Call Sen. Rob Portman Now and Tell Him to Vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy Plan

Now is the time to act! More calls are needed to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to urge him to vote no on the latest health care proposal under consideration. The Columbus Dispatch reports that during a conference call Tuesday with reporters, Sen. Portman signaled he may support the measure from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is a last-ditch effort to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make massive cuts to Medicaid. Sen. Portman’s statement came after Gov. John Kasich joined other state governors to oppose the bill and call for bipartisan efforts.

Just like the legislation that failed to advance this summer, this proposal would jeopardize health care for millions of children and families. The effects of this proposal would be devastating. It turns Medicaid into a block grant and caps its funding, ends Medicaid expansion and eliminates ACA’s marketplace subsidies that have helped almost 9 million people afford coverage.

YOUR calls could make a difference and that is why we are counting on you to call TODAY and voice your concerns. We encourage you to call Sen. Portman’s DC office and share the messages below.

Sen. Rob Portman (R) 202-224-3353

Talking points

  • As a {pediatrician, pediatric medical subspecialist or surgical specialist} in Ohio, I am calling to urge you to oppose the health care proposal from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham.
  • Medicaid covers children from low-income families and children with special health care needs, including 973,000 children in Ohio. Any legislation that jeopardizes Medicaid fails children.
  • Through Medicaid, children are guaranteed benefits that cover a comprehensive array of medically necessary services, including developmental, vision and hearing screenings. Pediatricians recommend these services because they help diagnose, treat and prevent complex conditions right away, saving money and lives. Capping Medicaid funding means these services could be rolled back or eliminated altogether.
  • The bill would eliminate Medicaid expansion, which has extended coverage to 11 million low-income adults, including many parents. Having reliable access to comprehensive health care means parents can receive better care for themselves and their families.
  • Any bill that would leave more families uninsured, or without insurance they can afford or that meets their basic needs, is unacceptable.
  • Right now, 95% of children in the United States have health care coverage. I urge you to reject any policies or legislation that would tear down this historic progress.
  • Please preserve the ACA’s consumer protections that so many children benefit from in public and private coverage, like guaranteeing affordable and comprehensive coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, and banning caps on lifetime coverage, and keeping in place caps on annual coverage so insurance works for those who need it most.
  • I urge you to oppose the Cassidy-Graham proposal that would leave families and children worse off. I also urge you to pursue a bipartisan, transparent process for any improvements to current law that would close gaps in coverage for children and families.

Thank you for continuing to raise your voice to protect Medicaid for your patients. Your efforts helped prevent harmful legislation from passing before, and we are counting on you to help defeat similar threats to children’s health once again.

If you have any questions, contact Melissa Wervey Arnold, Ohio AAP CEO via email or at (614) 846-6258.

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