At March On Texas we pretty much never agree with anything Senator Ted Cruz says or does. Until now.
Senator Cruz is one of the reasons why Mitch McConnell pulled the Republican version of the healthcare bill from the floor without taking a vote but is trying to put it up for a vote by Friday. The senate needs 50 votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, meaning only two Republicans could vote against it, and Senator Cruz was one who flat out said no.
Now granted, the reasons why he said no (the bill was too generous) versus why we said no (22 million people would lose their coverage, Medicaid would be cut – kicking out old people from nursing homes and pregnant women from prenatal care, the bill would raise premiums up to five times higher than the youngest for adults in their 50’s and 60’s, it tries to dismantle Planned Parenthood and while giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and insurance companies.)
They say that politics makes strange bedfellows and this is one of those times. So let’s be supportive to Senator Ted Cruz and continue to tell him to vote NO for the repeal and replace bill.
In case you needed some facts (real ones, not the alternative kind) here are some highlights of what the Republican bills would do, and how it would potentially affect Texans:
- CBO estimates 22 million people would lose their healthcare coverage. That includes 2.6 million Texans with the number of uninsured Texans increasing by 58% by 2019.
- Women could be charged more for insurance just for being women. Prior to Obamacare, women in Texas were charged as much as 56% more than men for the same coverage.
- Pre-existing conditions would either be decided directly by the states (House bill) or would allow states to request the ability to reduce essential coverage, meaning that the people who need that coverage would have to pay substantially more and insurance companies could impose lifetime caps on what they have to pay (Senate bill).
- The oldest adults (ages 50 – 64) can be charged five times more for insurance.
- Medicaid (insurance for the poor, disabled, kids and pregnant women) would be cut off from federal funding starting in 2020. Approximately 4.7 million Texans, about 16% of the state’s population, rely on Medicaid for their health insurance. The majority of Medicaid funding goes to people with disabilities. Under this plan these services will likely be cut.
- A one year block would be placed on Planned Parenthood reimbursement, which CBO estimates 15% of women would lose access to family planning services increasing the birth rate. (And remember that Medicaid for the poor would also be cut, which includes care for pregnant women and newborns, and women could be charged more for insurance.)
- If you are wealthy, according to CBO you get $563 billion in tax cuts over 10 years under the Senate bill, while the poor, pregnant, sick, elderly and disabled pay higher health costs for worse coverage.
For more information, you can read the full articles used to reference these numbers: Who Wins, Who Loses With Senate Healthcare Bill and Defending Healthcare in 2017, What is at Stake for Texas?
The time to act is now. This bill is set to go back to the floor this Friday. Call Senator Cruz and pressure him to continue to vote no. Our reasons may be different but a no vote from him will ultimately benefit Texas families.