Progressive groups and lawmakers continued to mobilize on Tuesday in response to Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to cut off millions of Americans from healthcare by dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Following “red alerts” issued after weekend reports revealed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering a vote for a new bill crafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that’s been called “Trumpcare by another name,” several groups planned a Tuesday afternoon rally at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a video late Monday denouncing Senate Republicans’ renewed efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.
Characterizing the Graham-Cassidy bill as “cruel and heartless,” she said: “We can’t allow a few Republicans burn down healthcare in America while they think no one is watching. We have millions of Americans on our side, and we will not sit down and shut up.”
In addition to drastically cutting funds for Medicaid, the Graham-Cassidy bill would revoke the ACA’s mandate that all Americans carry healthcare coverage or pay a fine, which helps keep premiums affordable. It would also rescind the ACA’s requirement that large employers offer health insurance plans.
As Common Dreams reported Monday, a recent analysis, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found the bill would also “gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” and “cause many millions of people to lose coverage.” The CBPP concluded that by 2027, the Graham-Cassidy plan “would be virtually identical to a repeal-without-replace bill.”
Senate Republicans are working on a tight deadline; they only have until September 30 to pass the bill by a simple majority, or 50 votes. That time crunch means the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will not be able to fully score the proposal ahead of a vote. In other words, as Politico reported, “they’ll be flying blind—not knowing the impact their plan will have on insurance coverage or premium costs,” relying soley on a “bare-bones assessment” from CBO.
This revelation alarmed critics, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who on Tuesday tweeted:
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT