Graham-Cassidy Doesn’t Have a Full CBO Score

Graham-Cassidy got an update over the weekend, and it’s even worse than before. 107,000 Alaskans 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. 10,000 Alaskans relying on the ACA for treatment for opioid abuse could lose the care they need. Mitch McConnell wants to rush this bill through without a CBO estimate for how much it will reduce coverage and increase premiums, but we already know enough to say it would be terrible.

18% of Alaskans are covered by Medicaid or CHIP, and Graham-Cassidy destroys Medicaid as we know it. It ends the Medicaid expansion in Alaska and every other state that chose to expand, and then caps traditional Medicaid in a way that will leave many Alaskans without a way to get the care they need. This would decimate Alaska’s rural hospitals.

Mitch McConnell is trying to bribe Senator Murkowski with a new slush fund, but the slush fund isn’t enough to make up for the bill’s devastating cuts. Senator Murkowski should reject Graham-Cassidy—with or without the Polar Payoff—and stand with Alaskans that rely on Medicaid.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

Caller: Hello! My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how Senator Murkowski 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 Murkowski will oppose Graham-Cassidy. The bill has not gone through regular order, as she has called for repeatedly. And now Senators Graham and Cassidy circulated a new version of the bill, giving Senator Murkowski and others almost no time to review it and no time for the CBO to estimate how it will impact premiums and coverage levels.

Staffer: Senator Murkowski has serious concerns about the process and wants more information about how the bill affects Alaska.

Caller: What we know of the bill so far 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, which hurts states like ours that wisely chose to expand. 18% of Alaskans 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. The bill defunds Planned Parenthood, which Senator Murkowski says she opposes, and the slush fund intended to buy Senator Murkowski’s vote is wholly inadequate.

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

Caller: If that’s what the Senator wants to do, then she should publicly oppose Graham-Cassidy and instead work with her colleagues on the bipartisan process that had been underway in the HELP Committee.

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

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

AlaskaCaroline Kavit