The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and end Medicaid as we know it.
This mean-spirited bill, sponsored by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would radically change our health care system, leading to unaffordable care for millions of Americans.
This bill would drastically cut coverage for seniors, children, veterans, and people with disabilities. Medicaid, the largest provider of long-term care for seniors in the country, would cease to exist as we know it in only nine years.
If passed, this bill would end federal protections for people suffering from pre-existing conditions. It would allow insurers to reinstate lifetime and annual caps on benefits. And it would end federal regulation that requires all plans to cover essential health benefits.
In short, this bill would return us to the days when insurers could deny people coverage based on their health status and refuse to provide certain benefits like mental health or substance abuse treatment.
But staggering new cuts to Medicare and Medicaid included in this bill would make things even worse than they were before the ACA. A new study from AARP finds that older people could pay as much as $16,174 more per year for health coverage if this bill becomes law.
This regressive bill is opposed by doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, the American Cancer Society, other patient advocacy groups, and bipartisan groups including Democratic and Republican governors. But that has not stopped Senate Republicans from pushing ahead.
If the Senate passes the bill, the House of Representatives could vote on it this week. We must stop this bill from passing.
I am asking you to make two phone calls today:
- Call your Senators and urge them to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill. Call 1-866-287-6350 and you will be connected to your Senator’s office after a short message.
- Call the House of Representatives at 1-888-329-5096. After a short message, you will be connected to your Representative’s office. Tell them that if the Graham-Cassidy bill comes to the House, you urge them to vote NO!
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