The Final Trumpcare Showdown: One Last Fight to Kill ACA Repeal
Take Action Every Day Until Sept. 30 -- Including Sept. 26, "National HIV Call-In Day" to Congress -- to Save Your Health Care
September 20, 2017
I know you thought we were done with all this when, on the floor of the Senate, Senator McCain thrust his thumb down just seven weeks ago, but we're not. Like a legislative Freddy Krueger, "repeal and replace" is back again. And it could pass if we fall asleep on the job and provide Republicans the cover they need to squeeze it through.
The most recent incarnation of the GOP's ACA replacement plan was formally introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) earlier this month. If you thought the passage of time and widespread public disgust with previous Republican health care plans would make the party reassess its priorities and come up with a health care proposal that doesn't cause irreparable harm to millions of Americans, then you are sorely mistaken. In fact, the Graham-Cassidy plan is, in many ways, even more destructive and draconian than both the Senate health care bill that was voted down in July and the House bill that passed in May.
As they have done all year, both the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and health care writer Sarah Kliff over at Vox have come out with excellent and detailed descriptions of the myriad ways in which Graham-Cassidy would harm tens of millions of people.
For the specific purposes of people living with and impacted by HIV, here are some of the bill's lowlights:
Despite the hideousness of the contents of this bill, Graham-Cassidy has a very real chance of passage.
Right now, Senators Graham and Cassidy believe they have anywhere between 47 and 49 of the 50 "yes" votes they need for the bill to pass. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is the only Republican who has publicly stated that he won't be voting for Graham-Cassidy (he has derisively called the bill "Obamacare-lite"), but a number of senators are either on the fence or strongly leaning towards voting no, including Senators Collins (R-ME), McCain (R-AZ) and Murkowski (R-AK), the three Republicans who voted "no" on the skinny repeal in July. In addition, a number of other Republican senators -- such as Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rob Portman (R-OH), who wound up voting for the skinny repeal but have expressed misgivings over Medicaid cuts -- need to be pressed to vote "no" on Graham-Cassidy, as well.
Now is not the time for complacency, but the time for action! Over the next ten days, the HIV community needs to be more vocal and vigilant than ever in speaking truth to power and demanding that our elected officials preserve the gains we have made in health care coverage through the ACA. To this purpose, an HIV Advocacy Hotline has been set up at 866-246-9371 that will connect you directly to your senators, so you can tell them to vote "no" on this despicable piece of legislation.
We need you to call as much as possible, but in particular, we need you to call on Tuesday, Sept. 26, when HIV advocacy groups across the country will be holding an HIV Call-In Day to consolidate our power and make sure our voices are heard on Capitol Hill. In addition to calling, you can use AIDS United's action alert to send e-mails to your senators, letting them know that anything other than a "no" vote on Graham-Cassidy is unacceptable.
Drew Gibson is a freelance writer and a policy associate at AIDS United in Washington, D.C. You can follow him on Twitter at @SuppressThis or visit his blog "Virally Suppressed," which covers a multitude of issues related to public health and social justice.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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