(adapted from Indivisible Guide)
More details of the Graham-Cassidy bill, the last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA before September 30, are out. And unsurprisingly, it's not pretty.
The Graham-Cassidy bill is like a greatest hits compilation of all the TrumpCare bills thus far. For example, the bill kills the Medicaid program as we know it by imposing per-capita caps. That would limit how much federal money each state has to spend on Medicaid coverage, access, and options by how many people live in the state, not by how much people need coverage.
For example, if a per-capita cap system had been in place when Hurricane Harvey hit, Texas might have already run out of federal dollars for Medicaid for the year. And they'd be out of luck should anybody else need Medicaid due to the hurricane's damage.
The proposal would also bundle all the money sent to states in the form of "block grants", which includes cash for the Medicaid expansion and for marketplace subsidies, while also cutting the total number of funds and providing no means for accountability in how that money is spent.
What's more, these block grants would only grow at a 2% rate, which is MUCH slower than the growth rate of medical costs in this country. Oh, and the bill would redistribute funds to favor states that did NOT opt to expand Medicaid. Louisiana would be robbed of funding, because it opted to expand Medicaid.
Adding insult to injury, the Graham-Cassidy bill would still undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, by allowing states to waive essential health benefits coverage.
After the dramatic failure of BCRA, we knew we might be back here one day. To be fair, Graham-Cassidy passing is a long shot – but not by much. And remember that Representative Ryan managed to get AHCA passed in the House when everybody thought it was dead.
So especially as Senator Cassidy's constituents, we need to raise our voices as loud as we can to let our Senators know that we don't want TrumpCare 3.0.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Cassidy and 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)
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 New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I strongly oppose the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates the Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. I also think it's awful that this plan would take money from Louisiana and give it to another state, simply because we expanded Medicaid and they did not. I think it's obvious that the American people want a bipartisan approach to repairing the ACA, not a last-minute, slapdash repeal and replace.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.