We spoke up for the poor and vulnerable. To caregivers and board members across Providence St. Joseph Health, thank you for standing up for those we serve. Our collective voice made a difference.
Today, the U.S. Senate decided not to vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest version of a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. If passed, the legislation would have decimated Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans and would have jeopardized essential benefits, such as coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
Over the last few days, our caregivers, community board members and foundation board members sent a total of 7,440 emails to members of Congress across five states! That is truly impressive and speaks volumes about how much our people care.
Because of you and other Americans who spoke up, we have preserved Medicaid for now but the cause endures. Repealing the ACA will be an ongoing issue, and we will need to continue educating our communities about the important role that Medicaid plays in the lives of many people we know and love, including our seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities and working families struggling to make ends meet.
I also want to thank the courageous leaders who represent Providence St. Joseph Health communities. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, for example, has consistently taken a thoughtful and deliberate approach to this debate. Additionally, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state has played a pivotal role in a bi-partisan effort to stabilize the insurance markets.
As Sen. John McCain said when he opposed Graham-Cassidy last week, “The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach.”
I agree with Sen. McCain whole-heartedly. With this bill behind us, my hope is that we can elevate the conversation and focus on solutions for how to make health care better and more affordable for every American. I urge our elected leaders to work together to find a bi-partisan path forward.
Again my deepest gratitude to our caregivers and board members for speaking up, and for all you do to serve the most vulnerable in our communities each and every day.