How Our Senators are Voting on Health Care

This week, the Senate passed a Motion to Proceed (MTP) which allowed them to force a debate and vote on the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) repeal. This would be the worst health care proposal in a generation. Millions of American would lose coverage and Medicaid patients would be blocked from Planned Parenthood health centers.

If you've been following us, then you know we love to keep receipts on our Senators while they're out in D.C voting on policies that will impact all of our lives and health. 

Now, there's been a lot of votes. And it can confuse even the best of us. That's why we're keeping track with this chart - and we thought we'd share it with our trusty supporters too!

Pay attention and keep fighting!

Senators BCRA ACA Repeal Bi-Partisan "Skinny Repeal"
Sen. Cotton (AR) X X
Sen. Boozman (AR) X
Sen. Moran (KS) X X
Sen. Roberts (KS) X X
Sen. Blunt (MO) X
Sen. McCaskill (MO) X X X
Sen. Inhofe (OK) X
Sen. Lankford (OK) X

X = Voted "No"
√ = Voted "Yes"

BCRA = Better Care Reconciliation Act. It is the Senate's version of the ACA Repeal bill, which would leave 17 million Americans without health care and Medicaid patients without access to Planned Parenthood. This bill failed for the second time on Wednesday, July 26.

ACA Repeal = Affordable Care Act repeal. This proposal would have repealed the ACA (or Obamacare) without a replacement. Congress would have needed to start from scratch recreating a health care plan. This vote failed on Wednesday, July 26.

Bipartisan = A process that would have involved both Democrats and Republicans. Both sides of the aisle would have come together to craft a new health care plan for Americans, including improvements to existing laws. This vote failed on Wednesday, July 26.

"Skinny Repeal" = Partial repeal of the ACA. This proposal would leave 16 million uninsured within 10 years and would gut the individual and employer mandate. Insurance experts believe this proposal could destabilize the insurance marketplace and cause premiums to increase by 20% each year.

Pink Out The Night

Hundreds of Planned Parenthood Great Plains supporters shined bright lights at our health centers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma this week at sunset rallies, a nationwide simultaneous event at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country. The lights symbolized a resistance against efforts to make Planned Parenthood go dark. 

On the eve of the U.S. Senate's draft bill release on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), Planned Parenthood supporters sent a clear message - they will not stand for any Senator who votes for a reckless health care bill that would block Medicaid patients from Planned Parenthood, strip millions of Americans of their health insurance, and put premiums on women's health care including maternity care and birth control. 

Here are some highlights from the sunset rallies across the PPGP affiliate...

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Little Rock, AR

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Wichita, KS

Columbia, MO

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Kansas City

Oklahoma City, OK

What did your Kansas legislator just do?

Today, the Kansas Senate passed the final version of the bill you know as the "font bill," which was stuffed into the shell of a propane safety bill and voted on without the opportunity for debate or amendment. You probably know a lot about the font part of SB 83, but that's actually the least onerous part of the bill. Senate Bill 83 is unconstitutional, redundant, and medically unnecessary. This bill targets abortion providers by forcing them to include information totally unrelated to patient safety, such as when they graduated from medical school and where they live. It also mandates abortion providers to state whether they have clinical privileges at a nearby hospital, which is not legally required in the state of Kansas nor medically necessary. The Supreme Court of the United States has already ruled hospital privilege requirements are unconstitutional. Lower courts in Kansas have agreed. Mandating abortion providers disclose their hospital relationships, is irrelevant information designed to mislead patients.

Knowing all of that, you probably want to know how your Representative and Senator voted on this terrible legislation. We have you covered. First, go to ksleglookup.org to learn who represents you. Then, check House votes HERE and Senate votes HERE

Now that you know, please act. Email your legislator to tell them thank you or that you're disappointed in their vote. Let them know you'll be voting in 2018. And as always, remind them that you stand with Planned Parenthood. 

Thanks for everything you do to protect access to sexual and reproductive health care. Onward! 

P.S. Need inspiration for your email/phone call to your legislators? Check out our President and CEO Laura McQuade's statement to the media on SB 83: 

“These deeply discriminatory and medically unnecessary regulations force doctors who provide abortions to meet a set not standards not required by any other physicians in the state. It is disgraceful how extreme legislators dominated so much time this legislative session in creating stigmatizing barriers to patients accessing safe, legal abortion. Now is not the time to pass more unlawful restrictions the courts have already struck down.Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) will continue providing expert, compassionate abortion services in Overland Park and Wichita. PPGP expertly navigates a needlessly complicated landscape designed by politicians, in an effort to ensure patients can access safe, legal abortion. That was true yesterday, and will be true tomorrow." 

Did U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (KS) Say What We Think He Said?

Historically conservative U.S. Senator Pat Roberts met with voters demonstrating outside of his lunch with a Rotary Club chapter in Ottawa, Kansas during a Congressional recess. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes supporters were on hand to talk health care, the AHCA, and Planned Parenthood funding. In a line of questions about keeping health care affordable and accessible, Sen. Roberts said he supports Medicare for all and that a nationalized health care system is "on the table". Don't believe us? See for yourself:

Transcript: "...Medicare is the answer really, if you really want to talk about....[crowd cheers]. If you nationalize health care, we have to figure out how to pay for it, number one. [crowd responds] I'm just telling you that's on the table. The other thing is, we shouldn't have anything that kicks people off or where they lose insurance..."

Josh Svaty is Bad For Kansas Women

Kansas, don't be fooled by the 'D' in Josh Svaty's gubernatorial candidacy. This Democrat voted against Planned Parenthood Great Plains and its patients repeatedly during his 2003-2009 tenure in the Kansas Legislature, and we don't expect any changes this time around. 

In recent polls done in the state of Kansas, the majority said they support Planned Parenthood Great Plains and access to safe, legal abortion. Since November, PPGPV has welcomed more than 4,000 activists and donors. Our list is growing by the thousands each month. This is not the time or the place for any political candidate or party to attack reproductive rights and access to health care. Our supporters have loudly taken to the streets, organized town halls, and rallied to defend Planned Parenthood. Any candidate whose platform or record, which doesn't align with Planned Parenthood, like Svaty's would be an unacceptable lateral move for Kansans looking for moderate leadership.

Svaty's two most notable offenses against patients seeking safe, legal abortion in Kansas:

  1. his support of a bill that defined life at fertilization. This is a dangerous attack on Roe v. Wade and a patient's constitutional right to safe, legal abortion. 
  2. supporting a bill allowing a woman's family member or partner to sue a doctor or even support-staff to prevent her from having a safe, legal abortion. This measure ignored women's decision making abilities, placing it in the hands of various family members. 

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes stands firm against any candidate for Governor of any party who throws women and their health care under the bus, and so should you.

"Josh Svaty's anti-health care voting record is wrong for Kansas. Since the November election, tens of thousands of Kansans have taken to the streets, attended town halls, and rallied to support reproductive rights, access to abortion, and affordable health care. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes has welcomed 4,000 new donors and activists since November. Kansas is the wrong place for any candidate like Svaty who has consistently voted against one of the loudest majorities PPGPV has seen in its fight for sexual and reproductive health care. Our supporters, a list that grows by the thousands each month, will not tolerate any party or candidate whose platform does not advocate for Planned Parenthood and its patients. PPGPV promises to stop any anti-choice extremists, like Svaty, from gaining even the slightest political foothold in Kansas," Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes President and CEO, Laura McQuade said.

Stay tuned for more information on what should be a very interesting election. 

On Notice: Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas)

In a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling in 13 districts including Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder's District-3, voters said they overwhelmingly support the Affordable Care Act. Also, any efforts to defund Planned Parenthood would be detrimental to Congressman Yoder's 2018 run. It's clear that any measures to dismantle the ACA or to defund Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular.

Question: If Congressman Kevin Yoder supported defunding Planned Parenthood, would that make you less likely or more likely to support him, or would it not make a difference?

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Question: Do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

 

 

 

 

Question: Do you support or oppose the House Republicans health care proposal, known as the American Health Care Act?

 

#WeArePP

Planned Parenthood Great Plains patients and nurses traveled to Washington D.C. to share their stories with their elected officials in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. They met with those who have opposed Planned Parenthood. Meetings included staff from Rep. Hill's (R-AR) office and Sen. Inhofe's (R-OK) office, as well as meetings with offices of reproductive rights champions like Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). PPGP's patients and providers kept video journals to share their stories.

Guest Blog: Toasting to Advocacy

Guest Blog: Toasting to Advocacy

The craft beer community is generally progressive minded, and when Donald Trump won the Presidential Election, a gloomy cloud descended upon many staff and customers at Bier Station. Among our major concerns was the biggest threat in decades to reproductive rights posed by the new Administration and Congress.

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Dear Mike Pence...

Dear Mike Pence...

Since the election, nearly 1,000 people made a donation to Planned Parenthood Great Plains or Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes in Vice President-Elect Mike Pence's name. Mike Pence has been an outspoken opponent against sexual and reproductive health care for the millions of people who choose Planned Parenthood for their services.

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Pence Out Planned Parenthood

Pence Out Planned Parenthood

As we slowly emerge from the shock of the 2016 Presidential election, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes and Planned Parenthood Great Plains have received an overwhelming amount of support...in Vice President-Elect, Mike Pence's name.  Yep, you heard right - donations in Mike Pence's name. We're collecting every last one and will send these certificates to his office after the inauguration, in honor of our donors' requests. Make sure to indicate you are donating in Mike Pence's name.

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Be The Light That Outshines Darkness

The past 48 hours have been difficult for many of us who envisioned a country moving forward under the fearless and forward-thinking leadership of Secretary Hillary Clinton. A lot was at stake this election cycle including reproductive rights, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice. But, while this loss deeply hurts, now is the time to make a plan of action and engage in solutions that promote inclusion, equality, and justice. 


While it may not seem like it today, light will outshine darkness and right will win out over wrong.

- Laura McQuade, PPGPV President and CEO

We ask you to be the light for your communities. Band together, take action and join the movement to ensure women, men, and families keep the ability to access Planned Parenthood health centers. There are a few easy things you can do to stand with Planned Parenthood, patients, and all we stand for to represent our communities.

  1. Join a Stand in Solidarity event. A few are coming up in the next 2 days in all of our metro areas in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Click here for a schedule and to sign up!
  2. Text PPGP to 4-1-4-4-4. Every dollar counts as Planned Parenthood Great Plains prepares for a challenging road ahead. As little as $5 can help a patient access birth control, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.
  3. Make a donation to support policy work. By following this link, you're donating to advocacy and policy work that helps us fight bad legislation in our state legislatures. 
  4. Sign up to volunteer. By signing up to volunteer, you are joining a list of rapid responders we often call when we could use a few extra hands. All talents and types needed! Sign up here. (scroll down to sign up)

PPGPV on the Election Trail

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is working every minute until the polls close, to ensure the candidates we know and trust are elected into office. Here's how we've spent the day so far...

Remember, if you're in line when the polls close, you're still entitled to vote. See you at the polls!