Graham-Cassidy 2.0 Doesn’t Have a Full CBO Score

Graham-Cassidy got an update over the weekend, and it’s even worse than before. 753,000 Coloradans with pre-existing conditions would be hurt by this bill, because the new revised version of Graham-Cassidy allows insurance companies to discriminate without states even having to seek a waiver first. There’s no way for us to tell exactly how bad it will be, though, because the Republicans didn’t give the CBO time to estimate by how much premiums will increase, or how many people will lose coverage.

19% of Coloradans are covered by Medicaid or CHIP, and Graham-Cassidy destroys Medicaid as we know it. It caps traditional Medicaid in a way that will leave many Coloradans without a way to get the care they need, replacing it with an inadequate “block grant” that expires in 2026. This would be terrible for Colorado’s rural hospitals.

Senator Gardner should spend less time listening to his party’s donors, and more time focusing on how Graham-Cassidy will devastate Coloradans. Tell Senator Gardner to stand with Colorado instead of standing with Trump and McConnell.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

Caller: Hello! My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how Senator Gardner will vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill when it comes up for a vote?

Staffer: The Senator is still reviewing the text of the bill and hasn’t taken a position on it. There is no vote scheduled on that bill though.

Caller: I hope that Senator Gardner will oppose Graham-Cassidy. The bill will devastate protections for the 753,000 Coloradans with pre-existing conditions. And now Senators Graham and Cassidy circulated a new version of the bill, giving Senator Gardner and others almost no time to review it. Senator Gardner should insist that his colleagues wait for the CBO’s estimates on premium increases and coverage losses before they hold a vote.

Staffer: Senator Gardner is waiting to get more information before he decides how to vote on this bill. He wants to make sure he fully understands its impacts on Colorado before he commits either way.

Caller: We have enough information about how it will affect Colorado to say that it is terrible. The bill is just like other TrumpCare bills in that it radically transforms Medicaid into a cap system and ends the Medicaid expansion. 19% of Coloradans rely on Medicaid or CHIP and the so-called “block grants” proposed under Graham-Cassidy would be woefully inadequate to make up for the destruction of Medicaid as we know it. Plus it expires in 2026!

Staffer: Senator Gardner is committed to making sure that Coloradans have the affordable coverage they need.

Caller: If that’s what the Senator wants to do, then he should oppose Graham-Cassidy and instead work with his colleagues on the bipartisan process that had been underway under the leadership of Senator Alexander and Senator Murray.  

Staffer: I’ll let the Senator know your thoughts.

Caller: Yes, please do. I will be watching this vote closely and I expect Senator Gardner to oppose. Please take down my contact information so you can let me know what he decides to do.

ColoradoCaroline Kavit