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Daily Actions: Bury the Senate GOP in Healthcare Calls & Amendments


Our Amendments: www.ouramendments.org
TrumpCare Ten: www.trumpcareten.org

CONTACT:
Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee: (202) 224-4944
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia: (202) 224-6472
Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana: (202) 224-5824
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine: (202) 224-2523
Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee: (202) 224-3344
Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas: (202) 224-2353
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas: (202) 224-5922
Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona: (202) 224-4521
Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado: (202) 224-5941
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina: (202) 224-5972
Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada: (202) 224-6244
Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin: (202) 224-5323
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska: (202) 224-6665
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky: (202) 224-4343
Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio: (202) 224-3353
Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina: (202) 224-6121
Sen. Dan Sullivan, Alaska: (202) 224-3004
Sen. John Thune, South Dakota: (202) 224-2321
Sen. Patrick Toomey, Pennsylvania: (202) 224-4254

Sample Script:
Hello! My name is _______, and I am calling from __________, California. I'm calling to ask the senator to vote against the American Health Care Act. It will take health coverage away from more than 20 million Americans, including hundreds of thousands in the senator's state. It will make real coverage unaffordable for millions more, by allowing insurers to charge extra for people with pre-existing conditions and by ending the Medicaid expansion. And it will do all of this in the name of providing massive tax cuts to the wealthiest few Americans. The entire bill is a mean-spirited disgrace!  [Tell your healthcare story here -- how you or your family stands to suffer under the AHCA, how the Affordable Care Act benefitted you, your family's healthcare needs, etc.] My family's health depends on the senator voting against this bill. This issue is extremely important to me, and like all Americans, I will be watching closely to see what the senator does in the next week. Thank you!


BACKGROUND
Now that Republicans have finally released a draft of their heretofore-secret "repeal and replace" healthcare bill, its catastrophic impact on Americans' lives is coming into focus -- and we have just one week to stop it from passing. On Monday we called our senators and asked them to participate in stopping Trumpcare by any means necessary -- including withholding consent on all Republican attempts to move forward with Senate business, and slowing the bill's progress to a crawl by offering hundreds, if not thousands, of amendments.

Now it's time for us to pull out all the stops ourselves, and begin calling Republican senators in other states! Traditionally, our Daily Actions recognize that the most effective use of activists' time is to contact our own elected officials, not those in other states or districts. However, with Republicans having betrayed every political norm in their construction and advancement of a bill that would take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans, it is time to show elected Republicans that Americans everywhere oppose their efforts.

Meanwhile, in order to help Senate Democrats bury Republicans in an avalanche of amendments to the bill, Indivisible has launched a new internet app called Our Amendments. It allows users to contribute to the process of crafting those amendments. By offering your own healthcare stories in one or more categories -- Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, etc. -- you can have your concerns turned into amendments that will be sent to our senators. 

Instead of offering our own rehash of what's in the newly released Senate draft, we'll allow someone else to lay out the issues and the stakes -- President Barack Obama, as he wrote in a Facebook note yesterday: 

"Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

"I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

"We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

"Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

"And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

"We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

"At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

"That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

"But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

"Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

"I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

"To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

"That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

"After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for."