If you pay any attention to national news, you have heard that Republican senators (specifically Graham and Cassidy) have introduced one last version of health care - to replace and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

The proposed bill cuts federal healthcare spending by $243,000,000,000!

The available funds will be sent to all 50 states, in the form of block grants. Individual states will determine what their states’ health care offerings look like:

Pre-existing conditions might or might not be covered. If they are included, the costs will rise dramatically, as in the thousands of dollars for insurance for people diagnosed with cancer.

Essential health benefits could be cut; i.e., a state could decide whether to cover prescriptions, whether to cover maternity care, whether to cover pediatric visits.

And most significantly, Medicaid (Medical in California) will be cut drastically. California will lose approximately $75 billion in funding!

Let’s say you have a senior citizen in your family, who resides in assisted living, or in an Alzheimer’s care facility, and who gets her “rent” paid via Medical…that funding source will soon be depleted and Grandma will be kicked to the street. Or her family will have to pony up the funding to keep her in the residence. Or Grandma will move in with her family…

We in California are fortunate to have two Democratic senators who will vote against this heinous bill – if it does indeed come up for a vote next week.

But there are at least six Republican senators who might be persuaded to also vote no on the bill. YOU can, and should!, call them to ask them to vote no. Included below is a list of their names and two telephone numbers for each. If they hear from enough of us, we might be able to persuade them to make the morally right choice and vote no on the Graham/Cassidy healthcare bill.

Lisa Murkowski: 202.224.6665 or 907.271.3735

Susan Collins: 202.224.2523 or 207.622.8414

Rob Portman: 202.224.3353 or 513.684.3265

Shelly Moore Capito: 202.224.6472 or 304.347.5372

Dean Heller: 202.224.6244 or 702.388.6605

John McCain: 202.224.2235 or 602.952.2410

Or you can call 202.224.3121. Then ask to be transferred to a Senator’s office.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, stated a few days ago that there are 10 reasons to vote against this new bill. BUT, it’s the one last chance to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes.

Here’s one final push to get you to call the senators listed above: the money that is saved from the cuts to Medicaid will be used for tax cuts for 1% of the country’s wealthiest individuals!!!!

Please take the time to call and request that the senators vote NO on the Graham/Cassidy healthcare bill. The thinking behind it is morally bankrupt; and it could actually physically bankrupt any American who needs extended health care coverage.

 Linda Jones is a Hanford resident. 

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