Today or early tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on the misnamed “Skinny Repeal”, which still is estimated might affect 15 million people. The skinny repeal bill would remove the individual and employer mandates and roll back the tax on medical devices. If it passes, one of two things could happen, the House could immediately be called in to vote on this bill to see if they could just send something to the President’s desk or more likely, the Senate and the House would go into a conference committee to hash out a compromise bill. Either option is VERY SCARY. As stated before, although skinny repeal has not been officially scored, a similar bill was scored a few years ago by the Congressional Budget Office and found 15 million more people uninsured and an increase in premiums in the private market place. If the bill goes into conference committee, both side pick conferees who go behind a closed door to negotiate. Although the skinny repeal does not contain a Medicaid cap, the House version does and they can draw on the bills to come up with a compromise. Agreement in a conference would be incredibly hard given the challenges in balancing out conservative and moderate priorities, but both the Senate and the House have shown they are willing to compromise in order to get something out on healthcare, even if it will have disastrous affects.
This skinny repeal vote follows two days of a motion to debate which required the Vice President to come in to break a tie and a vote 43-57 on the Better Care Reconciliation Act and a vote of 45-55 of the full repeal voted on in 2015. Here is how legislators voted: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/25/us/politics/senate-votes-repeal-obamacare.html.
ACTION: Keep up the pressure. In Illinois, our Senators are solidly opposed to this legislation. However, if you have friends or family in NV, WV, PA, ME, and AK especially, please reach out to them and tell your story. The other place we all can apply pressure is over social media – speak to the senators directly by putting their twitter handles in the twitter/facebook posts.
@SenatorCollins – Stay Strong #SaveMedicaid
@SenatorMurkowski – Stay Strong #SaveMedicaid
@SenatorHeller – #SaveMedicaid
@SenatorCapito – #SaveMedicaid
@SenatorPortman – #SaveMedicaid
Thank you! Meg
The Arc of Illinois
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