Rob Portman’s constituents have have staged die ins, visited (and refused to leave) his office, protested strategically and symbolically on a bridge between Ohio and West Virginia, and even visited him in Washington DC. They have been very clear: he should vote NO on the draconian GOP health care bill.
Mitch McConnell is postponing the Senate vote on health care, but voters need to keep the issue front and center with Rob Portman: he is one of the key Senators who could push his party to finally work with Democrats to fix the ACA instead of dismantling it altogether.
This post outlines a few key ideas to continue highlighting with Rob Portman.
The ACA is not broken beyond repair!
While Rob Portman has been noticeably vague in his position on health care, he does tow the party line in starting every response about it with the usual Obamacare bashing. Every Republican who does this should be reminded that only a segment–the individual markets–are struggling, and they are having these difficulties because of the actions taken by the GOP, from the 2015 defunding of risk corridors to 2017 threats not to pay subsidies and failure to advertise the markets at the end of the sign up period. Even so, only 38 out of 3,143 counties (about 1%) are at risk of having no insurer in 2018 (as of Jun 30), which would affect about 25,000 people. Unfortunately, many of these counties are in Ohio. Lately, even Mitch McConnell seems to be admitting that the death-spiral rhetoric is a lie.
These political games affect the lives of real people, real Ohioans, so voters need to tell Rob that he is accountable for his party’s shenanigans — it’s time to stop blaming Obamacare. It’s time to take responsibility for governing, and it’s time to build instead of destroy.
Stop worrying about tax cuts and start thinking about health care!
The one constant in the GOP health care bills is that they insist on repealing all of the taxes that actually pay for expanding healthcare to the sick and the poor. The bills are also pretty short on actual healthcare solutions that address any of the complaints Republicans have about the current system. Why? Because this is not about healthcare at all–it’s about tax breaks. And it cannot be said often enough: these tax breaks are not for average people, they are for the few, wealthiest Americans.
The ACA is a fiscally responsible plan–that’s something that should appeal to Republicans–it raises revenue through taxes to pay for the benefits that are expanded.
Tell Rob Portman that you see through this cynical Republican ploy to satisfy big donors. He and his party need to stop thinking about healthcare as a game piece in a plan to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Bipartisan is NOT a dirty word!
In recent statements, McConnell threatens his caucus with bipartisanship if they can’t get together on a bill. What is going on in our country that working with Democrats is viewed as a threat? It seems clear to anyone paying attention that much more could be accomplished by embracing the moderate wings of both parties than by trying to please far right and moderate Republicans with the same bill. Governors, and notably our own Gov. Kasich, have been calling for a bipartisan, moderate approach (and thanks, Kasich, for the veto to save Medicaid in Ohio, by the way!). Republican Senators are increasingly admitting that maybe working with Democrats isn’t the worst idea in the world, but so far, Portman has been silent on this issue.
Tell Rob Portman to call for working with Democrats to solve the real problems with the health care system. Stop scaring people with talk of death spirals and the boogeyman of regulation, and start working with your colleagues across the aisle to fix the system.
Rob Portman has been much talked about as a “swing vote” on this issue, but he himself has said little. Demand responsible, compassionate leadership. Demand that Rob take a stand for all Ohioans–especially children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor. Tell him that he should work with Democrats to fix the bill instead of continuing down the destructive Republican path of reverse-Robinhood politics and trickle-down healthcare.
How to get in touch with Rob Portman
Sen. Portman has an office in Toledo, and every Tuesday at noon, constituents visit his staffers there. This is a good way to convey your opinions about these important healthcare topics.
Call or mail
Washington, D.C. Office
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
420 Madison Avenue
Toledo, OH 43604
Toll-Free: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)