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Daily Action: Republicans Playing Russian Roulette with Healthcare

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia: (202) 224-6472
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine: (202) 224-2523
Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada: (202) 224-6244
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska: (202) 224-6665
Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio: (202) 224-3353

Sample script:
Hello! I'm calling to thank the Senator for courageously standing with Americans like me who need healthcare coverage, rather than playing politics with our lives. I know the pressure is building from the Republican leadership to vote with her/his colleagues, but I'd like to urge the Senator to remain firm, and know that millions of us -- from all points on the political spectrum -- stand with her/him. I also hope the Senator will refocus on working in bipartisan fashion to fix the ACA's problems, so that Americans can truly have better and more affordable health coverage. Thank you!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that a vote might come as early as Tuesday on whether to begin debating the Republicans' plans for repealing -- and maybe replacing -- the Affordable Care Act. What McConnell HASN'T said is precisely which bill will be brought to a vote: the House bill that passed in May; the first, second or third draft of the Senate's own bill; or the repeal-only bill that was proposed, then seemingly dropped, within 24 hours early last week.

Most likely, the House bill will be introduced, and then a flurry of amendments offered by senators of both parties will attempt to reshape it based on individual senators' priorities: Ted Cruz's notion of restoring the cheap, worthless insurance policies that were banished by the ACA; increased funding for opioid-addiction treatments; etc.

All of this will happen without sufficient public understanding of the bill, and without a CBO score as it is being amended. Meanwhile, this weekend the Senate's parliamentarian called into question whether various Republican proposals, such as defunding Planned Parenthood, can be included in the legislation while requiring only a 51-vote majority via "reconciliation" rules.

Still, the key to these efforts will remain the five moderate Republican senators who have rebelled against one or another version of Trumpcare. With Sen. John McCain away from Washington, two defections will be enough to end the bill's chances. Therefore, providing these senators with overwhelming public support, encouraging them to stick with their instincts, is critically important over the coming days.