Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Health Care

Fight Trumpcare, Sept 22 Update

Call your senators and tell them to oppose Trumpcare. Go to Town Hall events held by your House rep and tell them to defend the Affordable Care Act. Keep the pressure up until September 30, and recruit friends and family to pressure their senators, too. 

So, it seems that GOP Senate leadership is trying to bribe Lisa Murkowski into accepting Trumpcare 3.0 by essentially promising that her state, Alaska, can keep the ACA’s provisions. See here:

http://ijr.com/2017/09/979983-republicans-attempt-buy-murkowskis-vote-new-draft-health-care-bill/

Whether this will sway her remains to be seen. She has rejected sweeteners aimed at Alaska in the past, on the theory that if Alaska gets set-asides, but the system is undermined to the point of failing, her state is still screwed.

McConnell still plans to hold a vote on the bill next week.

Murkowski is diligently reviewing the facts of Trumpcare 3.0, as she should, and as her Senate colleagues should, frankly. She has not showed her hand yet, and several Republicans who could vote no have been cagey.

 

FWIW, in a September 19 Bloomberg Politics article, former John McCain advisor John Weaver (who you should follow on Twitter at @JWGOP) is of the opinion that McCain will probably vote no:

“I cannot imagine Senator McCain turning his back not only on his word, but also on millions of Americans who would lose health care coverage, despite intense lobbying by his best friend,” Weaver said in an email. “Graham-Cassidy, if truly attempted to pass, will bypass every standard of transparency and inclusion important to people who care about fair process.”

Full article is here:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-19/senate-gop-has-12-days-to-repeal-obamacare-and-no-room-for-error

 

Oh! And all 50 state Medicaid directors came out with a letter that threw a nice full bucket of cold water on Trumpcare 3.0, stressing that there wasn’t enough time to deliberate it properly. You can see the letter by scrolling back in Andy Slavitt’s Twitter feed (@ASlavitt). Topher Spiro commented that the letter was “extremely unusual” and
“It’s rare for this group to have consensus.”

 

Post-posting update: Yesterday, Senator Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) tweeted a call to action for citizens to email comments to the Senate Finance Committee ahead of its Monday hearings:

This is it! Senate Finance Committee needs to hear from you before Monday’s hearing. Email gchcomments@finance.senate.gov

In the comments, someone who tweets as @BardSwan offered the text of the email that she had sent. We are reproducing it here, with credit to her (please follow her, too):

“Hello,

I am writing about the proposed Graham/Cassidy bill for changes to the ACA. Surely by every measure, this is not a good bill.

Firstly, I ask Congress not to hold a vote on this bill that will affect 1/6 of the American economy without a CBO score. How can you vote on proposed legislation without fully understanding how it will impact the lives of Americans?

Secondly, I am very concerned about language in the bill that allows states to loosen protections for pre-existing conditions. My family will be directly affected by this provision, as my husband is in remission from stage 4 cancer. We will not be able to afford the extra costs being predicted for his care, and will be effectively proved out of healthcare. In fact, our efforts to keep him well will no doubt bankrupt us.

Thirdly, I am distressed that monies to Medicaid will be reduced so drastically, making costs for seniors and the disabled to skyrocket.

From what I read, this bill does not bring healthcare to more Americans–in fact, it is predicted that upwards of 30 million will lose their existing coverage. And, like before the ACA, people will have to choose between eating and getting healthcare. People will die.

In conclusion, I find this proposed bill to be heartless and mean. It really is just a way for the GOP to pay for tax cuts. Rather than helping our fellow man, it is a bill that will hurt the most vulnerable in our population.

Please do not pass the Graham/Cassidy bill. Instead, please return to regular order. Let’s work on improving the existing law with bipartisan committees, and a vote that requires all of Congress to work together for a solution.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

<Your name here>

 

As we rewrote this post last night, Rep. Tom Reed appeared live on Chris Hayes’s show, fully confident that Trumpcare 3.0 won’t happen. This is a guy who voted for the AHCA, aka Trumpcare 2.0.

It has also come out that, as written, the bill will essentially punish big blue states and any states that accepted the Medicaid expansion under President Obama, and would reward the red states that refused it by… wait for it… redistributing the money, which is something we at OTYCD thought that Republicans hated on principle. But there you are.

 

Indivisible is still on the case. It has planned several #KilltheBill protests across the country for Monday, September 25. Learn which one is nearest to you here:

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/killthebill/search/

 

Twitter users are keeping the Trumpcare fight rolling with the #IWasHealthy hashtag, which people use to tell their stories about being healthy until they weren’t, or their kids weren’t, and they needed health insurance. Their stories are affecting. Read them.

Also read this piece about how the Resistance is spinning up to fight Trumpcare 3.0:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/18/16327662/resistance-health-bill-gop

 

Aaaaaaand evidently, CNN is going to hold a debate between Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham against Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders on Monday, September 25, at 9 pm EST. *Sigh*

 

The answer, as always, is:

Call.

Call, call, call.

Call, call, call, call, call.

Call like your life depends on it. Your life might not literally depend on it, but many others definitely do.

Ask your friends and family to call their own senators every day, too.

And yes, you have to call every day until Zombie Trumpcare 3.0 is dead. That might mean calling every day from now until Saturday, September 30.

Call even if your senators are solid, front-line Democrats who get it and have always gotten it. Tell them thanks and tell them to keep holding the line.

Call even if your senators are brick-headed no-hoper Republicans. Be unfailingly polite, but make it damn clear you want them to vote against the new GOP health care bill. Yes, they’re not going to do what you want, and you know they’re not going to do what you want, and they know you know they’re not going to do what you want. But it’s worth it to tie up their phone lines with a deafening, all-encompassing wave of NO.

It’s extra-important to call if your senators are any of the following:

Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia

John McCain, Arizona

Rob Portman, Ohio

Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

Susan Collins, Maine

Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

Cory Gardner, Colorado

Joni Ernst, Iowa

Thom Tillis, North Carolina

Mike Rounds, North Dakota

John Kennedy, Louisiana

John Hoeven, North Dakota

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

 

It’s extra-important that you NOT call them if you’re not their constituents. Leave the lines free for those who actually live in those states, please.

It’s also important that you call this what it is: Trumpcare. Don’t call it Cassidy-Graham anymore. That title is too anodyne. Call it Trumpcare. Then people will understand. That will get your friends and family fired up. Tell them you need their help to stop Trumpcare. Again.

 

Material from previous posts, including a sample calling script, follows:
We all worked together to kill Trumpcare earlier this year. We also warned you this was the Bill That Wouldn’t Die, and it wouldn’t be truly dead, at least for calendar 2017, until September 30.

Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham are now pushing a terrible health care bill. They have convinced fellow senators Dean Heller and Ron Johnson to sign on.

It’s a dumpster fire. It’d leave millions without insurance. It stops the Medicaid expansion. It converts exchange subsidies to block grants. It… do we need to go on? It’d be a catastrophe. We’d be worse off than we were before the ACA.

We have to fight back again. We at OTYCD have cleared the decks for the week and are doing new posts just on this issue until we get credible word that we’re all out of danger. That means we might end up preparing “defend ACA” posts almost every day until Sept 30. If that’s what’s needed, well, so be it.

We did it before. We can do it again, and we will do it again.

Also, if you’re not following the folks below, start. They will have news faster than we will, and will have instructions on how to fight back faster than we will:

@TopherSpiro

@BenWikler

@Aslavitt

@Celeste_Pewter

 

Here’s the Trumpcare Toolkit, via Topher Spiro:

https://trumpcaretoolkit.org

 

Or use this sample script: “Dear (Senator Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to oppose the Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson health care bill, aka Trumpcare 3.0, and to support reviving bipartisan efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act instead. The latest Republican health care bill would have the same terrible effects as the AHCA–it’d leave more than 32 million without coverage over 10 years, and it would cripple Medicaid. And it looks like you’ll be forced to vote on it without a CBO score, which is irresponsible. Restarting the talks to shore up the ACA is the better move for everyone. Please do that instead. Know also that I am paying attention to what you will do and it will influence my vote the next time you run for re-election. Thank you for listening.”

 

As for your House rep–the House of Representatives is in recess until September 25, which means he or she is back in your area. You need to go to whatever meet-the-public meetings they’re having and make it damn clear you expect them to oppose any efforts to kill the ACA.

Check your House rep’s website and social media accounts for word of town halls, meet-and-greets, and similar events. If he or she is not holding any such events, get your local activist group to see about showing up to protest some other event on the recess schedule, or maybe showing up at the rep’s office.

You can also check the Town Hall Project Twitter feed for word of events coming up in your area during the House recess:

@townhallproject

 

Read about Senator Graham’s quest to repeal Obamacare somehow, anyhow:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article171778757.html

 

Read a Washington Post piece on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-bill-to-block-grant-major-parts-of-the-aca-unveiled/2017/09/13/bdcd1872-988b-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9_story.html?utm_term=.66c65863f13b