An unexpected update from Washington, DC this week: Senate Republicans failed to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—Senate leadership’s amended version of the House-passed health care package.But there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: your advocacy is working!
The bad news: another vote is right around the corner.
As we suspected, the BCRA is scarily similar to the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). Both the BCRA and the AHCA would end Medicaid as we know it, undermine the Medicare guarantee, and impose an unaffordable “age tax” on seniors—all to pay for tax breaks for wealthy Americans and corporations.
An analysis of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office confirmed what we feared, the BCRA would yank coverage out from under 22 million people, restrict access to needed care, and hike health care costs most significantly for the oldest and sickest among us.
To save health care for 22 million Americans, we need you to keep up the pressure! Here are 3 things you can do to stop this bill once and for all:
1. Show up—especially in key states. The deciding votes on this harmful bill will likely come down to these key states:
Your Senators are home for the July 4th holiday and the most important thing you can do to block this bill is to show up–especially in the states listed above. While few Senators are planning town hall events over this recess, you can still drop by their district offices or talk to them at other events and Independence Day parades. To find out about events in your area, visit townhallproject.com.
Don’t live in one of the states listed here? Showing up is still important, but so is calling your friends, family members, old roommates, past neighbors, and anyone you know to tell them what’s in this bill and why we need their voice to stop it.
2, Call Congress. If you can’t meet with your members of Congress and their staff, a phone call is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your representatives. Call 866-426-2631 and enter your zip code to be connected to your representatives.
Tell your member that there’s no tweaking or deal making that will fix the BCRA—its cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and tax breaks for the wealthy simply go too far. Ask for an open process and bipartisan solutions to make health care more affordable.
You can also write to your Senators. Send your Senators an email and tell them to abandon the Better Care Reconciliation Act once and for all. You can use our email template or adapt the email with your own message.
3. Write a letter to the editor. When your local paper writes a story or publishes an op-ed about the Senate health bill send in a short letter. Write about what Medicaid means to you and your family and why our country needs it for the future. Need inspiration? Read other letters in the paper. Need facts and figures? Use our fact sheets!
Make sure your letter follows the requested guidelines, and remember that the letters most likely to be published are short and focused. This is another great way to reach your members of Congress, many of whom read the local news every day.
Stay informed and engaged in the coming weeks through social media, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @medicarerights. Keep up with the latest by using and following the hashtags #ProtectOurCare and #SaveMedicaid.
Take a brief moment to celebrate, but don’t forget that we’ve been here before. Only three short months ago, House leadership delayed its first vote only to come back later and pass a disastrous health bill. We can’t let the Senate follow suit. Show up to protect our care.
Sign up to receive Medicare news, policy developments, and other useful updates from the Medicare Rights.