WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Republicans are taking another run at “repeal and replace.” They have until Sept. 30 to slide through a bill with just 50 votes (plus Mike Pence). Their defeats earlier this summer don’t seem to be discouraging them. There is now a move in the Senate to pass a new bill sponsored by Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller, and Johnson.
- The bill would radically change our health care system and cause millions to lose their health care coverage.
- The bill will hurt low and middle-income Americans. The Republican bill will not only gut Medicaid but also end subsidies and tax credits that currently help working Americans afford their premiums.
- Sick patients, who need affordable health care the most, could face higher insurance rates. This bill could raise premiums for sick Americans by allowing states to waive ACA policies that require insurers to cover all essential health benefits and protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
- Older Americans will be at risk under this new repeal bill. This new bill would allow states to charge different premiums depending on a patient’s age and would cut federal Medicaid funding that many older Americans rely on.
- The consequences for women’s health are flat-out dangerous. This bill defunds Planned Parenthood for a year, cuts protections for essential health services for women and could leave pregnant women without the guarantee of maternity coverage.
- Arizona stands to lose $1.6 billion in federal funding by 2026. Not to mention the 1 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions that would be hurt by this bill, and the 78,000 Arizonans relying on the ACA for treatment for opioid abuse whose care would be in jeopardy.
- Arizona is one of 10 states seen as key to the citizens’ lobbying effort to stop this bill.
TAKE ACTION: Call and Write to Senator McCain, who voted against the last “repeal and replace attempt.” Here’s all his contact info. Here’s an example of what you can say when you call or comment on his email contact form:
“Senator McCain said he wanted hearings—there have been no hearings on Graham-Cassidy. He said he wanted bipartisan input—there has been no bipartisan input. He said he wanted to hear from the nation’s governors—many of the nation’s governors oppose Graham-Cassidy.
“The bipartisan, transparent process that Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) are leading through regular order would be a better option than supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill. I expect Senator McCain to stay true to the words of the speech he gave in July about bipartisanship and oppose Graham-Cassidy so the Senate can pursue bipartisan solutions.
“I want Senator McCain to oppose Graham-Cassidy. The bill is just like other TrumpCare bills in that it destroys Medicaid as we know it by turning Medicaid into a capped system. This hurts children with disabilities and seniors. It also takes away funding to help people afford health insurance through the marketplace. Our state would lose $1.6 billion in federal funding because of this bill. Too many Arizonans experienced a crisis when the state froze its Medicaid program in 2011 due to funding cuts. We cannot repeat that.”