D-Day for the passage of the republican (AHCA) healthcare bill by the US Senate, is set for just before July 4, 2017. This is not a bill that this country wants for its birthday celebration gift. Talk about, “bah-humbug!
By now, most of us, as part of the resistance have heard that for almost two months, 13 republican senators (no women or Black members welcomed) have been working on a SECRET health care bill, based mostly on the AHCA Bill passed by the US House of Representatives and which only 17% of the public favored. Even their fellow republican senate colleagues would have you believe that they are also in the dark about the contents of this bill.
Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the 13 architects/ senators of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — also known as Trumpcare —have yet to release a text of its work product, though some reports state that they plan to release it on Thursday, June 22, 2017, with the goal of pushing through a vote as the session ends on July 4.
As per the May 8, 2017 New York Times report by Robert Pear, “The Republicans’ working group includes Mr. McConnell and three other members of the Republican leadership: John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip; John Thune of South Dakota, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; and John Barrasso of Wyoming, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, who has been a point man for the party on health care.”
The group includes three committee chairmen: Mr. (Orrin G.) Hatch; Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate health committee; and Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, the head of the Budget Committee.”
“The other senators in the Republican working group are from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act: Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Rob Portman of Ohio and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.”
The other two participating senators are Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah.
On background: This bill being formatted in secret within a 2 month time frame before passage, compares to Obamacare (ACA Affordable Care Act), before passage in 2009, which was subject to over 50 Senate Finance Committee meetings, more than 47 Senate HELP Committee Meetings, hundreds of mark-ups and amendments (many from republicans), a six-day public mark-up period, and 25 consecutive days to legislate before its final passage which was almost a two year process. It was one of the longest consecutive sessions for a single bill in Senate history.
The republican senators are arguing that they have to honor their commitments made over 7 years to repeal/ replace Obamacare to their voters. But this should mean that they would feel obligated to fulfill the entire promise to their constituents which included increased better healthcare insurance coverage access to more peoples at a lower cost and not just the repeal part.
The 4 key points about Trumpcare to remember are: 1.) That up to twenty million Americans will be denied coverage that was previously available to them under Obamacare; 2.) That as per AARP.org,, the Medicaid health program for the poor will suffer severe cuts to the tune of $800 billion dollars by 2026 and 3.) That the main goal of Trumpcare by republicans is to create tax savings for the wealthy worth billions of dollars as a precursor to a tax reform bill; 4.) That Obamacare is not failing despite republicans’ assertions claiming otherwise and all of the republican lawmakers’ many attempts to sabotage and kill it. BUT IT DOES NEED FIXING, which is what the vast majority of Americans want.
Other key provisions which were part of the AHCA House bill are that it would cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood for a year as well as prohibiting the use of federal tax credits to buy insurance that includes coverage of abortion. It would also allow states to seek waivers of provisions of the (ACA) Affordable Care Act that require insurers to cover maternity care and pre-existing conditions.
We All need to start blitz calling / contacting THESE GENTLEMEN via tweets, emails, postcards, personal visits to lawmaker offices of at least all the 13 senators working on this AHCA Act. This is the time for some ad-hoc ANTI-AHCA protests. Then we can call the remaining republican senators.
Here are some quick talking points to use when contacting the senators as suggested by a fellow blogger, Keith of Musingsofanoldfart.com:
-“This issue is too important and complex to be done in secret over 2 months by 13 white men; it required deliberate thought with factual information.
– the ACA is working reasonably well but needs improvements.
– it is disappointing that the ACA has been sabotaged by holding back promised payments to insurers that caused even higher premiums.
– this bill will lead to the loss of coverage for millions of Americans.”
The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE. or U.S. Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress