). That makes four senators voting NO. Meaning: TrumpCare, or this version of it at least, is DEAD.
Go ahead. You can cheer a little. I know I did.
In the hours and minutes after its demise, several senators – including our very own Bill Cassidy – then began advocating for a new process to develop a new health care bill, with public hearings and input from both parties. (Read Cassidy's op-ed in the Washington Post here.) He wrote:
"There must be a replace with repeal. Trump campaigned promising a replace bill that continued coverage, cared for those with preexisting conditions, and eliminated individual and employer mandates while lowering premiums… Americans are asking us to set aside partisanship when it comes to issues of greatest concern."
Sounds great, right? But – and you knew there was going to be a "but" – but then late Monday night Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying that he would move forward with a 2015 repeal-only bill that Obama vetoed, one that would repeal the ACA with a two-year delay. (Putting the effects, obviously, after the 2018 midterms.)
It's hard to overstate just how terrible the impact of this repeal-only bill would be. The CBO scored it back in January 2017, and found that it would leave 32 MILLION Americans uninsured by 2026, with 100% premium increases and 75% of people without marketplace insurance options.
We need to blow up those phones today – especially Senator Cassidy's – to tell our Senators that repeal-only isn't an option. We want our Senators to FIX what's wrong with ACA, not chuck it out completely without any hope of a replacement.
PLEASE CALL TODAY!!! Even if you've called before, especially if you've never called before – it's never been more important to pick up the phone!
WHO TO CALL:
Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy
Senator 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 [Your Name] from Metairie, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I’m calling today because I want the Senator to vote no on ANY bill that repeals the ACA without a replacement plan, even on a delay. Repealing the ACA without replacement will cause 32 million Americans to lose their coverage, and premiums to double. It would end the Medicaid expansion and devastate our state's budget.
[FOR SEN. CASSIDY ONLY: Senator Cassidy stated Monday that "there must be a replace with repeal". I want him to stick by that.]
Replace-without-repeal does not pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test." I want the Senator to vote NO on a repeal of the ACA without replacement, and instead push for a bipartisan approach to fix the issues with the ACA.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.