Republicans Dying to Worsen Health Care

Who would have thought we’d be at it again, with Republicans in the Senate pushing another “Let’s-make-health-care-worse” bill. Frankly, I have things I’d much rather do than address this, but it is important. Bottom line: the Graham-Cassidy bill may be the worst Trumpcare bill yet, and while some details are still flexible, overall it is terrible. Call your senators to oppose it, and urge them to work together to improve the nation’s health care. Here are some of the details…

Graham-Cassidy is not only a terrible bill, it arose by bypassing normal processes for the development of legislation. Also, their goal is not to improve health care. We don’t have to take health insurance away from more than 21 million to do that. The bill also weakens protections for pre-existing conditions and other things directly in opposition to improved health care. Here’s a summary of what the bill does.

This bill is so bad there’s not a single major medical outfit that supports it (you know, the people whose job is health care). Here’s a list of major organizations opposed and why.

Why are they doing this? They need to find money for their proposed tax cuts for the rich. It’s just that simple. And just plain evil. “Republicans are sneaking in this major attack on the safety net under the guise of repealing the dread Obamacare, but this is a straightforward Medicaid cut that has nothing to do with the ACA.”

Past versions of Trumpcare had some concessions to moderate Republicans. Those are pretty much gone from G-C.

Did I mention bipartisan governor opposition? (Including Governor Walker of Alaska.)

John McCain has indicated that he’s opposed to Graham-Cassidy, and many are thinking that’s it, they can’t pass it. Don’t be so complacent! There is a lot of pressure being applied to key senators right now. So keep up the “No!” pressure. Even if it should prove true that without McCain the bill is doomed, your call to your senators makes a difference—it lets them know how important good health care is to you and that you are looking to them to improve it. It’s time to stop this charade that would be so damaging to health care and its costs in the U.S.

Hilariously, they are trying to bribe Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski by allowing Alaska (and Hawaii, in a fig-leaf gesture everyone sees through) to keep the basic ACA structure for Alaska and pile some more money on besides. Funny how that means that ACA is actually better for citizens, but you have to spread a little sugar to get everybody on board to shaft millions. Here are the details on the bribes and threats to Murkowski and Alaska.

“Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pleaded with his colleagues—again—to return to following basic Senate lawmaking procedure and work together across the aisle.”

They are trying to rush it through without even getting a CBO score. They know that score would not be favorable. The Brookings Institution (a centrist think tank) provided an analysis that is quite unfavorable.

The bill lacks adequate protections for pre-existing conditions (i.e., by not including guarantees in the bill, but by punting that decision to individual states).

Some other stuff:

AARP strongly opposes it, of course.

“The Medicaid directors’ association is the latest stakeholder to come out against the Graham-Cassidy bill that Congress may vote on by the end of the month, joining with insurers, hospitals, doctors, medical groups and Republican and Democratic governors who oppose the legislation’s deep cuts to Medicaid and weakening of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

And here: “The proof is easily revealed by looking at the bills the congressional Republicans have collectively proposed so far. While there are plenty of stellar endorsements from the Republicans who have voted to support the various iterations of the repeal and replace process, there aren’t any reputable health care experts or organizations who have offered similarly favorable reviews.

This time around, the A-list medical experts who’ve rejected the “Graham-Cassidy” bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., include the AARP, the Catholic Health Association, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the ALS Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the March of Dimes and many more. Likewise, the leading health insurance lobbying firm, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), along with Blue Cross Blue Shield, announced their opposition to Graham-Cassidy on Thursday.”

Call your senators!

Update: It looks like health care is off the table again for awhile, because McConnell et al. could not get to 50 votes, despite last-minute tweaking. Senator Collins’s letter in opposition is a good read (here is a copy with additional news). Sometimes it is great to see government inaction. Once again, our voices were heard. Opposition was loud and broad. Good work.