Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: Let's spike the GOP health care bill TODAY!

The NY Times reports that the GOP’s Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two Republican Senators Defect. Some of what follows updates the preceding post on the effects of McCain’s surgery on the Senate health care bill.

Don’t put on your dancin’ shoes just yet. These are guys who want no part of any health care bill.

Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law. Two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they would not support a procedural step to begin debate.

With four solid votes against the bill, Republican leaders now have two options.

They can try to rewrite it in a way that can secure 50 Republican votes, a seeming impossibility at this point, given the complaints by the defecting senators. Or they can work with Democrats on a narrower measure to fix the flaws in the Affordable Care Act that both parties acknowledge.

For all the wrong reasons …

In announcing his opposition to the bill, Mr. Moran said it “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs.”

“There are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it,” he said in a statement.

In his own statement, Mr. Lee said of the bill, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

I told you so. Is a complete, stand-alone repeal ACA bill likely?

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, conceded Monday night that “the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He outlined plans to vote now on a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with it taking effect later. That has almost no chance to pass, however, since it could leave millions without insurance and leave insurance markets in turmoil.


But now is not the time to breath a sigh of relief. Now is the time to drive a spike into the heart of the GOP bill - and to get rid of the repeal effort once and for all.

Grass roots pressure does work. Consider:

The pressure on Mr. Moran at home showed no sign of relenting. The Kansas Hospital Association said last week that the revised Senate bill “comes up short, particularly for our most vulnerable patients.”

Both our Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain are in the “unclear or undecided column” in this NY Times whip count.

So here is the call for action from alliance4action.org - with some updating by your Scriber.

Flood our Senators’ offices with your messages about health care.

If everybody calls Senators Flake and McCain on the same day, we can sink the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” for good. Today, Tuesday, July 18th, is that day.

First, contact Senator Flake’s and McCain’s Health Care staff in Washington, D.C. (See below) Ask that the Senators oppose the BCRA. Call, Resistbot, tweet or email, but do one of these. Make some kind of statement. If you want more rationale:

• Say that the numbers of sicker, older and poorer people who will lose coverage are wholly unacceptable.
• Say that Arizona’s efficient Medicaid Program (AHCCCS) will get penalized and damaged.
• Say that the Cruz proposal creates systems called “unworkable” by insurers.
• Say that the cost shifting to states is unreasonable and overwhelming.

Second, contact the Senators’ Tucson offices.

Third, contact Governor Ducey to ask him to persuade the Senators to oppose BCRA.

With all calls, identify yourself as a member of the Alliance4Action in Southern Arizona (if you are) or just as a concerned voter.

Senator Jeff Flake (R)
Helen Heiden, Legislative Assistant for Health
• Helen_heiden@flake.senate.gov
• 202–224–4521
• 520–575–8633

Senator John McCain (R)
David Bennett, Legislative Assistant for Health
• david_bennett@mccain.senate.gov
• 202–224–2235
• 520–670–6334

Governor Doug Ducey
Phoenix: 602–542–4331
Tucson: 520–628–6580

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