Key players in the U.S. Senate are making a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip millions of their health insurance. Don’t let them get away with it. The decisive vote on this bad proposal is likely to occur next week.
The Graham-Cassidy bill is being sold as a compromise—but it’s not. It’s just as bad as every form of ACA repeal that we’ve seen so far and, once again, favors the powerful over the vulnerable. This bill would strip millions of their health-care coverage, increase premiums for working families, deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and punish states that have expanded Medicaid.
Here are the specifics (look familiar?):
- It still guts Medicaid by cutting hundreds of billions of dollars, and it eliminates Medicaid expansion.
- It allows states to let insurance companies charge people with pre-existing conditions exorbitant rates and to gut other key protections.
- It still strips health care from people with disabilities, seniors in nursing homes, children, and other vulnerable populations.
- It still allows states to let insurance companies charge up to five times more for people over 50.
- It still means tens of millions would have their health care taken away—up to 32 million, we believe (although no one will really know until the Congressional Budget Office score is released).
- It still leaves in place a tax on working families’ health plans that provide strong benefits.
- And, for the first time, this latest repeal bill eliminates tax credits that make health care more affordable for people with coverage through the ACA.
This is just another effort not just to kill the Affordable Care Act but to take a hatchet to the medical safety net that has helped thousands of poor and vulnerable Americas. And for what? So partisan politicians in Congress can say they “won.”
Write your senators today and tell them to reject this bill.
What’s the rush? Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, is trying to ram this bill through the Senate before a September 30 deadline to take advantage of a Senate procedural rule. He knows the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office won’t “be able to provide point estimates of the effects on the deficit, health insurance coverage, or premiums for at least several weeks,” as two CBO officials recently wrote. Not knowing for sure the effects this will have on Americans’ lives or our economy is yet another reason to oppose this effort.
What happened to the Senate pledge to work on a bipartisan solution, which is what everyone–constituents, governors, insurance commissioners and the public—believe is needed at this time? With one-sixth of the economy at stake, the Senate should be working together, not rushing through a bill that hurts Americans.
Americans can’t go back to the days where we were one illness away from bankruptcy. This bill puts the interests of the powerful over the needs of our most vulnerable, and that’s un-American.