Tell Our Senators to Protect Medicaid Against Funding Threats – URGENT!

September 19, 2017

This past summer, we called on you to rally against proposed cuts to Medicaid contained in the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—those efforts paid off as three Republican Senators broke party lines and voted against the harmful legislation.  Unfortunately, those in the Senate who oppose Medicaid believe they now have the votes and a narrow window to act in less than two weeks to block grant and impose devastating cuts on Medicaid. Last week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) unveiled another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cap/block grant Medicaid, and terminate the state Medicaid expansion. The legislation termed “Graham-Cassidy” has earned significant public exposure and possible momentum to secure the necessary 51 votes in the Senate. Please reach out to our Senators now and urge them to oppose this legislation as it will impose deep cuts to Medicaid.
The Graham-Cassidy plan would:
  • Radically restructure federal Medicaid financing by converting Medicaid to a block grant/per capita cap model, imposing deep cuts to the program;
  • Cause millions of people to lose coverage by phasing out the state Medicaid expansion by 2026 and, in the interim, impose a temporary smaller block grant to cover state Medicaid expansions; and
  • Allow states to weaken or eliminate protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
​​​​​​​Time is of the essence. The FY 2017 budget reconciliation bill allows Senate Republicans to pass an ACA repeal bill with only 51 votes, but this vehicle expires at the end of this month. Senate leadership, therefore, only has until September 30th to pass the bill. Recent reports suggest they are close.
NOW is the time to ask our Senators to oppose the Graham-Cassidy proposal because it threatens Medicaid funding.
Contact both Senators either by phone or through their web pages, and use the talking points below.
Senator Toomey at (202) 224-4254, www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact
Senator Casey at (202) 224-6324, www.casey.senate.gov/contact/
Talking Points
  • As your constituent, I’m calling to urge Senator Casey/Toomey to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill that threatens Medicaid funding.
  • Medicaid is an incredibly important lifeline for the most vulnerable members of our communities.
  • This bill proposes to convert Medicaid to a per capita cap/block grant and end the state Medicaid expansion, which will dramatically cut the program and adversely affect our local agencies’ ability to carry out their missions. States and philanthropies, such as Jewish federations, simply will not be able to make up the losses from these steep cuts.
  • Advancing this bill forward in less than two weeks, without independent analysis and understanding of its effects across the nation and on each state, is unacceptable.
  • Before voting on this bill, we need to understand the legislation’s ramifications for millions of people in our state.
  • Congress should work instead in a bipartisan, thoughtful, and open process towards reform that maintains coverage and does not threaten the federal commitment to Medicaid.
For more detailed information on these issues, please read the JFNA briefer on threats to Medicaid funding.
Thank you for being a partner in this important work.
Abbey Frank
Assistant Director, JCRC
Robin Schatz
Director, Government Affairs
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Abbey Frank, Assistant Director, JCRC
Phone: 215.832.0553