A D-Mom’s Plea About the Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill

by Leighann on September 25, 2017

Summary: The Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill will be harmful for people with preexisting conditions such as type 1 diabetes. Contact your senators to tell them to vote no.

Graham-Cassidy No

This week the senate is considering yet another healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). There is a long list of organizations who have studied the bill and feel it will dramatically harm those with preexisting conditions, such as type 1 diabetes. The bill will give control over to the state to allow what the state feels is “adequate” and “affordable” coverage, but undoes the current requirement that people with preexisting conditions not be charged more.

The following is a letter written by Hilary, the mom of a child with type 1 diabetes and hydrocephalus. While Republican Senator Susan Collins, from Hilary’s home state of Maine, has voted against previous versions of replace and repeal, she is still undecided. And make no mistake, the GOP is currently adding content to the bill to make it favorable to swing voters.

A D-Mom’s Plea

Hillary's Son

Photo: D-Mom Hillary. All copyrights reserved.

This is my son (July 29, 2017), moments after he realized he was facing yet another neurosurgery — his third one within a three month period

Can you see the fear in his face? Now imagine me not just worrying whether he would survive, but also afraid if we could afford the surgeries required to save his life. Would our insurance even cover it

My son is a walking preexisting condition. It is not his fault. We did nothing wrong. He eats the healthiest foods imaginable. His BMI, cholesterol, fitness, and even his glucose levels are to be envied by folks who are “healthy.”

The Graham-Cassidy Bill would allow states to eliminate the current requirement to cover anyone with a preexisting condition. Moreover, while premiums cannot be determined by one’s gender, it COULD be determined by just about anything else — my son’s type 1 diabetes, his hydrocephalus, a mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, a father’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis, your daughter’s asthma, you name it

Graham-Cassidy proponents will argue that preexisting conditions will still be covered because states asking for waivers will still be required to have “adequate and affordable coverage.” But is there a definition that explains what “adequate” or “affordable” means? NO.

Make no mistake about it, healthcare needs reform. But this is NOT the answer.

My son deserves better. Americans deserve better. I am exhausted by partisan politics that are motivated by anything other than common sense. “Healthcare [can be] so complicated.” I get it. It has literally been drilled through my son’s skull, pricked into every finger.

Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree, and Representative Poliquin, I demand compassion when creating legislation that could literally change my son’s life. The Graham-Cassidy Bill is absent of such compassion. Please do your jobs and show me your compassion, or find a new job, because Mainers elected you to take care of us.


The above letter is printed with permission from Hilary.

Contact Your Senators

JDRF opposes the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill and thinks it will be detrimental for those with type 1 diabetes. They have a simple form that allows you to let your senators know how you stand. Use their form to Tell Congress: Reject the Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill. When you put in your address, the form automatically sends it to your state’s senators.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test

I’m sure you’ve probably already seen this video, but if you haven’t it’s worth a watch. Jimmy Kimmel is spot on. And he breaks it down in terms us non-politicians can understand. He lists the American Diabetes Association as one of the groups opposing the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.

(Email and feed subscribers may need to click over for the embedded video.)

American Diabetes Association Urges Senators to Oppose Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill and Continue Working on Bipartisan Health Care Legislation

The following is a statement put out by the American Diabetes Association:

Graham-Cassidy would be devastating for millions of Americans living with diabetes

ARLINGTON, Va. (Sept. 25, 2017) – Standing for more than 114 million Americans living with or at risk for diabetes, the American Diabetes Association urges the United States Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The only scheduled hearing for the Graham-Cassidy bill began earlier today in the United States Senate, and the bill is expected to go to the floor for a vote by the end of this week.

Access to affordable, adequate health coverage is critical to people with diabetes. The proposed legislation does not guarantee this access, and it would also increase costs for those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. The bill jeopardizes the ability for people with diabetes to effectively manage their chronic illness and to prevent dangerous and costly complications. We urge all senators to vote against this misguided and harmful legislation, should it be brought to a vote in the Senate.

We are deeply troubled by many aspects of the Graham-Cassidy bill. It allows states to opt out of key insurance protections for patients, undermining safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions and requirements for adequate coverage. In addition, due to cuts to vital health care funding, states will have limited funds necessary to support several critical health care programs and will be forced to make difficult trade-offs in determining how the funds are used. Even worse, Graham-Cassidy ends all funding after 2026.

The bill also makes drastic changes to the financing structure of the Medicaid program. These cuts would have a devastating impact on low-income Americans, who are disproportionately affected by diabetes. In states that expanded their Medicaid programs, more individuals are being screened for diabetes than non-expansion states. Cuts to Medicaid would leave the most vulnerable individuals with, or at risk for, diabetes without the health coverage they need to be diagnosed and treated for the disease as early as possible.

We are also alarmed that the Senate would vote on this legislation without understanding its full impact on insurance coverage for millions of Americans. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently announced that they would need several weeks to provide an estimate on the number of Americans who might lose coverage under Graham-Cassidy. We ask that Senate leadership, at the very least, take the time to have a full understanding of the impact this legislation will have on all Americans. The health and lives of millions of Americans with diabetes are at risk.

We oppose the Graham-Cassidy legislation because it falls far short of the minimum standards for replacing the important safeguards and coverage provided by the ACA, which we have previously outlined. We urge the Senate to reject this bill and continue negotiations on a bipartisan health care bill that will protect access to affordable and adequate health coverage for people with diabetes and all Americans. We encourage all citizens to call their senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: