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Efforts to Stop Trump 'Tax Cut in Veneer of Healthcare Bill' Intensify

A new ad campaign targets Republican senators as their party attempts to rush a vote on Trumpcare

The Republican healthcare plan "is essentially a tax cut wrapped in the veneer of a healthcare bill," said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). (Photo: Brennan Linsley/AP)

The Community Catalyst Action Fund (CCAF), a consumer advocacy group, announced on Sunday the launch of a $1.5 million ad campaign that will target five Republican senators in the hopes of persuading them to defect from the party line and oppose the "shameful" and "undemocratic" attempt by the GOP to ram Trumpcare through without public debate.

"We think it's critical that Americans across the country understand what's at stake for them and their families if the U.S. Senate passes this bill."
—Robert Restuccia, executive director of CCAF

Recent reports have suggested Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is planning to bring Trumpcare to a vote by the end of June, and activist groups have intensified their resistance efforts accordingly.

Last week, as Common Dreams reported, UltraViolet carried out sit-in protests in the offices of senators in seven states and Indivisible organized a national call-in day, during which people implored their representatives to vote against the GOP's attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Indivisible has also launched Trumpcare Ten, an action plan that emphasizes placing "constituent pressure on every member of the U.S. Senate."

CCAF's ad campaign, which is set to air on Monday, singles out Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Dean Heller of Nevada—all of whom, as the Washington Post points out, "come from states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act."

In a statement, Robert Restuccia, CCAF's executive director, said Americans should be outraged that their elected representatives are "working in secret and rushing to pass a bill" that, if it resembles the version narrowly approved by the House, "strips care from 23 million people, raises costs for millions more and punishes kids, seniors and people with disabilities through steep cuts to Medicaid."

"We think it's critical that Americans across the country understand what's at stake for them and their families if the U.S. Senate passes this bill," Restuccia concluded.

Senate Republicans can only afford two defections if their bill is to move ahead. Ad campaigns like CCAF's and others have largely honed in on senators who could be prone to electoral challenges if they support a bill as unpopular as Trumpcare.

recent analysis by Christopher Warshaw and David Broockman in the New York Times found that "not one state supports" the House's version Trumpcare, not even deeply red states that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in November.

"In recent national polls, only about 29 percent of Americans support the bill," Warshaw and Broockman wrote. "It is the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congress has considered in decades."

In an interview on Democracy Now! on Friday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) suggested the bill is so disliked because it prioritizes providing tax breaks for the wealthy over providing everyone with adequate care.

"[T]he Republican bill is not actually a healthcare bill," Ellison concluded. "It is essentially a tax cut wrapped in the veneer of a healthcare bill."

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