(adapted from Indivisible Guide)
TrumpCare is truly the thing that wouldn't stay dead.
It's now all hands on deck concerning the Graham-Cassidy bill. The Republicans have until September 30 to repeal the ACA with just 50 votes, and they've spotted their chance in the terrible Graham-Cassidy bill.
Somehow Graham-Cassidy is even WORSE than the BCRA:
It destroys Medicaid as we know it by imposing per-capita caps, to limit how many federal dollars each state is given to spend on Medicaid coverage access. In other words, this change sets funding by how many people live in each state, not by how many or how much its people need coverage.
It bundles all money sent to states into the form of "block grants", which would include cash for expanding Medicaid and for marketplace subsidies—yet cut the total number of funds available. Plus, there's no accountability on how this money would be spent, so there's no reason states would necessarily have to use it to provide subsidies to help cover low-income citizens or children.
The bill redistributes funds to states that did NOT opt to expand Medicaid. Louisiana would lose over THREE BILLION DOLLARS in federal Medicaid funding by 2026 (Source: CBPP). This reduction would devastate our state budget and cause Louisiana's number of uninsured citizens to dramatically increase.
It ends federal protections for pre-existing conditions and brings back lifetime caps. It also allows states to waive essential health benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, hospital visits, or maternity care.
If passed, Graham-Cassidy will go directly to the House, where it must be passed exactly as is because of the impending Sept. 30 deadline. There will be no way to change or improve the bill.
There are already senators working in a bipartisan fashion to find solutions to the issues with the ACA. The Graham-Cassidy bill threatens to stop that work and replace the ACA with truly disastrous health care legislation. So we must keep up the pressure for the next two weeks and make sure our senators understand that we don't want the Graham-Cassidy bill.
I know you're sick of calling about this. Please do it anyway. Remember -- we stopped this before. We can do it again.
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)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and NEW ORLEANS OFFICE (504) 581-6190
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 protection for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits coverage is unacceptable. [IF YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE, SHARE IT!!!] I also think the bill is bad for Louisiana's economy, as it would devastate our state budget by taking over 3 billion dollars from us by 2026. I want the Senator to vote NO and instead support bipartisan solutions to 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.