Support the Graham-Cassidy Amendment

Sept 25, 2017

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510

Dear Senator,

You will soon have the opportunity to vote on a motion to proceed to H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.  This legislation repeals and replaces parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.  From there, it is expected that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will offer the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson substitute amendment.  This amendment would block grant all of Obamacare’s funding to the states and return healthcare regulation back to the states.  On behalf of the more than 1.2 million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I ask that you support both the motion to proceed and the Graham-Cassidy amendment.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment implements important policy changes, including:

·         Repealing the individual mandate, which has forced people to pay a tax if they cannot afford an Obamacare healthcare plan or simply do not want to be forced to purchase one; premiums continue to sky-rocket under ACA to the point middle-class Americans can no longer afford them, choosing to pay the penalty instead;

·         Repealing the employer mandate, which has hurt small businesses, job creation, and restrained economic growth;

·         Returning power to the states by taking Obamacare’s funding, approximately $1.2 trillion over seven years, and returning it to the states in the form of block grants in an equitable way; the bill would also allow governors, elected state representatives, and state officials to decide the best way regulate health insurance in their state and help their citizens access healthcare;

·         Giving more power to individuals by expanding the use of Health Savings Accounts such allowing them to be used to pay for health insurance premiums and increasing the maximum contribution;

·         Putting Medicaid on a budget for the first time; stopping Medicaid expansion for working-age, healthy, childless adults, thus, helping to restore the program’s original purpose of helping poor children, seniors, and the disabled, giving state officials the ability to run the program in a way that is best for their state; numerous reports from the  Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Social Security and Medicare Trustees have shown the entitlement programs are unsustainable at current spending rates, and Republicans have prudently warned Americans of the need to reform these programs, not only for the fiscal sustainability of these programs but also the economic future of our country; and,

·         Protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

It is vitally important to return health insurance and healthcare regulation back to the states so that it is closer to the people.  States acting as “laboratories of democracy” will spur innovation to provide more choice and competition that will help drive down costs, a far better alternative than one-size-fits-all mandates stemming from Washington.

Since 2010, Republicans have promised in every election to repeal and replace Obamacare.  They now control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House.  Taxpayers have every expectation, therefore, that the Republican-controlled Senate will keep its promises.  All votes on H.R. 1628 will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2017 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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