The Senate is trying to do what the House of Representatives did in May: jam through its TrumpCare bill in secrecy, without public hearings, without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, and without knowing its full impact on American families.
TrumpCare bill (American Health Care Act, or AHCA) would strip coverage from at least 23 million people and cut Medicaid by $800 billion, in order to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. It would also undermine critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, defund Planned Parenthood, and raise premiums for American families.
The next few weeks will be critical. Call or visit your two Senators and urge them to reject any bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Tell them to vote NO on TrumpCare. Try to incorporate a personal story if possible.
SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE
Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know Senator ______’s position on TrumpCare (the American Health Care Act)?
OPTION 1: SUPPORTS / DODGES / HAS NO POSITION
Staffer: Thank you for calling. Senator ______ supports AHCA / hasn’t made up their mind yet.
Caller: That’s terrible. I’m very disappointed to hear that. This bill would take away health care from millions of Americans, including [X: see data here] in our State, cut the Medicaid program, increase premiums and allow states to get rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. All that to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy. This is unacceptable to me.
[I/my family member] [am/is] at risk of losing [my/his/her] insurance. [I/ my family member] [have/has] a pre-existing condition that before the ACA could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against [me/them]. [My/their] health depends on Senator ______ voting against the American Health Care Act.
Staffer: The Senate version of the bill will not be the same as the one that passed the House. The Senator will make sure that Americans are protected.
Caller: That is not true at all. It does not matter which version passes if the effects are the same or similar. As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that...
- ...no one will lose coverage as a result of this bill?
- ...there will be no cuts to the Medicaid program?
- ...Senator _______ won’t vote for ANY bill unless it has received a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)?
Staffer: Obamacare is collapsing. The Senator has a responsibility to act to protect Americans from the disastrous ACA.
Caller: The health insurance market created by the ACA is healthy and stable, even with seven years’ worth of Republican efforts to undermine it. Despite lies from Trump, experts agree that there is no risk of it collapsing unless the Trump Administration actively sabotages it.
[For Medicaid expansion states]
Caller: Expanding Medicaid in our state has helped [X: see data here] people who get coverage. Will Senator ______ commit to keeping the Medicaid expansion in place?
Staffer: Senator ______ cares deeply about Medicaid and won’t vote for any bill that cuts people off of Medicaid. The bill currently being discussed would provide a long phase-out period to make sure that no one loses their coverage immediately.
Caller: That is not good enough. A phase-out period still means that millions will lose their coverage. If the Medicaid expansion is helping people, why eliminate or phase it out at all? Why not keep it in place? Is it to pay for tax cuts that will primarily benefit the 1 percent and profitable corporations?
Will the Senator commit to opposing any legislation that phases out the Medicaid expansion while also cutting taxes on unearned income for the wealthy, and on profitable health insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and medical device makers?
Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to Senator ______.
Caller: Please do. This is extremely important to me and I will be watching closely. Thank you for your time.
[If dodges/ undecided]: Please take down my contact information to let me know when Senator ______ has made up his/her mind. I’m eager to hear what he/she decides.