By now we've heard a lot about how bad the Graham-Cassidy Bill is for Medicaid recipients, Louisiana's economy, and patients with pre-existing conditions. But something that isn't being talked about enough is just how devastating this bill would be for 50% of the population – women.
- End federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year
- Restrict people who use tax credits to buy individual market insurance from purchasing any plan that includes abortion coverage.
- Allows states to opt out of essential health benefits coverage, an option that disproportionately targets women, since these essential health benefits include things like prenatal and post-natal care.
- Would slash funding to Medicaid – two-thirds of Medicaid recipients are women and children
- Define "pregnancy" – either current or in the past! – as a pre-existing condition.
Dozens of groups have opposed the Graham-Cassidy bill: The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, the National Council of Behavioral Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the March of Dimes, the AARP, and the ALS Association… for starters. Even big insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield have come out against the bill.
So we must tell our Senators – especially Senator Cassidy – that we oppose Graham-Cassidy and want them to work for a bipartisan solution that doesn't needlessly penalize the women of our state.
Now, many of you have reported busy signals and full voice mail boxes at the usual office phone numbers. I know that's frustrating! Here are some tips:
- Try calling earlier in the day, before the VM boxes have had a chance to fill up.
- Try local offices you wouldn't normally try. I've updated the office list to include all the local offices for both senators now. Remember: Senators represent everybody in the state, so the local office must log calls from anybody who lives within Louisiana.
- Remember: Don't call out of state senators. Your call won't be logged, and it just ties up the phone lines and voicemail boxes and prevents actual constituents from reaching those offices.
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, Baton Rouge: (225) 929-7711; Lafayette: (337) 261-1400; Shreveport: (318) 798-3215; 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!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70119 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I strongly oppose the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. This bill is bad for women. It would allow states to opt out of essential health benefits, like maternity coverage, and limit women's ability to access health care. The proposed Medicaid cuts hurt women disproportionately too, because a majority of Medicaid recipients are women and children. I want the Senator to vote NO and instead support bipartisan solutions 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.