Los Angeles Vanguard Weekly Blog

Last-Ditch GOP Senate Bill Would Deprive Millions of Healthcare: Action Needed

Those who celebrated the narrow and dramatic defeat of Trumpcare earlier this summer may have celebrated a bit too early.

A growing group of GOP senators, led by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, are pledging support for a horrific new bill that is strongly opposed by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, particularly because of its hugely disproportionate and devastating impact on people living with HIV and LGBT people.

The many other groups that oppose the bill include the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, Planned Parenthood, and AARP.

The Center is calling on people everywhere to urge three key Republican senators who are likely to determine the fate of the bill, to oppose it.  Those senators are: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona. Without their support before Sept. 30, the bill is unlikely to get the 50 votes necessary to advance to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This heartless new effort is shockingly worse than the Senate’s last failed proposal,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings. “Desperate to fulfill their ‘repeal and replace’ campaign promise, the GOP seems willing to take away healthcare from millions of people, resulting in countless deaths, to help pay for a tax break that will be of greatest benefit to corporations and the very wealthy.” 

“President Trump promised a replacement of the Affordable Care Act that would make healthcare available to everyone, that would cost less, and would cover more--a system everyone would love,” added Cummings. “This latest, cruel proposal is just the opposite.”

The Graham-Cassidy bill would have a hugely disproportionate and devastating impact on people living with HIV and LGBT people because they’re more likely to live in poverty, particularly: women, people of color, youth, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, and transgender people.

Like earlier proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, this bill would also gut Medicaid—the health care program for seniors, people with disabilities, and those earning below a living wage—by approximately $1 trillion. About half of the clients that come to the Center for health services depend on Medicaid to receive services that they could otherwise not afford.

Here are the contact numbers for the three key senators:

Senator Lisa Murkowski’s phone number is: 202-224-6665

Senator Susan Collin’s phone number is: 202-224-2523

Senator John McCain’s phone number is: 202-224-2235

A sample script for callers is: "Hello, 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, women and underserved communities.

"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."

 

Published September 18, 2017

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