Call Of The Day: Demand Healthcare That Passes The Jimmy Kimmel Test

Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel took Senator Cassidy to task for the Graham-Cassidy bill, saying that Cassidy "lied to my face" and informing him to "stop using my name" (in regards to the so-called Jimmy Kimmel Test).  You can watch the whole monologue here.

As Kimmel says, the Graham-Cassidy Bill fails all four promises Senator Cassidy made regarding healthcare:  coverage for all; no discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for middle-class families; and no lifetime caps.

Instead, we get a bill that would:

  • Result in at least 32 million people losing their health insurance;
  • Allow states to apply for waivers to opt out of covering people with pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits coverage, such as maternity care, prescription drugs, or mental health treatment. 
  •  Allow insurance companies to take health status into account and increase premiums because of anything from cancer to mild asthma.  Insurance companies would have full authority to charge sicker people higher premiums.
  • The return of annual and lifetime coverage caps. 

Cassidy argues that his plan, in fact, protects pre-existing conditions coverage, because states must show that they intend to maintain "adequate" and "affordable" insurance for those with these conditions.  But these terms are never defined in the bill.  Who decides what is adequate or affordable?  A state could, for example, create a high risk pool that covers very few people but which might qualify as adequate and affordable.

We must tell our Senators – especially Senator Cassidy – that we oppose Graham-Cassidy and want them to work for a bipartisan solution that improve health care for ALL Americans.

Looking to make more of an impact?  Don't call Senators who don't represent you.  Instead, call multiple offices of the senators who do.  We've listed the alternate office lines of Senators Kennedy and Cassidy below.

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 (Other offices include: Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; and Shreveport: (318) 670-5192)

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!

Sample Script:

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.  This bill would destroy Medicare as we know it, and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.  [IF YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE, SHARE IT!]  So I want the Senator to vote NO and instead support bipartisan, transparent solutions to fix 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.