Call to Action: Double Down on Healthcare, Call Lindsey Graham!

The Senate has released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with plans to rush the bill to a vote next week. This bill would effectively end Medicaid as we know it, strip protections from people with pre-existing conditions and disabilities, and make healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of Americans.

We can stop this bill.

We thus ask you to do two things:

1) Call Senator Lindsey Graham before the Senate votes on this bill. Ideally, call every day until the vote, call each of his seven offices 

Washington:(202) 224-5972
Upstate: (864) 250-1417
Midlands: (803) 933-0112
Pee Dee: (843) 669-1505
Lowcountry: (843) 849-3887
Piedmont: (803) 366-2828
Golden Corner: (864) 646-4090

2) Find another person in the state who is willing to pledge to do the same thing. 

Let’s flood Senator Graham’s offices with new voices.

We have selected five talking points. Pick the one that touches you the most, and call about it at least once each day. Ask your friend to do the same.

We offer an opening statement, and we encourage you to include whatever additional anecdotes or relevant information you have. Use as much of the script provided here as you like, but pick one topic that you will make your own. Please also share widely.


Talking Points

1) Rural Communities: My name is ______, and I live in _____, South Carolina. I am calling today to express my deep concern about the impact the Better Care Reconciliation Act will have on health care in rural communities like ours here in South Carolina. I am heartened by Senator Graham’s interest in proposing his own alternative bill, and I hope that interest suggests he is willing to listen to his constituents about the very likely great harm to be caused by the Senate’s current proposed bill. According to the Center on Budget and Policy, a non-partisan group, the Senate’s new bill would “devastate health care in rural America.” Not only will the bill’s outsized cuts to Medicaid disproportionately affect coverage for the rural poor and elderly, but they will also threaten closures to rural hospitals like Oconee Medical Center. Such closures would obviously have profound economic impacts beyond health. I urge Senator Graham to think about the impact this bill is likely to have on the communities in our state.

2) Public Perception and Leadership: My name is ______, and I live in _____, South Carolina. I am calling today to express strong opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act and to remind Senator Graham that this opposition is shared by the vast majority of the American population. I am heartened by Senator Graham’s interest in proposing his own alternative bill, and I hope that interest suggests he is willing to listen to his constituents within his own state and to the broader national population when we tell him we do not want this bill. Even among Republicans, support for the House’s version of this bill (from which the Senate’s version differs only slightly) is only 34%. I will remind Senator Graham that 34% of Republicans alone is not a winning margin. And while Senator Graham is on record as saying that he would support nearly any plan that would overturn the ACA, the American public increasingly disagrees. In fact all polls show that supporting the kinds of cuts to lifeline programs like Medicaid and Medicare that both the House and the Senate bill aim to make could be disastrous politically. An effective leader would find a way to hear people’s opposition to this disastrous bill and speak out for the people of South Carolina and the country against the moneyed interests in his own party.

3) Governmental Transparency: My name is ______, and I live in _____, South Carolina. I am calling today because I oppose governmental secrecy and believe that government should be working for the people transparently and in the light of day. Senator Graham claims to share this belief. In a tweet about the House’s healthcare bill, he said that it “should be viewed with caution” because of the limited time the House had allowed for scoring by the Congressional Budget Office, for debate, and for public scrutiny more broadly. Given the similarly rushed nature of Senator McConnell’s call for a vote on this bill, I urge him to view it with similar caution. I am heartened by Senator Graham’s interest in proposing his own alternative bill, and I hope that interest suggests he is willing to listen to his constituents within his own state and to the broader population across the country when we tell him we do not want this bill. This bill does not aim to protect the interests of American citizens like the people of South Carolina. If it did, it could withstand our scrutiny and hold up to public debate. I urge Senator Graham to vote against a bill being pushed through to a hasty vote for purely political purposes. The American people and the citizens of South Carolina deserve better.

4) Impact on the Elderly: My name is ______, and I live in _____, South Carolina. I call today to urge Senator Graham to consider strongly the impact that the Senate’s zeal to repeal and replace Obamacare will have on the citizens of South Carolina, especially the elderly. I am heartened by Senator Graham’s interest in proposing his own alternative bill, and I hope that interest suggests he is willing to listen to his constituents about the very likely great harm to be caused by the Senate’s current proposed bill. The deep cuts to Medicaid proposed in this bill would have a profound impact on the healthcare decisions available to seniors in our state. In South Carolina, three in five nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid, and the Senate’s bill affords no reasonable alternative for their coverage and care. Medicaid also makes it possible for seniors to afford long-term care and nursing home costs, as well as various forms of in-home care that allow them to maintain quality of life and that cost less than hospitalization and nursing homes. I ask Senator Graham to think of the seniors in his state and to take a leadership role in opposing this cruel bill.

5) Impact on Children: My name is ______, and I live in _____, South Carolina. I call today to urge Senator Graham to consider strongly the impact that the Senate’s zeal to repeal and replace Obamacare will have on the citizens of South Carolina, especially its children. I am heartened by Senator Graham’s interest in proposing his own alternative bill, and I hope that interest suggests he is willing to listen to his constituents about the very likely great harm to be caused by the Senate’s current proposed bill. Of the 19% of South Carolina’s population that relies on Medicaid for health insurance, over 60% are children. Medicaid provides health insurance for over half of the low-income children in South Carolina, and the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 636,000 South Carolina children were enrolled in Medicaid in March. Cuts to Medicaid would directly impact the availability of health care for low-income children, and would severely limit the opportunities for children with special needs at all income levels, since Medicaid subsidizes public school programs as well as in-home care. I implore Senator Graham to think of the impact that the Senate’s bill will have on the most vulnerable children in our state.