Here we go again!
Once again the Republicans in the U.S. Senate are working to strip healthcare from millions of working families by pushing yet another “Obamacare” repeal.
The newest bill, put forth by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would repeal the Affordable Care Act, decimating the Medicaid expansion program, leaving and estimated 32 million people without healthcare.
Overall the right-wing plan would cut $229 billion dollars eliminating the healthcare exchange subsidies and the funding allotted for the expansion of Medicaid.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would offer states “block grants” to offset the cost of providing healthcare to low-income families. Funding for these grants would continue to decrease over the next decade until they completely dry up in 2027.
According to research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, by 2020 the Graham-Cassidy block grants would be sending $39 billion less to states than the current law would. CBPP estimates the Graham-Cassidy bill would slash $179 billion from healthcare funding by 2026.
Andy Slavitt, President Obama’s former director of Medicare, sent out this image, highlighting the massive cuts if the Graham-Cassidy bill goes through.
In a September 8th editorial board meeting with Seacoast Online, Governor Chris Sununu said he was “very excited” about the newest Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare bill that he claims to have helped create with Republican governors across the country. Sununu had high praise for the legislation saying it “really takes into account a lot of the things that governors are looking for.” (Sununu now says he opposed the bill. See update below)
However, Republican Governor Charlie Baker of neighboring Massachusetts said the bill would “dramatically negatively affect the Commonwealth.”
“Sununu brags about creating this Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare bill when he should be apologizing for it. Granite Staters will see premiums skyrocket and Medicaid beneficiaries lose coverage because of Governor Sununu,” said Ray Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party. “This legislation would do enormous damage to Granite Staters’ health and economic well-being, and the Governor should immediately rescind his support.”
Senator Hassan tweeted her opposition to the bill by calling on everyone to contact their Senator’s office and tell them to oppose this bill.
“We must take #GrahamCassidy health care repeal bill seriously and speak out NOW. We cannot let this pass.”
The Graham-Cassidy bill would also remove the subsides that allows, low-to-moderate income families to purchase healthcare through the healthcare exchange. All in all more than 30,000 Granite Staters will be denied access to affordable healthcare.
The good news is that right now the Republicans do not have enough votes to pass “RepublicanCare 3.0”. The bad news is that Senator John McCain is indicating he may support this bill despite being the deciding vote against the Senate’s previous repeal effort.
CPPB estimates that Arizonans stands to lose $1.6 billion in federal funding by 2026 and 78,000 would lose the coverage they have gained through the Affordable Care act.
If McCain votes with his party, and Senators Collins and Murkowski vote against it as they did last time, we could end up in a 50-50 tie. For us, a tie is a loss as Vice President Pence would be the tie-breaker as he did with the DeVos’s confirmation.
We must take action now. We must inform our Senators that this bill will harm real working families like yours and mine. We must tell them to oppose this harmful legislation.
Pick up the phone and dial, (202) 224-3121 to be connected to the Senate switchboard. In case you need it, Indivisible posted a sample call script for citizens to use when calling your Senators office.
Republicans in the Senate have till the end of September to get this passed, so they are working hard and fast. We must stop them now, before they steal healthcare from 30 million people.
UPDATE 7PM 9-18
Governor Chris Sununu comes out against the bill he claims to have help craft.
Governor Sununu’s statement:
“While I continue to strongly believe that Obamacare must be reformed, it must be replaced with something that works for New Hampshire. The Graham-Cassidy healthcare plan has some laudable aspects, including offering more flexibility to states in managing Medicaid. Unfortunately, under this plan, New Hampshire could possibly lose over a $1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020-2026. While innovative, consumer-driven programs that eliminate waste and provide flexibility is the direction our nation’s health care must go, it is not practical for New Hampshire to craft a system with over $1 billion in cuts to federal funding. New Hampshire is proud of its tradition of not having an income tax or sales tax and remains vigilant against down-shifting of costs onto states that become general fund liabilities. As such, I cannot support this plan as it is currently drafted. It is my hope that Congress will continue to improve this plan to earn New Hampshire’s support. If given the opportunity, we stand ready to roll up our sleeves and craft a fiscally responsible system that works for all Granite Staters and does not ask us to subsidize the health care costs of other states.”
In reaction to Sununu’s flip-flop, NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement:
“Just a week after bragging about his role in creating the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal bill, calling it ‘very exciting’ and saying he’s ‘hoping it actively gets proposed,’ Sununu has seen enough bad press on the bill to pull back his support. Graham-Cassidy would of course ravage the benefits so many Granite Staters depend on, including slashing Medicaid by half a billion dollars in the state and ending Medicaid expansion in the middle of the opioid crisis. Today, Sununu reaffirmed what we already knew: that he is spineless and has no qualms with completely reversing positions on a dime depending on what benefits him politically. He is fighting for himself, not for New Hampshire.”