Two new reports released today show the shocking impact of the Graham-Cassidy bill, the newest version of Trumpcare. Independent analysis from Avalere finds that Graham-Cassidy represents a $4 trillion cut in federal spending for health care over twenty years. Senior Vice President of Avalere, Caroline Pearson, noted that these cuts would limit the ability of states to “subsidize coverage for low- and middle-income individuals.” Shortly after the Avalere report was released, the Center for American Progress published an analysis of how many people would lose coverage under Graham-Cassidy. The results of the analysis are devastating. Thirty-two million people would lose coverage by 2027, including over 1.2 million people in Georgia and 3.2 million people in Florida.
Despite these analyses, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, Senator Bill Cassidy, has been making rounds on the morning talk shows, arguing his bill would actually increase coverage. His comments are dangerously untrue. Cassidy, seemingly misunderstanding how population is distributed in this country, told Breitbart that under his plan, “No longer will four blue states get 40 percent of the money.” He added that “A state like Mississippi, they get a 900 percent increase. South Carolina gets 300 percent.” While it would be wonderful if all states could see an increase in healthcare funding, this is not Cassidy’s intention at all. In fact, in the short-term, his plan unabashedly takes money away from blue states (the most populated) and redistributes it to red states. This is a shameless attempt by the GOP Senator to punish the states that had the good sense to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help save the lives of low-income people in their states. While this plan may be appealing to those in red states such as Mississippi and South Carolina, figures from the Avalere report on the impact of this bill show that every single state will lose money in the long-run – a fact that Senator Cassidy wouldn’t like red state residents to know.
Fighting the numerous versions of Trumpcare can be exhausting—but there’s too much at stake to stay quiet. Andy Slavitt, one of the nation’s leading health care experts, said that when he gets tired, he remembers the people whose lives are at risk under these horrible proposals. To hear all of his comments on this fight, check out this Periscope.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ProtectOurCare. This new Trumpcare bill is not a drill. We must take action immediately, and make our voices loud to let Congress know that this is unacceptable. Use our toolkit today to reach out to key members of Congress! Share the graphic below. Then, go to ResistanceNearMe.org to learn about #ProtectOurCare local rallies happening in your city.
Mexico. Another natural disaster has struck, and this time it was an earthquake, affecting the areas in and around Mexico City. Over 216 people are dead, and the number continues rising, as search and rescue teams continue to sort through the debris and chaos caused by the massive 7.1-magnitude earthquake. For ways to help, check out the Huffington Post’s guide here or Mashable’s guide here.
VA Debate. Last night, Democrat Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie faced off in the second debate in the Virginia gubernatorial general election. Areas of discussion included Confederate monuments, healthcare, the metro, and Donald Trump. Though Gillespie claimed that he did not specifically support the new Senate Trumpcare bill, he did indicate that he would like to see the ACA repealed and replaced. The candidates also differed on their views of Confederate monuments, with Gillespie predictably supporting keeping them up for “historic” reasons. When asked if he would like Trump to come to Virginia and host a rally on his behalf, Gillespie responded, “I’ll take help from anyone, anywhere.” This stance is not surprising, because so will Trump – especially from Russia. Though the debate covered a variety of topics, many were disappointed that no questions addressed the issue of abortion, especially given Gillespie’s hardline stance against it.
Election Security. Earlier this week, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act—but one key amendment was missing. The Klobuchar-Graham amendment would have provided funding for taking key steps to secure our state and local election systems. The need for such measures was on center stage in the 2016 presidential election, when Russia interfered with our elections. How much would fully securing our election systems cost? Between $400 million and $1.2 billion, or the cost of one military plane.
Dream Act. A new report from the Center for American Progress shows that passing the Dream Act is critical not only for moral reasons, but also economic ones. Placing all immediately eligible Dreamers in the workforce on a path to legal status will add at least $281 billion to the U.S. GDP over the next decade. But that number skyrockets to $1 trillion if everyone ever who could one day be eligible for the Dream Act is put on a pathway to citizenship, as higher education gains increase and they have a chance to participate fully in the economy. These increases in GDP help everyone, and the average American would see their income rise by $82 to $273 annually. The bottom line? Making a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants doesn’t only improve their lives—it improves the overall economy and our communities. Head to DreamActToolkit.org to make your voice heard and to stand up for Dreamers.
Bills, Bills, Bills. Yesterday, Reuters broke the news that President Trump is not using his own money to pay for legal defense in the Russia probe. Instead, he’s using campaign and RNC funds. Although legal under federal election law, “Trump would be the first U.S. president in the modern campaign finance era to use such funds to cover the costs of responding to a criminal probe,” according to legal experts. But these funds aren’t coming from RNC small donor donations. This money is straight from a separate RNC fund fueled by some of the wealthiest people in America, including “investment magnate Charles Schwab, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, and Richard Kayne, the largest investor in energy pipelines in the United States.”
Graham-Cassidy. Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the co-sponsors of the Graham-Cassidy bill, claimed on TV this morning that the bill would actually increase the number of insured people in the U.S. and protect those with pre-existing conditions. But this is simply untrue. There is a huge increase in premiums for those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and asthma. And, like other versions of Trumpcare, it is expected that over 32 million people will lose coverage under this new system. Disagreements in policy are one thing—but lying about the content and effects of a bill is both irresponsible and dangerous.
UNDER THE RADAR
Sneaky Senate. While we are all rightfully distracted by the impending healthcare vote, Senate Republicans on Tuesday night reportedly reached a tentative agreement on a tax cut bill. Senator Bob Corker, a member of the Budget Committee and a self-proclaimed deficit hawk, agreed with Senator Pat Toomey on a resolution that would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Corker said that he would not give specific numbers for the tax cuts until he had spoken to more members of the committee. But it seems as though the GOP has abandoned their longtime mantra of fiscal responsibility and aversion to budget deficits in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy that would increase the government’s debt.