Congressional Republicans are working to pass a healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will cause millions of people to lose health care and be particularly devastating to women and families. What’s worse, a group of all male Senators crafted the Senate bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, in complete secret and had refused to release details on the bill until releasing a “discussion draft” on at the end of June.
Struggling to muster up enough support, they announced that they would be postponing the vote until after the July 4th recess and would be working behind the scenes to make changes to the bill. Republicans opposing the bill are split on the main reasons for opposition: moderates are against opposing a bill that so drastically cuts Medicaid while more conservative members have come out against the bill because they say it does not go far enough.
And, the “updated” version of the bill with changes made to the framework in an attempt to win over enough support to pass the bill failed to gain the traction it needed to move forward. Many of the harmful provisions from the original draft of the bill remained in this new bill, including the drastic cuts to Medicaid, resulting in some of the more moderate Republican Senators announcing that they could not support the bill and a further delay in the Senate vote.
UPDATE: Senator McConnell then announced that the Senate would move forward with a vote on a “repeal and delay” bill, which would repeal Obamacare with a two-year waiting period before replacement. This plan would be especially harmful to women as Obamacare has made critical improvements in healthcare for women. And, the CBO score found that this bill would result in 32 million fewer Americans with coverage by 2026.
Shortly after this plan was revealed, Senators. Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) all publicly announced their opposition to a repeal without replacement bill. But that has not stopped Republican leaders in the Senate from pushing forward with plans to change the healthcare law.
The Senate is set to take a critical vote on the motion to proceed TODAY, which would begin the debate of the bill and likely lead to the full passage of the bill in the Senate. Just hours before the vote, the Senate Republicans’ plan has been changing, and it is still uncertain which version of the bill the Senate will be debating. No matter which version is sent to the floor, it will be disastrous for women and families.
While Senator Brown had come out early on against the bill and efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Senator Portman had been quiet throughout much of the process. Shortly after the vote on the original bill delay was announced, Senator Portman stated publicly that he was opposed to the current version of the bill. And hours before today’s vote he announced that he would be voting ‘YES’ on the motion to proceed, although we are unsure how he will vote on the actual bill since it is still unclear which version of the bill they will debate. We must keep pressure to hold his ground and vote against any bill that causes Ohioans to lose coverage, cuts the Medicaid program, guts critical protections for Ohioans with pre-existing health conditions, or treats being a woman as a pre-existing condition.
The Senate version of the bill is very similar to the harmful, dangerous version passed out of the House last month. And, it will be particularly harmful to women, including by:
Below are materials to help you raise your voice to push back on Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) help craft messaging to your audience and use as during call-ins to Senator Portman’s office. We will continue to update with partner resources as they are created. Contact Erin Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like new resources added to the toolkit.
The @SenateGOP #healthcare bill is an attack on women’s health & economic security. Contact @senrobportman about the bill NOW!
Many Senators are expected to vote on the @SenateGOP #healthcarebill just days after they have had a chance to see it.
The @SenateGOP #healthcarebill puts access on the line for millions. Raise your voice to protect healthcare: http://bit.ly/2tXBe70
Use @OhioWPPN’s Advocacy Toolkit to raise your voice & help protect #healthcare access for millions. Find it here: http://bit.ly/2tXBe70
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Events are being organized around Ohio to show support for preserving health care coverage and to urge Senator Portman to vote no on the AHCA. We will update this list as events are created. Contact Erin Ryan at email@example.com if you would like new events added to the toolkit.
12:00 PM, Portman Office, 1240 E 9th St, Cleveland,
12:00 PM, Portman Office, 420 Madison Ave Ste 1210, Toledo
12:00 PM, Portman Office, 312 Walnut St., Cincinnati
12:00 PM, Portman Office, 37 West Broad St., Columbus
Don’t Take Our Healthcare Rally with Bernie Sanders (Columbus)
11:30am Express LIVE 405 Neil Ave, Columbus
Stand Up For Healthcare Rally (Warren)
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Courthouse Square 105 High St NE, Warren
Day of Opposition (Cincinnati)
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (events vary), Portman Office, 312 Walnut St., Cincinnati
Medicaid Community Event and Press Conference
4:00 PM, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati
Rally to Save Healthcare (Cleveland)
5:30 PM, Public Square, Cleveland
Stop Playing Games with Our Healthcare – Statehouse Rally (Columbus)
5:30 PM, Ohio Statehouse, High and Broad Streets, Columbus
Health Care Community Conversation (Marietta)
5:30 PM Marietta City Lookout Park, 801 Lancaster St, Marietta
Say NO! To Trumpcare (Toledo)
5:30 PM, Levis Square 285 N Saint Clair St, Toledo
Health Care Community Conversation (Youngstown)
6:00 PM, The Federal, 110 W. Federal, Youngstown
Rally Against Portman and Pence
4:30 PM, The Ohio State Union at The Ohio State University, 1739 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210
Our Lives on the Line Flash Mob & Community Pot Luck
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Summit on 16th Methodist Church, 82 E. 16 Ave., Columbus, OH, 43201
Women’s March on Washington, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, and ProgressOhio
Dayton Rally for Healthcare: Our Lives Are on the Line
11:00 AM, Dayton Court House Square, Main Street and Third Street Dayton, OH 45402