Senators Will Break Promises If They Vote For Senate Health Bill

A yes vote on the Senate’s new healthcare repeal bill or the motion to proceed means that Senators will still break all the promises they have made to their constituents, including to protect Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions, and ensure millions don’t lose their health insurance.


PROMISE: Senators Dean Heller, Shelley Moore Capito and Rob Portman have all promised their constituents that they would protect Medicaid.


Senator Dean Heller promised that we would make sure the “rug is not pulled out from under Nevada or the more than 200,000 Nevadans who received insurance for the first time under Medicaid expansion.”


Senator Shelley Moore Capito said the original Senate bill, as drafted, “will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers.”


Senator Rob Portman: “I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this conditions.”


Senator Cory Gardner wrote a letter that the House ACA draft did “not provide stability and certainty for individuals and families in Medicaid expansion programs.”


BROKEN: The Senate bill slashes Medicaid and ends the ACA's expansion.


Roll Call: “The updated language would still phase out the current law’s Medicaid expansion by 2024, impose a stricter growth rate on the Medicaid program in 2025, and transition it from an open-ended funding stream to amounts based upon the state’s population.”


PROMISE: Senator Capito said that more money for opioid treatment won’t help if you can’t access that treatment.


Senator Shelley Moore Capito: “You can grant the state more money for [opioid] treatment, but if you can’t access the treatment, it’s not going to do you any good.”


BROKEN: The Senate bill would hurt efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and could make it even worse.


Five Thirty Eight: “If the Medicaid expansion is phased out, which the Senate bill proposes to do, that’s a problem not only for funding treatment but also for keeping existing clinics and treatment centers up and running. Advocates and experts say that $45 billion is a tiny fraction of the money that would be needed to make up for Medicaid cuts and that targeted funding is a poor substitute for guaranteeing that addiction treatment is covered.”


PROMISE: Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins said that any bill would need to ensure millions don’t lose their insurance.


Senator Jeff Flake: “The legislation needs to ensure that those who currently have coverage do not have the rug pulled out from under them.”


Senator Susan Collins: The bill “needs a major overhaul so that we no longer have 22 million people losing their insurance, sweeping cuts in the Medicaid program.”


BROKEN: The Senate bill would kick millions off their health care.


CNN: The revised Senate bill “maintains significant cuts to Medicaid, meaning 15 million fever people could [be] insured by the program by 2026.”


PROMISE: Senators Murkowski and Collins said they could not support a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.


Senator Lisa Murkowski: “I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides.” 


Senator Susan Collins: “‘It appears to be unclear how people with preexisting conditions would be treated under the bill,’ Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a critical swing vote who also objects to AHCA’s defunding of Planned Parenthood, told me. ‘That’s a major concern of mine.’”


BROKEN: The Senate bill defunds Planned Parenthood and lets insurers offer plans that don't provide coverage for maternity care.


The Atlantic: “In another blow to Collins and Murkowski, McConnell also retains provisions blocking federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood and banning the use of subsidies to purchase plans that cover abortion.”


NBC News: “The Senate bill would change that. It includes a modified version of a proposal by conservative Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, that would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet Obamacare’s regulations. That means they don’t have to not cover ‘essential health benefits,’ which include everything from hospitalization to maternity care.”


PROMISE: Senators Cassidy, Murkowski, Collins, Flake and Heller all told their constituents that they would protect pre-existing conditions.


Senator Bill Cassidy: “I will judge the final product as to how well it addresses the issue of pre-existing conditions.”


Senator Lisa Murkowski: “There were quite a few major policy measures drawn from the ACA that Murkowski wants to keep in place, she said, including: Prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.”  


Senator Dean Heller: “We cannot pull the rug out from under states like Nevada that expanded Medicaid and we need assurances that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.”


Senator Susan Collins: “Susan Collins of Maine, for one, said in a recent interview she wouldn’t support allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be charged much more money. ‘I can’t go for that,’ she said.”


Senator Jeff Flake: “Later, Flake said he would not consider legislation that didn't support patients with pre-existing conditions.”


BROKEN: The Senate Bill ends the ACA's guaranteed protections for those with pre-existing conditions.


Associated Press: “A health care proposal from Senate conservatives would let insurers sell skimpy policies provided they also offer a comprehensive plan. It’s being billed as pro-consumer, allowing freedom of choice and potential savings for many. But critics including the insurance industry say it would split the sick and the healthy, leading to unsustainably high premiums for people with medical problems and pre-existing conditions, who may get priced out of the market unless taxpayers bail them out.”