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Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, has scheduled a vote for Thursday morning for a bill that, if passed, would destroy Medicaid as we know it and throw millions of people off their healthcare coverage. (Photo: AP/Cliff Owen)


'This Is It': Resistance Mobilizes as GOP Sets To Obliterate Healthcare

Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, and overall affordability under direct attack as Republicans say they have votes to strip coverage from tens of millions of people

Jon Queally

"This is it. Show up today. Call. ."

That was the early-morning message from the Indivisible Guide on Thursday, just hours before a now scheduled vote on a Republican bill that would see—among other things—Medicaid decimated, protections for those with pre-existing conditions slashed, maternal and women's healthcare cut, and tens of millions of people pushed off their existing coverage in the coming years.

"RED ALERT: Trumpcare is back," says "We have to stop it for good. Make a call to your Congressperson now to say #ProtectOurCare. Dial 844-432-0883 to be connected."

Though they failed in a previous attempt, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) now appears confident his party has the necessary 216 votes to pass the measure that has received no markup in committees or on the floor and has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers and President Donald Trump continue make up facts about what it contains and how it will likely impact people's coverage and pocketbooks.

"Forcing a vote without a CBO score shows that Republicans are terrified of the public learning the full consequences of their plan," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).  If the bill does pass, Pelosi added, "House Republicans are going to tattoo this moral monstrosity to their foreheads, and the American people will hold them accountable."

The lies and half-truths have become so commonplace among Republicans, and analysts have been given so little time to review its details, it's no wonder the Speaker Ryan is eager to push through a vote as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, members of the anti-Trump resistance were highlighting vulnerable Republican House members to target:

With a mid-day rally being held on Capitol Hill to protest the Republicans' vote, people across the nation are urging their elected members of Congress to #KilltheBill and #ProtectOurCare by flooding their offices with phone calls and in-person visits. Here's what Indivisible thinks you should do:

  1. Show up, in person, at your Representative’s district office this morning. Bring friends. Tell your story.
  2. Call your Representative. If you can’t get through, call again. We need every single phone in the Capitol ringing off the hook until this bill is dead.
  3. Post to Facebook and social media. We need to get MORE people calling and visiting ASAP. Tell your friends and family that now is the moment to make their voices heard. The vast majority of Americans oppose this bill—we have to speak out and make sure they know it.

Though the Republicans have repeated the (patently false) talking point that the Affordable Care Act under President Barack Obama was "rushed through without people knowing what was in it," the official text of the bill receiving a vote Thursday was only released Wednesday night after several so-called "moderate" Republican members of the House—namely Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri—dropped their opposition after a White House meeting with Trump.

Though Upton and Long cited the addition of $8 billion in subsidies to help cover costs for those with pre-existing conditions, who under the new bill would be ushered into special "high-risk pools," Aviva Aron-Dine, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that money, which the government would only provide for five years, is nowhere near sufficient to help the number of people who would be permanently and negatively affected if the bill becomes law.

"The details behind this additional $8 billion are unclear; some accounts suggest it would go to fund state high-risk pools, while others suggest it would go for other purposes," Aron-Dine points out. "But either way, the additional funding wouldn't come remotely close to addressing the severe problems that the bill creates for people with pre-existing conditions. Notably, the $8 billion would restore less than 1 percent of the nearly $1 trillion the House bill cuts from programs that help people afford coverage."

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