II. Updates on New Version of Bill (9/25/17)
III. Take Action
IV. More Info on the Bill
V. Talking Points on the Bill
VI. Additional Resources to Get Organized
VII. Top Target Senators
VIII. Social Media Tools & Resources
IX. Special Call Scripts for Senators from Key States
BackgroundSenate Republicans are trying to slam through the latest version of TrumpCare, the Graham-Cassidy bill, by the September 30th deadline given to them by the Senate parliamentarian. This bill is just as bad or perhaps even worse than the repeal bills we narrowly defeated three times this summer. You may remember that we defeated the last version of TrumpCare by just ONE vote. Now we’re hearing that Republicans are close to getting the 50 votes they need to pass #GrahamCassidy. This is very bad news, and it’s time for us to fight like never before! Like the other versions of TrumpCare, Graham-Cassidy would:
- End protections for people with preexisting conditions (including HIV, cancer, asthma, diabetes, etc.);
- Allow insurers not to cover essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, labs, hospitalization, contraception, preventive services and much more;
- Devastate the Medicaid program by providing “block grants” to states, limiting federal government contributions and shifting the cost burden onto states, as well as allowing states to set their own rules and eligibility requirements;
- Block millions of people from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment;
- Take health care coverage away from tens of millions of people.
Updates on New Version of Bill (9/25/17):State Targeted Changes
- Projected increases in funding for Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Kentucky but not taking into account losses after loss of Medicaid funding
- Bill ends cost-sharing subsidies the federal government currently pays to insurance companies to help keep premiums low for lower-income Americans buying health insurance. Instead, the plan would designate some federal funds to be divided up to states based on their resident’s poverty levels and other factors that impact health care costs like population density (Alaska would receive a 25% boost in federal matching funds for Medicaid due to its defined high-level of poverty).
- States that expanded Medicaid would still likely lose billions of dollars in federal funding, and the overall pot of total federal funding would still be approximately $160 billion less over the next 10 years as compared to current law
- Grandfathers in Native Alaskans into Medicaid so they wouldn’t lose coverage after the expanded Medicaid program is rolled back in 2020
- Bill appropriates $500 million specifically to states that set up waiver systems under Obamacare, which only includes Hawaii and Alaska.
- Bill allocates an additional $750 million a year to states that expanded Medicaid recently, while punishing states that expanded Medicaid when first given the option under the Affordable Care Act. The states that would most likely benefit the most from this include Montana and Cassidy’s home state of Louisiana.
- States can alter the essential health benefits, which require insurers to cover prescription drugs, mental health and other services
- States can also limit how much people must pay out of pocket each year and how much of the tab insurers must pick up. That means that insurers could once again offer plans with deductibles of $10,000 or more for a single person
- States can allow insurers to create multiple risk pools — those who are healthy could be assigned to one risk pool with lower premiums, while those who are not could be put into another with higher rates
- States can change the Obamacare requirement that insurers could not charge older Americans in their 50s and early 60s more than three times the rates of younger enrollees.
- States can make changes to Obamacare provision which made many preventative services — including annual check-ups, mammograms and colonoscopies— free.
- In lieu of applying for waivers to end coverage for people with preexisting conditions, States only have to describe how they would provide “shall maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.” There’s no further definitions or guidance as to what “adequate and affordable” access means.
Step 1: CALL YOUR SENATORSCall your Senator RIGHT NOW using the HIV Hotline: 866-246-9371. Below is a sample script to use once you’re connected. (If you’re from Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or West Virginia, you have a special script–click here) “Hello, I am a constituent of Senator [NAME]. I am calling because I am a person living with HIV/advocate for people living with HIV, and I am gravely concerned about the introduction of the Graham-Cassidy bill, which will cause millions of people to lose health care coverage, and will especially affect seniors and people with disabilities. The American people have spoken – we do not support any repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Has Senator [NAME] taken a position on the Graham-Cassidy bill yet? [If yes], What is it? [Yes or No]: Please tell Senator [NAME] that I urge her/him to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and ANY further attempts to dismantle healthcare and cut Medicaid.” Then, mark your calendar with a reminder to call back every day.
Step 2: CALL TARGET SENATORSCheck out the list of target Senators with their direct numbers below. Call them all, and tell them to oppose Graham-Cassidy. You can also get friendly folks in states with target Senators to make calls using this great peer-to-peer dialing system.
Step 3: GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT NATIONAL HIV CALL-IN DAYMark your calendar for September 26 – the National HIV Call In Day. Help us get at least 1000 calls on that day from the HIV community to show our strong opposition to Graham-Cassidy and our ability to mobilize! Email and text everyone you know to invite them to join you that day in making calls. Tell your friends and family we are ALL HANDS ON DECK to #KillTheBill and #ProtectOurCare once and for all! Forward them this email; tell them to call everyday, and invite them to come make calls with you on Tuesday the 26th. Organizing a group of people to all make calls together is called a phone bank. Here is a great resource from our friends at the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance with tips on organizing a phone bank. And here’s a phone bank script you can use!
Step 4. TALK TO STAFFERS AT YOUR SENATOR’S LOCAL OFFICEContact your Senators’ local offices to set up a meeting with their health staff to talk about the HIV community’s concerns about the Graham-Cassidy bill. Details on how to set up a meeting are below. You can also just show up during regular business hours and ask to speak to staff about the health care bill. Ask your Senator’s position; explain why you are opposed to the bill; leave written comments to be relayed to the Senator if given the option.
Step 5. CHANGE YOUR PROFILE PICChange your Facebook, Twitter and other profile pics to one of the images below to alert your community that this threat is real.
Step 6. TARGET SENATORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND HELP SPREAD THE WORDSend some tweets to the relevant Senators. Use the sample tweets below, or click here to send instant tweets to your own Senators. You can also get friendly folks in states with target Senators to make calls using this great peer-to-peer dialing system. You’re calling people in key states who are on our side and connecting them directly to their Senator’s offices. It’s ingenious!
More info on the Graham-Cassidy billFrom Families USA: What’s in the Graham-Cassidy Bill? From the National Health Law Program: Top 10 Changes to Medicaid under #GrahamCassidy From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: Impact of Graham-Cassidy on people w pre-existing conditions From Avalere: State-by-State Analysis of Impact of Graham-Cassidy From Kaiser Family Foundation: State-by-State Estimates of Changes in Federal Spending on Health Care Under the Graham-Cassidy Bill From Kaiser Family Foundation: Five Ways the Graham-Cassidy Proposal Would Affect Women From the Washington Post: Graham-Cassidy Whip Count (tracking Senators’ positions on bill)
- Graham-Cassidy is just TrumpCare resurrected.
- The American people oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act and do not support cuts to Medicaid
- In fact, polls show public support for single payer healthcare.
- The impact of Graham-Cassidy would be devastating for women and for people living with HIV:
- It would completely eliminate the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, which has extended coverage to 11 million low-income adults;
- Thirteen million women could lose their coverage for maternity care;
- Graham-Cassidy would completely eliminate the ACA’s marketplace subsidies, which currently help almost 9 million people afford coverage;
- The plan would cap and cut Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children, cutting funding outside expansion by about $175 billion between 2020 and 2026;
- Graham-Cassidy would lead to people with HIV and other pre-existing conditions being charged unaffordable premiums based on their health status;
- Insurers could decide to exclude services like mental health and substance use treatment from coverage entirely.
Additional resources to help you get organizedEach state has two Senators. Find out who your Senators are at this link
- Learn to organize a phone bank with this great resource from AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
- Once you’ve organized your phone bank, you can use this script for making calls!
- The Indivisible Guide has tons of resources for organizing visibility actions such as protests, sit-ins and die-ins, as well as resources for getting media coverage.
- Set up a meeting with your Senator’s staff in your home state. See our complete guide to meetings with your legislators. Here is a sample script to use for setting up a meeting
Top Target Senators for #GrahamCassidySee where Senators stand on the bill with the Washington Post’s tracker, updated regularly. Collins (R-ME), 202 224 2523 Murkowski (R-AK), 202 224 6665 Capito (R-WV), 202 224 6472 Flake (R-AZ), 202 224-4521 McCain (R-AZ), 202 224 2235 Portman (R-OH), 202 224 3353 Corker (R-TN), 202 224 3344 Lee (R-UT), 202 224-5444 Moran (R-KS), 202 224 6521 Paul (R-KY), 202 224-4343 Sullivan (R-AK), 202 224-3004 Toomey (R-PA), 202 224-4254 Young (R-IN), 202 224-5623
Social media tools & resourcesTrumpcaretoolkit.org makes targeting Senators easy–just click and tweet directly to them. Check it out! You can also get involved and spread the word on social media by downloading these shareable graphics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- #1: No Repeal for Facebook
- #1: No Repeal for Twitter
- #1: No Repeal for Instagram
- #2: Preexisting Conditions for Facebook
- #2: Preexisting Conditions for Twitter
- #2: Preexisting Conditions for Instagram
- #3: Don’t Let Trumpcare Happen for Facebook
- #3: Don’t Let Trumpcare Happen for Twitter
- #3: Don’t Let Trumpcare Happen for Instagram
Target Senator twitter handles.@SenJohnMcCain .@JeffFlake .@MarcoRubio .@SenatorYoung .@SenCapito .@senrobportma .@SenTomCotton .@SenBobCorker .@SenAlexander .@JohnBoozman .@SenCoryGardner .@ChuckGrassley .@JerryMoran .@joniernst .@lisamurkowski – see special tweets for Senators Murkowski and Collins below .@SenatorCollins – see special tweets for Senators Murkowski and Collins below
Sample tweetsUnder #GrahamCassidy, 41,000 people in Alaska will lose coverage, @lisamurkowski. #VoteNo TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/Nj7ijPhQ74
Under #GrahamCassidy, 511,000 people in Arizona will lose coverage, @SenJohnMcCain. #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/PmMOetByN8
Under #GrahamCassidy, 156,000 people in West Virginia will lose coverage, @SenCapito. #VoteNo! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/85JffJLfcc
Under #GrahamCassidy, 809,000 people in Ohio will lose coverage, @senrobportman. #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/loeIW3Mryn
Under #GrahamCassidy, 468,000 people in Colorado will lose coverage, @SenCoryGardner. #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.orgpic.twitter.com/3z1fvxI15a
Under #GrahamCassidy, 545,000 people in Tennessee will lose coverage, @SenAlexander. #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.orgpic.twitter.com/n2Z65PYgSK
Under #GrahamCassidy, 70,000 people in South Dakota will lose coverage, @SenatorRounds. #VoteNO! TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/HNIsCFBOtk
Under #GrahamCassidy, 511,000 people in Arizona will lose coverage, @JeffFlake #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/HrNWcWTvPR
Under #GrahamCassidy, 243,000 people in Nevada will lose coverage, @SenDeanHeller #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/wXSrLav7SX
Under #GrahamCassidy, 70,000 people in South Dakota will lose coverage, @SenJohnHoeven #VoteNO! TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/ptS0L6fBri
Under #GrahamCassidy, 172,000 people in Iowa will lose coverage, @SenJoniErnst. #VoteNO! TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/s93EYAH8HD
Under #GrahamCassidy, 241,000 people in Kansas will lose coverage, @JerryMoran #VoteNO! TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/whGrVxfciY
Under #GrahamCassidy, 161,000 people in Maine will lose coverage, @SenatorCollins #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/ntdIxeFXbG
Under #GrahamCassidy, 439,000 people in Arkansas will lose coverage, @SenTomCotton #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/r60vjx8HTF
Under #GrahamCassidy, 1,148,000 people in North Carolina will lose coverage, @SenThomTillis #VoteNO! TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/SbkyzUNryB
Under #GrahamCassidy, 422,000 people in Louisiana will lose coverage, @SenJohnKennedy #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/dkY97C40U9
Under #GrahamCassidy, 414,000 people in Wisconsin will lose coverage, @SenRonJohnson #VoteNO! http://TrumpcareToolkit.org pic.twitter.com/QxBx3r3CXg
@BillCassidy is all over TV grossly misrepresenting impacts of #GrahamCassidy so we made a myth/fact table debunking him pic.twitter.com/Z8qtgMriv2 #GrahamCassidy is
#Trumpcare 2.0: still guts #Medicaid, still takes away essential benefits, still hurts millions. Vote NO!
#ProtectOurCare #GrahamCassidy is a public health crisis and will make America sick again. Vote NO!
#SaveACA #ProtectOurCare Why are Republicans in Congress still trying to take away #healthcare? Vote NO on #GrahamCassidy
#ProtectOurCare Millions of Americans will lose health care. Vote NO on #GrahamCassidy. #SaveACA
#ProtectOurCare Eliminating #ACA core protections 4 ppl w/preexisting conditions is not healthcare. Vote No on #GrahamCassidy
Millions of seniors, ppl w disabilities, children will lose #Medicaid. #ProtectOurCare. Vote No on #GrahamCassidy
States will lose money as a result of #GrahamCassidy. Vote No to #ProtectOurCare #SaveMedicaid
#GrahamCassidy is a terrible attack on women’s reproductive health and rights. #ProtectOurCare. Vote No; #SaveACA email@example.com
#GrahamCassidy guts #Medicaid, eliminates protection for ppl w #HIV, and defunds #PlannedParenthood. Vote No! #ProtectOurCare
#GrahamCassidy will decimate services for low-income #women and women of color. #ProtectOurCare. Vote No. #HIVResists
Special Tweets for Murkowski & Collins, who opposed previous version of TrumpCare but have not committed yet to oppose #GrahamCassidy.@SenatorCollins we appreciate your support and are counting on you to Vote No on #GrahamCassidy. #ProtectOurCare and #womenshealth We got your back.
.@lisamurkowski we appreciate your support and are counting on you to Vote No on #GrahamCassidy. #ProtectOurCare and #womenshealth. We got your back.
#Women are depending on you to #ProtectOurCare & stand up against #GrahamCassidy. Are you with us? @SenatorCollins
#Women are depending on you to #ProtectOurCare & stand up against #GrahamCassidy. Are you with us? @lisamurkowski