Senate to Vote This Week on New, Drastic Healthcare Bill
This week the Senate will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would deeply cut Medicaid funding and publicly funded family planning services, among other things. The bill, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” was developed behind closed doors by a small group of (male) Republican Senators and received no public input. The Senate released the draft bill on Thursday, June 22, and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote this week, giving far too little time for the public and the full Senate to review it.
It would deny tens of millions of low-income people across the country access to affordable health care coverage by phasing out Medicaid expansion and ending the Medicaid program as we know it. The Senate bill would cut off federal Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for one year. About half of Planned Parenthood patients are on Medicaid. In addition to the threat of many of those patients losing their health care coverage, the Medicaid funding is also crucial for reimbursing clinics for contraception, cancer screenings, and other preventative health care services. Blocking patient access to care and discriminating against family planning providers will severely compromise the health and well-being of millions and lead to increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies, and life-threatening issues such as cervical cancer.
Our call to action is simple, direct and vitally important: our Arizona senators, and senators elected to serve Americans in every state, need to do what is right for their constituents and reject this harmful proposal. Tell your senators to oppose this bill. Ask them to demand a transparent and public process when creating legislation that affects the health of all Americans. According to The Washington Post, as of Sunday, June 25, neither Senator Flake nor Senator McCain had made their views clear about the bill. Contacting them to express your concerns has the potential to make a difference.
To contact Senator John McCain, call (202) 224-2235 or visit www.mccain.senate.gov.
To contact Senator Jeff Flake, call (202) 224-4521 or visit www.flake.senate.gov.
– Erica Freese, MPH student intern