Today, Manon Ress, Founder and Acting Director of the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment, delivered a letter to 17 Republican Senators, urging them to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy “health care” bill.
UACT visited Senate leadership, including Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), as well as the original authors of the bill, Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Additional letters were delivered to the GOP members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and to key Senators who could stop this bill.
The full copy of UACT’s letter can be found copied below and is available as a pdf here.
The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is not a plan for providing healthcare to millions of Americans, but rather would deny affordable coverage to individuals when they need it most. While the Republican leadership pushes for a vote before the Congressional Budget Office has even assessed the impact on Americans, independent analyses have found that the bill would be disastrous for cancer patients.
The Center for American Progress estimated a premium surcharge of $142,650 for individuals with metastatic cancer if the legislation were to be enacted. The same analysis found an estimated increase in premium of $72,980 for lung and brain cancers and $28,660 for colorectal, kidney, and breast cancers in individuals younger than 50.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have announced publicly that they will not support this plan. Under Senate budget reconciliation rules, the Republicans can pass this legislation through September 30th with a simple 51 vote majority. If any one more Republican makes the moral and responsible choice in voting no on this legislation, the bill will fail.
To: GOP Members of US Senate
Re: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill
Date: September 22, 2017
Dear GOP Senators:
I am addressing this only to GOP Senators because apparently you are the only ones who are considering to vote for the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
I am a stage 4 breast cancer patient. I am alive and doing well now because I have insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and access to a drug that is keeping me alive. The insurance premiums are high, mostly because there are insufficient cost control measures for health care, including the insane prices for new cancer drugs.
If the Graham-Cassidy bill passes, patients like me who have prior medical conditions are highly likely to be confronted with even higher premiums and gaps in coverage.
This is a life and death issue for me and probably for your own constituents and extended family members if you bothered to check.
I would like you to kill the Graham-Cassidy bill, so the Graham-Cassidy bill does not kill me.
Manon Anne Ress. PhD.
Acting Director and Co-founder, Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment