Oppostion to Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Grows; Keep up the Pressure

Yesterday, September 25, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), announced that she formaly opposes the Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill, legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and would dismantle Medicaid.  Collins joined Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) as the second Republican to publicly oppose the legislation. The two Republican votes, along with the 48 Democrats, are nearly enough to defeat the problematic legislation.  Though media reports that Senator Rand Paul (Republican-Kentucky) also will vote against the Graham-Cassidy Legislation, disability policy analysts in Washington, DC urge not to stop putting on the pressure to defeat the bill.  Paul has a record of announcing opposition, but then voting in support of legislation.  Earlier this year, Paul claimed he was not in support of previous versions of healthcare repeal legislation, but ended up voting in support of the legislation.

Senator Collins announced opposition to the Graham-Cassidy Bill just after the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the legislation. According to the analysis, millions of people in the United States would lose healthcare coverage by the year 2026 is the bill is inacted.  According to an
article by the Center for American Progress , 1.4 million people with disabilities would lose Medicaid supports under the law. Additionally, more than five million people would lose protections against discrimination from insurance companies based upon pre-existing conditions.

Because the consequences of the Graham-Cassidy Legislation are so extreme, it is vital for advocates around the country to continue to make phone calls, send emails, and post on social media, in opposition to the bill. 

Yesterday, National ADAPT was in Washington, DC, and brought the message of opposition directly to the Senate Finance Committee, which was holding a hearing on Graham-Cassidy.  Hundreds of disability advocates waited in line for hours in order to attend the hearing and to protest the failure of Senate Leadership to craft legislation that strengthens healthcare and supports that allow people to live independently.  Though ADAPT members were in line hours before the start of the hearing, only a few wheelchair users were allowed to enter the hearing room. Amidst the protests, more than 100 ADAPT members were arrested. 

Here is coverage of yesterday's healthcare protests from Esquire Magazine (
Click here for article ).  The article includes reporting from a journalist named Jeff Stein, of Vox news, who has been covering healthcare throughout the year. In the article, Stein writes, "the sight of agents of the state removing disabled people in this manner is disturbing, particularly because in some cases these are American citizens fighting for their lives."

Advocates are in Washington, DC again today.  From 11:30 a.m. Eastern until Noon, there is a disability news conference with Senators Casey, Wyden, Stebenow, Duckworth, and Hassan. 
Click here for information .

At 3 p.m. Eastern, there is a "Speakout to Stop Graham-Cassidy" Rally at "Area 9" of the Capitol Grounds. 
Click here for information .

Meanwhile, please keep up the pressure. Make calls, send emails, and post on social media.  We told to especially focus on Senators Murkowski (Alaska) and Capito (West Virginia).  If you have friends or family in Alaska or West Virginia, urge them to make contact with the Senators.

Senator Murkowski

@lisamurkowski· Twitter
https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/contact/email : Email

Senator Capito

@SenCapito · Twitter
https://www.capito.senate.gov/contact/contact-shelley-- Contact