GOP Close to Gutting Obamacare, Details on How Bad It Is and What You Can Do

29 million Americans would lose coverage, deep cuts to Medicaid, targeted block grants ‘rewarding’ GOP states that did not expand Medicaid and deep cuts for states like NM that did expand Medicaid, no protections for pre-existing conditions, no coverage for abortions, huge tax breaks for the rich. And it gets worse. And it could pass if we don’t act.

ACA Perilously Close to Being Repealed & Replaced. We Have 10 Days!

The GOP has until Sept 30 to repeal and replace the ACA with 50 votes. After that date, they will need 60 votes, something that simply will not happen. But they are VERY close to getting the 50 votes they need. So we have one ten days to pressure the GOP.  This one site, click here, provides all the information you would need to target calls and emails to GOP Senators who are on the fence regarding repeal and replace of the ACA. It provides background info on each of the key Senators, contact information and speaking points specifically relevant to their home state.

Please, if you have friends in any of the states below,

  • send this post to them and call to ask them to get others to make calls and to post this information in other social media;
  • if they are on Facebook, go to their Facebook feed and make a comment on their feed encouraging them to make calls and get others to join in and insert the link to this post,
  • post this link in your Facebook feed and comment on it and challenge your friends to comment as the more comments you get the more broadly your post appears on your friends’ feeds
  • Make calls and send emails yourself. You can also send emails without indicating that you are from New Mexico. I have heard that many simply make up a story about their “having lived in Colorado all my life.” Colorado is obviously our closest state and many of you may know people who live there. Reach out and ask that they press their Senator.

The following states have been identified as states with GOP Senators who are on the fence.

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

So how bad is the Graham-Cassidy version of Repeal and Replace? Bad, very, very bad. Click here to get to a site with contact information on all seven Senators above. It also in

Graham-Cassidy is strikingly similar to earlier TrumpCare bills. For starters, it destroys Medicaid as we know it by fundamentally and permanently transforming the funding for the program into a capped system.

Graham-Cassidy contains deep cuts to Medicaid. Remember, limiting how much federal money states have to spend on Medicaid limits coverage, access, and states’ options when more people need coverage. For example, if we had a per-capita cap system now and Hurricane Harvey hit, Texas might be out of federal Medicaid money for the year. And they’d be out of luck if more people need Medicaid because of the hurricane damages.

Graham-Cassidy eliminates protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The bill undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions and people who need treatment for opioid abuse by allowing states to waive essential health benefits. Why? Because states would have incredibly broad discretion in how they use the vague waivers in the proposal. Another example: insurers could decide to raise anyone’s premiums any time.

Graham-Cassidy provides a giant tax break for those who don’t need it. This bill also includes a special new tax break for the well-off, allowing Health Savings Accounts to be used for health insurance premiums. This may also incentivize employers to just put tax-free money into these HSAs and stop offering their staff health insurance all-together.

Graham-Cassidy attacks women’s health. To top it all off, Graham-Cassidy enacts a total prohibition on any covered insurance plans from offering abortion coverage.

How does Graham-Cassidy gut the ACA, Medicaid, and America’s healthcare coverage?

  1. Block Grants and Cuts the Federal Money Given to StatesThe proposal would take all of the money going out the door to help people afford and access insurance and bundle it into one “block grant” given to states. This “block grant” includes money for the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies while also deeply cutting the total amount of money. Then, it only allows the block grants to grow at 2%, a far slower growth rate than medical costs grow.And amazingly, all the funding ends in 2027. Starting that year, states would receive exactly zero dollars in their already slim block grants.. Either 29 million more Americans would suddenly be thrown off health insurance or Congress would need to give the states new money. And, as we’ve seen, Congress does not deal with deadlines well.
  2. Redistributes this block grant to favor red states that did not expand access and coverage for their residents by punishing states that did:
    This provision is about politics, not policy. Senator Cassidy himself said: “Let a blue state do a blue thing and a red state such as mine take a different, conservative approach.” This is not what would happen under his bill. Graham-Cassidy literally takes money from states that expanded Medicaid and gives it to states that did not. There are other factors in the Graham-Cassidy formula that then tilt the limited funds toward red states (such as distributing some of the block grant based on population density) in order to try to appease states like West Virginia whose Senators are key swing votes.Make sure your Senators know you are paying attention and that TrumpCare 3.0 is not acceptable. Tell them you oppose Graham-Cassidy and that you want them to commit to following “regular order” and working through the committee process as some Senators have started to do. And find out how much your state will lose in federal funding here.

Time to Act!!!!  In ten days we can relax for a bit, at least in relation to healthcare, and in derailing this effort, we will undermine the GOP agenda still further.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

 

2 thoughts on “GOP Close to Gutting Obamacare, Details on How Bad It Is and What You Can Do

  1. Perhaps I’m being politically incorrect, but I’ve reached a point where I’m ready to let the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot. Or the groin. If they take health insurance away from another 24 million people, or whatever the figure is, let them. Then maybe the 58 percent who don’t vote will wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe they will figure out that if they want universal health care, they need to elect progressives. Ditto, if they want a president who doesn’t threaten to nuke North Korea. Ditto, if they’d like our magnificent national monuments and parks to remain our public treasures, instead of having Dairy Queen and Motel 6 and the NRA set up shop. Even a flaming liberal sometimes gets burnout. I acknowledge that the Right makes it hard for the poor and elderly to vote, but there are millions of people who rely on Social Security, Medicare, and other necessary programs who don’t make the effort to vote. No more excuses.

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  2. I think we can still win this one. Here’s a new 2-minute Robert Reich video highlighting the urgency of acting against Graham-Cassidy. Great for sharing with your friends in critical states.

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