News 10 Albany | September 22, 2017 | Morgan McKay
The Graham-Cassidy bill that is headed for a vote on the Senate floor next week is meeting scrutiny on both sides of the aisle.
A crowd gathered on Friday to make their voices heard in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.
The proposal repeals the structure of Obamacare and replaces it with a block grant given annually to states to help individuals pay for health care. Larger states such as New York would be losing federal Medicaid funding of around $45 billion.
“Esme relies on the Medicaid Waiver program to help keep her safely living at home with us. It covers nursing care, it provides coverage for medical equipment and it pays co-pays on her more than a dozen specialists,” Dr. Hillary Savoie, protest participant, said.
As Hillary explains, her daughter and her family rely on the Medicaid that they receive from the state for their daughter’s extensive care. The Medicaid limits with this bill would hurt children like Hillary’s daughter and also the elderly and those too poor to afford health coverage.
“The Healthcare bill would barter my daughter’s health in order to fund tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans.”
The rally that was held outside the federal building in downtown Albany and included groups such as Planned Parenthood, the New York State Nurses Association, the Lt. Governor and even Congressman Paul Tonko.
“It means higher costs, it means rising premiums, it means a crushing age tax, it means denial of the pre-existing clause protection,” Rep. Paul Tonko (D) said.
“This bill basically takes the Medicaid program, shreds it into pieces, throws it out there and says you’re on your own. That does not work for us in New York,” Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul said.
Senator John McCain announced Friday that he also will be opposing the Graham-Cassidy proposal.
Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass a health care bill with a simple majority. After that, they will need 60 votes.
Similar protests were held all across the upstate New York on Friday.