Sunday, September 24, 2017

Say No to Graham-Cassidy!

Since Senator McCain expressed his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal Obamacare, a lot of people are saying the bill is dead.  But it isn’t.  It isn’t dead until the vote takes place.  Tomorrow there will be a hearing by the Senate Finance Committee, at 2:00 tomorrow.  I plan to be there, along with others from the Arc (  But it’s important for the committee to hear from individuals about what this horrible piece of legislation would mean for them.  Here’s what I wrote:

I live and vote in Washington, D.C., so I realize I am no one’s constituent.  But there are real living, breathing people in D.C., and my son, who has a developmental disability, is one of them.  If not for the benefits he receives under one of D.C.’s Medicaid waivers for persons with disabilities, he would be in a very difficult position – and so would we.  I hope that you are hearing howls of protest in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill from friends and family whom I am actively trying to mobilize in the states you represent, but I must add my own voice as well.  Even though D.C. is unrepresented in the Senate, I hope the broader concern of Medicaid supports for people (children and adults) with disabilities will move you to do the right thing and oppose this bill.  Although some states will benefit in the short term from the reshuffling of Medicaid funds, over the longer haul Medicaid block grants, and per-capita Medicaid caps, are going to do only one thing:  reduce resources for people who need them, including people with disabilities – not to mention many, many others.

Improving on Obamacare is going to require serious, bipartisan effort.  Rushing to approve a bill with such far-reaching, and damaging, consequences without full consideration would be unconscionable, and a single hearing such as the one planned for September 25 does not begin to be adequate consultation.  This absurd rush to overturn Obamacare has to stop.  Human lives are at stake.

Carol A. Grigsby
Washington, D.C.

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