American Bridge President Jessica Mackler responded to the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the Senate Trumpcare bill, which was written in secret, out of the public eye and with an undisclosed group of lobbyists.
American Bridge also released the following message to supporters, which is being shared by progressive allies, urging the public to share their individual stories regarding the hardships of preexisting conditions and appealing on local media for their senators not to support the Trumpcare bill.
“Every Republican senator should think very hard about how they could look families in the eye and tell them why they voted for Trumpcare, which was written behind closed doors, and which nonpartisan experts warned would take health insurance away from millions, cause healthcare costs to skyrocket, insidiously cripple the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting conditions like cancer, and gut Medicaid – all to cut taxes for the rich.
“This bill would end Medicaid as we know it as states are struggling to help treat people suffering from the opioid epidemic, which is callous and says a great deal about the real priorities of anyone who votes ‘yes’ on this devastating legislation.
“Donald Trump promised us that he would cover ‘everybody,’ make healthcare more affordable, keep protections for preexisting conditions, and not cut Medicaid. These Trumpcare bills would shatter all of those promises, and any Republican who rubber stamps this bracing attack on middle class and working class families will be held accountable.
“This is why American Bridge is encouraging Americans who have suffered from a preexisting condition, or who have endured a loved one going through one, to take to their local media this week at the grassroots level and urge their senators never to support this Trumcpare bill.”
American Bridge is holding Republicans accountable for their devastating votes on health care, and also for their attempts to roll back our progress. If you’d like to stay up to date and learn more about how you can get involved, sign up here.
WHY THE SENATE TRUMPCARE BILL IS SUCH A DANGER
After Senate Republicans released the Trumpcare bill that they drafted behind closed-doors – shutting out the American people and even refusing to meet with patient advocacy organizations like the American Lung Association – it instantly became clear that the Senate plan is an inhumane replica of the House Trumpcare bill, which the American people have decisively rejected.
Both of these Trumpcare plans would deprive millions of Americans of their health insurance, cause healthcare costs to spike for those who are lucky enough to keep their insurance, send the quality of employer-based plans into a downward spiral, slash Medicaid funding, and effectively gut the unprecedented protections the Affordable Care Act created for people suffering from preexisting conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
And all of this would be done to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, which blatantly contradicts the “populist” message of the last election.
WHY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD TAKE TO THE AIRWAVES
As the Senate Trumpcare legislation faces a pivotal vote in the near future, it is essential that the American people – who were shut out as Republicans wrote this behind closed doors with an undisclosed group of lobbyists – make their voices heard and express to key senators that they know the alarming dangers this Trumpcare bill threatens them with, and that they will hold any senator who supports it accountable at the ballot box.
Calling senators’ offices is one of the most effective ways to do this, and the information at this link will show how to do that quickly and easily.
Senators are also highly responsive to media coverage in their states, and because of this, American Bridge is urging Americans who have compelling stories to share about how they themselves or a loved one have been impacted by a preexisting condition to consider sharing their stories and their concerns about Trumpcare with their local media – especially television stations.
Republican senators who are on the fence and whose votes’ could make-or-break Trumpcare are aware that progressive groups oppose this bill, but nothing can compare to the power of hearing direct, personal appeals on the airwaves in their states from constituents who know the excruciating pain of a preexisting condition, as well as the economic burdens that medical care can be – especially without the protections the Affordable Care Act guarantees to help prevent individuals suffering from these conditions from going bankrupt.
HOW TO DO SO
Every local television station will have a news room, news desk, news tip line, or assignment desk that they use to receive information about potential stories. The phone numbers and email addresses for these can be easily found through the “contact us” or “about” sections of their websites. If not, these numbers can also be found by googling the station’s call letters and the terms “news room,” “news desk,” “news tip line,” or “assignment desk.” If that fails, you can call the station’s main number directly and ask for the news department.
Local television stations are typically eager to hear from residents of their coverage area whose lives are relevant to important national political debates, such as the debate happening over Trumpcare now, and if you explain to the staff that either you or a loved one have had experience with a preexisting condition, that you know first-hand how hard such conditions and the associated healthcare costs can be, and that you think it’s vital for the Senate NOT to gut those protections by supporting Trumpcare, it is likely that they will consider having you on.
This is a chance to make your voice heard in a way that Senate Republicans prevented by writing their bill in secret, and this kind of appeal from real Americans could be exactly what makes the difference to Republican senators who don’t yet know how they will vote.
TRUMPCARE TALKING POINTS – COURTESY OF PROTECT OUR CARE
The Senate’s Repeal of Health Care: You Pay More, You Get Less
Senate Republicans promised to start over and write a plan that improves people’s health care; instead, they doubled down on the failed repeal approach that puts everyone’s health care last, and tax breaks for the wealthiest first. Republicans wrote their plan in secret, have refused to hold hearings, and are rushing to force a vote next week because they know the public hates what they are doing.
You pay more and get less – that’s the Senate health care repeal bill. It makes health care worse for everyone – it raises costs, cuts coverage, weakens protections and ends Medicaid as we know it.
President Trump and Senate Republicans promised to cover more people, lower costs and protect Medicaid. They also promised that their bill would be better than the House repeal bill. This bill breaks all those promises.
Raises costs. Increases premiums and deductibles, forcing people to pay more for the same coverage. The middle class will get hit even harder – the average 60 year old earning $42,000 a year would have to pay $5,000 more/year.
Imposes an age tax. Allows insurance companies to charge up to five times as much for people over 50.
Makes even deeper cuts to Medicaid. The Senate bill not only ends Medicaid expansion — albeit just a couple years later than the House repeal bill — it also cuts Medicaid even more than the House bill, taking away care from seniors in nursing homes, people with disabilities, and kids.
Weakens protections, including for people with pre-existing conditions. Lets insurance companies deny coverage for maternity care, mental health care, substance use treatment, and other services, meaning people with pre-existing conditions would have to pay more for the care they need.
Gives huge tax cuts to the rich. Gives hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations.
Defunds Planned Parenthood. Defunds Planned Parenthood, which 2.4 million people depend on for care.
Republicans wrote their health care bill in secret because they wanted to hide the damage it would do until the last possible minute.
There still hasn’t been a single hearing, a markup, or any chance for public and expert input, and now they are forcing a vote next week.
A reminder about how the Affordable Care Act became law:
The bill was online for 3 months.
There were 200 bipartisan hearings and meetings.
It was the longest markup in decades — going on for 7 days.
It was on the Senate floor for 25 days.
There is no way to fix this bill — no matter what backroom deals they make in the coming days to buy off certain Senators.
It doesn’t matter if you are cutting coverage for 23 million, 20 million or 15 million Americans — you are still kicking millions of people off of their health care coverage.
A possible $45 billion dollar fund for opioid treatment falls $140 billion short in meeting the needs of the millions of Americans who will lose access to addiction and mental health treatment.
Ending Medicaid expansion a few years later is still ending Medicaid expansion for millions.
Rushing forward on health care repeal shows Republican Senators are ignoring the will of the American people.
It is irresponsible for Senators to vote on this bill next week. The public should have time to fully understand how this bill will impact their lives and Senators have a duty to explain it to their constituents.
Published: Jun 26, 2017