Call McConnell and Paul, demand defeat of Graham-Cassidy bill

Published 9:01 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear Editor,

It’s back! Senators plan to vote on a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, guts Medicaid, kicks millions off health insurance — all without proper budget analysis. The deadline is Sept. 30. 

To get this done, our senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will cut off all debate, prevent amendments and discussion. This has never been done before, an unprecedented shutdown of the Senate.

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There will be a single hearing for a bill that impacts 1/6th of the U.S. economy, in front of the Homeland Security Committee, a committee with no oversight of healthcare. Why? Because it’s chair, Republican Ron Johnson, agreed to limit witnesses on Graham–Cassidy (“G-C”) to two: Graham and Cassidy, the bill’s authors. It’s not exactly a hearing.

Republicans are moving forward with a process that destroys any concept of the Senate as a deliberative body. Why? Because they need the money stolen from health care to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

Why should you care? G-C will eliminate protections for anyone who is sick or has ever been sick; insurers can deny coverage. Lifetime caps, annual caps, charging older people more as with Trumpcare — all back. Medicaid expansion vanishes. Millions will lose coverage, including the disabled, vets and children. Premiums will go up for everyone; 20 percent the first year and if you are 50+ it gets worse after that! There will be massive funding cuts to states, especially those with Medicaid expansion (Kentucky), forcing programs to be slashed or taxes raised. 

McConnell has killed the Alexander/Murray bi-partisan effort to fix the problems with the ACA to make it work for everyone. McConnell’s cynicism reigns as he is promising the Republican senators there will be no repercussions because the effects do not happen until after the 2018 mid-term elections and we (the voting public) will forget about it.

There is only one way to stop this: Senators must know they will pay a political price if they go through with G-C. Call McConnell at (202) 224-2541 and Senator Rand Paul at (202) 224-4343. When you reach an aide, leave the following message: 

“Hello, my name is (fill in your name), calling from zip code 40422. I am angry the Senate is considering a bill to slash Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood and deny health insurance to millions. Vote NO on Graham-Cassidy. I am a constituent and I will remember your vote.”

Time is critical, call today! Thank you.

Julie Pease