Republican Senators last week unveiled their new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Cassidy-Graham bill, named for key authors Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), recycles much of their previous repeal attempts, along with introducing new cuts to benefits. Recent ACA repeal efforts have failed thanks to grassroots advocacy, with consumers standing up to advocate and forcing the bills’ defeat.
Here’s a snapshot of what Cassidy-Graham would mean for Pennsylvania:
• Cuts $850 million from Pennsylvania Medicaid funding over the next 10 years.
• Eliminates Medicaid Expansion, causing over 700K poor adults to lose coverage.
• Cuts and caps ACA tax credits, cutting financial help for the over 77% of Pennsylvania Marketplace enrollees who receive tax credits
• Ends ACA Cost-Sharing Reductions, which make coverage affordable for over 55% of Pennsylvania enrollees.
• Threatens ACA consumer protections like the bans on pre-existing conditions and lifetime coverage limits by allowing states to opt-out. With PA’s Republican-majority legislature, this is an imminent threat.
Cassidy-Graham doubles down on cuts.
Not only would it permanently slash Medicaid funding, but also it would cut and limit ACA tax credits that help families afford to purchase insurance. Nationwide, 85% of ACA enrollees rely on these credits and couldn’t afford coverage without them. The bill would totally eliminate Cost-Sharing Reductions, discounts on out-of-pocket expenses that allow the lowest-income Americans to actually use their insurance by lowering deductibles and copays. Read more about the details of these cuts here.
A group of 16 patient associations released a co-signed statement on Monday opposing the Cassidy-Graham bill, saying, “much of the proposal just repackages the problematic provisions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which we opposed.” Co-signed groups included the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and the March of Dimes.
Consumer outcry has saved the ACA before. We can do it again!
In order to repeal the ACA and institute these cuts through the simple budget reconciliation process, which only requires 51 votes, the Senate must pass the bill by September 30.
Make your voice heard!
• Call your Senators and tell them they must VOTE NO on Cassidy-Graham: 1-866-426-2631. Phones in their local offices and in their D.C. offices should be ringing off the hook!
• Schedule an in-person meeting with your Senator’s staff. Here are some additional Talking Points to highlight about how the bill would be devastating.
• Write a letter to the editor to encourage your entire community to speak out. Find our tips here.
About the Author
Cassie Narkevic is a Health Care Navigator at Consumer Health Coalition.