Health Care Advocacy Toolkit: The Graham-Cassidy Bill

Health care is on the line as Senate Republicans make a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and we need your help to protect coverage for millions of Americans. Use our Advocacy Toolkit to get informed about what’s happening with the Republicans’ health care bill and support your advocacy efforts to push back.

Status of the Efforts and Legislation

Congressional Republicans are still 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. The most recent attempt to pass legislation in the U.S. Senate failed in July after the debate carried on into the early hours of the morning.

The Senate than took votes on three separate proposals: the Senate’s original repeal and replace bill, a partial repeal and delay amendment, and the “Skinny Repeal” bill. The last proposal – the “Skinny Repeal” was suspected to be the most likely to pass, but thanks in large part to the calls of opposition from advocates across the country, Senators Collins, Murkowski, and McCain joined all of the Democratic Senators to vote ‘NO’, killing the proposal with a 51-49 vote.

Now, Senate Republicans are back with a last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA. A “new” bill was introduced last week – known as the  Graham-Cassidy bill – and Senate Republican leaders are attempting to pass it before the September 30th procedural deadline when only a simple majority is needed to pass legislation. And while the Graham-Cassidy bill is being framed by supporters as a compromise, however, it would have essentially the same dangerous consequences for women and families as previous ACA repeal bills.

Senate Republican leaders have indicated that they are close to having the number of votes needed to pass the bill despite the harmful consequences of the bill. Further troubling is the news that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will not be able to provide a full analysis before the September 30th procedure deadline. That means that senators will be voting on the proposal without knowing the number of people who would lose coverage under the bill or the impact on premiums. 

Ohio Senator Brown has consistently voted against previous versions of the ACA repeal bills and spoken out against the Cassidy-Graham bill, as well as efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act as a whole. However, Ohio Senator Rob Portman had been quiet throughout much of the process and was not among those that took a stand against previous these harmful proposals. Although he voted ‘NO’ on the repeal and delay proposal, he voted ‘YES’ on the partial replace amendment and the “Skinny Repeal.”

During a conference call with reporters this week, Senator Portman seemed to be leaning toward supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill despite the public opposition from Ohio Governor John Kasich. We must keep pressure on Senator Portman to vote against this bill and 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.

What would the bill do?

This last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA is being sold as a compromise by the bill’s sponsors. In reality, it is more of the same harmful tactics used in previous failed attempts to repeal the ACA and would result in many of the same dangerous consequences, if not worse. And, as with previous bills, it will be particularly harmful to women. The bill would:

  • Result in the lose of insurance coverage for millions of people;
  • Create drastic changes to the Medicaid program and repeal Medicaid expansion;
  • End subsidies for low-income individuals purchasing insurance in the individual marketplace, increasing out-of-pocket costs;
  • Undermine protections that have made coverage affordable for people with pre-existing conditions;
  • Jeopardize the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) standard provided under the ACA, which has made groundbreaking advancements for women in healthcare such as maternity coverage; and
  • Block access to preventative and primary care for millions, particularly low-income women, women of color, and women in rural areas relying on Planned Parenthood for their care


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 if you would like new resources added to the toolkit.

Sample Social Media (Include social media graphics in your post)

The #GrahamCassidy bill is an attack on women’s health & economic security. Contact @senrobportman now & urge him to vote NO #ProtectOurCare

Senate expected to vote on the #GrahamCassidybill before knowing how it will impact coverage & premiums. Take action

The #GrahamCassidybill puts #healthcare coverage on the line for millions. Raise your voice to protect access

Use @OhioWPPN Toolkit to raise your voice against #GrahamCassidy bill & help protect #healthcare access for millions

 Social Media Graphics

Click for full size.

Ohio Events

Events are being organized around Ohio to show support for preserving health care coverage and to urge Senator Portman to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy Bill. We will update this list as events are created. Contact Erin Ryan at if you would like new events added to the toolkit.

Friday, September 22

Resist Graham-Cassidy, Defend the ACA Rally
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: Senator Rob Portman’s Cleveland Office, 1240 E 9th St # 3061, Cleveland, Ohio 44199
Hosted by: OFA- Ohio, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio

Saturday, September 23

Rally to save healthcare
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Senator Rob Portman’s Cleveland Office, 1240 E. 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44199

Tuesday, September 26

Rally Against Graham-Cassidy Bill
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: Senator Rob Portman’s Columbus Office, 37 W Broad St Ste 300, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Hosted by: Indivisible: Ohio District 12, Indivisible Columbus District 3, Indivisible Ohio District 15, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio