TrumpCare By Another Name: “Graham-Cassidy”
The Senate Republicans have until the end of the fiscal year, September 30th, to push through ACA (Obamacare) repeal. As such, the GOP will be revealing the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would at the very least, gut Medicaid. Let's read through the likely approaches that the bill may take, then contact our MoC to make sure that they fix, not repeal, the ACA, and that they follow regular order to do.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT GRAHAM-CASSIDY
Graham-Cassidy is strikingly similar to earlier TrumpCare bills. While we have not seen final details, we know it still destroys Medicaid as we know it by fundamentally and permanently transforming the program into a per-capita cap.
Remember, limiting how much federal money states have to spend on Medicaid limits coverage, access, and states’ options when more people need coverage. For example, if we had a per-capita cap system now and Hurricane Harvey hit, Texas might be out of federal Medicaid money for the year. And they’d be out of luck if more people need Medicaid because of the hurricane damages.
The bill also still undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions and people who need treatment for opioid abuse by allowing states to waive essential health benefits.
TWO NEW BUT DAMAGING APPROACHES THIS BILL WOULD TAKE:
- Block Grants and Cuts the Federal Money Given to States
The proposal would take all of the money going out the door to help people afford and access insurance and bundle it into one “block grant” given to states. This “block grant” includes money for the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies while also deeply cutting the total amount of money. Then, it only allows the block grants to grow at 2%, a far slower growth rate than medical costs grow. And to top it all off, there is virtually no accountability for how this money is spent.
- Redistributes this block grant to favor red states that did not expand access and coverage for their residents by punishing states that did:
This provision is about politics not policy. Senator Cassidy himself said: “Let a blue state do a blue thing and a red state such as mine take a different, conservative approach.” This is not what would happen under his bill. Graham-Cassidy literally takes money from states that expanded Medicaid and gives it to states that did not. There are other factors in the Graham-Cassidy formula that then tilt the limited funds toward red states (such as distributing some of the block grant based on population density) in order to try to appease states like West Virginia whose Senators are key swing votes.
Make sure your Senators know you are paying attention and that TrumpCare 3.0 is not acceptable. Tell them you want them to commit to following “regular order” and working through the committee process as some Senators have started to do.
If you haven't already, try the Resist Bot. Text RESIST to 50409, and it will guide you through sending a fax to your representatives.
This CTA was drawn from Rogan's List 9/12 and Indivisible https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/trumpcare-another-name-graham-cassidy/ accessed (Sept 12, 2017)