The People’s Filibuster to Stop #Trumpcare
Chanting “Cruz care is fake insurance!”, “Stand up! Fight back!”, and “Shame!”, hundreds of opponents of the Senate health care legislation rallied near the U.S. Capitol Monday. The “People’s Filibuster to Stop #Trumpcare” was organized by MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, SEIU and the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
The crowd first heard from the “little lobbyists” – children with serious health conditions and their parents, who have been visiting congressional offices for days. Their determination to preserve their children’s health care was a clear reminder of what is threatened by the health care repeal bill being negotiated in the Senate.
CHN Executive Director Deborah Weinstein was among the speakers:
“It is an outrage that Congress would even consider taking health insurance away from more than 20 million people. It is astounding that the proposal before the Senate would recklessly damage Medicaid – harshly weakening its capacity to respond to need. None of us are fooled, and certainly no Senator should be fooled – shrinking Medicaid by a quarter or a third over the next 10 or 20 years is a grossly irresponsible act that will hurt our communities, our disabled, our seniors, and our children. That is more than an embarrassment – it is a shame. Ending the expansion of Medicaid, right away or over a few more years, is a grossly irresponsible act that will weaken our states’ response to the opioid epidemic when we should be strengthening it. That is worse than an embarrassment – it’s a shame. And going back to the time when people with pre-existing conditions can’t afford insurance and others are conned into buying junk insurance – that’s a shame.
“As citizens, we are telling Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan, and all of Congress: do what’s right – put a stop to this reckless bill. It cannot be fixed. All over the nation, your constituents, with pride and determination, are demanding that you protect our care. This bill will deny care to millions – and that would be an unforgivable shame.”
Action against the Senate legislation continues Tuesday with visits to congressional offices by the group Indivisible, and protests, rallies and teach-ins Wednesday by the American Federation of Teachers and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
The protests come as a new analysis released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the new version of the Senate legislation – like the previous version – would essentially end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion in the 31 states and Washington, D.C. that adopted it, causing millions to be uninsured. That’s because under the current law, the federal government pays 95 percent of the cost of covering expansion adults this year, phasing down to 90 percent by 2020 and each year thereafter. Starting in 2021, the Senate bill increasingly would cut the expansion matching rate each year until it falls to the state’s regular matching rate (which averages 57 percent across all states) in 2024.
This means states would have to spend 2.8 to 5 times more of their own funds by 2024 to maintain their expansions – an additional expense states would be hard-pressed to meet, even if they have the political will to do so.
You can read CBPP’s analysis here.
Between the end to the expansion and the constricting caps placed on the basic Medicaid program, Medicaid would be cut by between one-quarter and one-third over the next 20 years, depending on the final bill. Activists at the People’s Filibuster and around the country are saying “no.”