Tell Your Senators to Vote "No" on the Cassidy/Graham Health Reform Proposal

9/22/2017

This rush to act on health care reform before a key senate deadline threatens access for emergency patients and coverage for emergency care.

We need Congress to start over and work with physicians and patients to develop bipartisan solutions.

Here’s what we know:
• In late July, disputes over how to treat Medicaid — coupled with dissension over how much to regulate insurers and retain the ACA's consumer protections — ultimately brought down versions of a Senate bill to repeal and replace the ACA.

• Next week the Senate will hold a hearing and possibly a vote on the Cassidy-Graham proposal.

• This bill is a final attempt by Senate Republicans to enact repeal and replace legislation before September 30, when budget reconciliation rules that allow them to pass repeal with only 50 votes, instead of the usual 60, expire.

• The Cassidy-Graham replacement proposal was not developed with stakeholder input, has not been reviewed by the relevant Senate healthcare committees, and has not been considered under regular order in the Senate.

• This proposal is even worse for emergency patients than the AHCA and BCRA which ACEP opposed.

• States could obtain waivers that would allow them to opt out of the law’s “essential health benefits,” which include coverage for emergency medical services, and other consumer protections such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. It would result in tens of millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage through drastic cuts to the Medicaid program, destabilization of health insurance markets, and decreased access to affordable coverage and care.

• The proposal directly challenges many of ACEP’s health care reform principles established at the start of the 115th Congress’ health care reform debate, and would result in devastating consequences for emergency medicine patients.

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ACEP acknowledges there are flaws in the ACA and we would like to see those rectified by Congress. However, the Cassidy/Graham proposal is not the answer. We need Congress to start over and work in a bi-partisan, bicameral way with physicians and patients to develop solutions that will improve health care and coverage for all Americans.

ACEP appreciates your action throughout Congress' consideration of health care reform. Your voice as an emergency physician is critical and has been heard on Capitol Hill.

Therefore, we’re asking you to fight against a flawed repeal proposal for one last time -- contact your U.S. Senators to urge them to vote “NO” on Cassidy/Graham