Senate Republicans behind the proposed healthcare bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare postponed a vote until after Congress' July 4 recess. Now, members of the Senate are returning to their home states for a week, holding town halls and appearing in other public events. The break is the perfect opportunity for constituents to tell their representatives what they think of the drafted healthcare reform, and below we outline exactly where to find them through next week.
If you need a refresher, the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would drastically cut Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood for a year, and allow some insurers to stop covering essential health benefits (which include emergency services, prescription drugs, mental health services, and maternity care). And according to recent polls, it's even more unpopular than the similar American Health Care Act (AHCA) approved in the House in May.
If your senators are holding town halls, show up and voice your opinion. That's what town halls are for, after all. And if they'll be present at other public events, it's worth trying to get a few minutes with them or their staff to talk about healthcare. Here's where they'll be:
Claire McCaskill, Missouri (D)
When: Wednesday July 5, 8:30 a.m. CDT (California), 11 a.m. CDT (Tipton), 12:45 p.m. CDT (Versailles), 2:30 CDT (Eldon), and 5:30 p.m. CDT (Ashland).
Thursday July 6, 8:30 a.m. CDT (Moberly), 10:30 a.m CDT (Macon), 2:00 p.m. CDT (Monroe City), 4:00 p.m. CDT (Paris), and 6:00 p.m. CDT (Mexico).
Where: Wednesday, July 5: California City Council Chambers, Co-Mo Electric Operations Facility, Morgan County Library, Eldon Community Center, and then Ashland Optimist Club.
Thursday, July 6: Moberly City Hall, Macon High School Cafeteria, Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center, Monroe County Courthouse Circuit Courtroom, and then Audrian County Courthouse Farnen Community Room.
Her stance on the BCRA: Before the bill was released, McCaskill raised concerns about the secrecy of its drafting.
At a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, McCaskill said, “We have no idea what is being proposed. There's a group of guys in a backroom somewhere making these decisions.” She also called the House’s version of healthcare a “disaster for Missouri.”
Ron Wyden, Washington (D)
When: Wednesday July 5, 2 p.m. PDT; Thursday July 6, 2 p.m. PDT; Friday July 7, 1 p.m. PDT; Saturday July 8, 11 a.m. PDT and 3:30 p.m. PDT.
Where: Wednesday, July 5: Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home.
Thursday, July 6: Conestoga Recreation and Aquatic Center.
Friday, July 7: Redmond Senior Center.
Saturday, July 8: Springfield High School gym and Newberg High School auditorium.
His stance on the BCRA: Wyden tweeted that the healthcare plan "is heartless." He wrote: "It is brainless. It is cruel. It means more Americans will suffer or die without access to care."
Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania (R)
What: Televised town hall (The town hall will be connected to audiences in Harrisburg, Altoona, Wilkes-Barre, and Erie. The actual town hall is invitation only, however some activists are planning to protest outside the television studio.)
When: Wednesday July 5, 7 p.m. EDT
Where: ABC27 Studio
His stance on the BCRA: Toomey supports the bill. When the drafted legislation was first released, he called it “an important and constructive first step in repealing Obamacare.”
Maria Cantwell, Washington (D)
When: Wednesday, July 5 at 6 p.m. PDT
Where: University of Washington Roethke Auditorium
Her stance on the BCRA: On the Senate floor, Cantwell said, “It's time to work in a discussion about these ideas, in a broad way, not just another Hail Mary pass, just get rid of this notion that cutting poor people off of Medicaid is somehow going to magically fix the individual market. It’s not.”
Jerry Moran, Kansas (R)
When: Thursday July 6, 11:00 a.m. CDT
Where: McKenna Youth and Activity Center
His stance on the BCRA: Sen. Moran doesn't think this legislation goes far enough, issuing a statement June 27 saying he wants to "find a path forward that truly repeals and replaced Obamacare."
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut (D)
When: Thursday July 6, 5:30 p.m. EDT
Where: West Hartford Town Hall auditorium
His stance on the BCRA: Blumenthal opposes the bill. When Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced the delayed vote, Blumenthal said, “This titanic fight for the American healthcare system is far from over.” This is the second town hall meeting for Blumenthal during the July 4 recess.
Brian E. Schatz, Hawaii (D)
When: Friday July 7, 12:00 p.m. HST
Where: Lanai High and Elementary School Cafeteria
His stance on the BCRA: Sen. Schatz is against the BCRA, but it doesn't hurt to show up and join the discussion.
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska (R)
When: Friday July 7, 5 p.m. UTC
Where: Sheet'ká Ḵwáan Naa Kahídi in Sitka, Alaska
Her stance on the BCRA: Murkowski is still undecided on the bill. She told CNN, “I don't have enough data in terms of the impact to my state to be able to vote in the affirmative."
Jeff Merkley, Oregon (D)
When: Saturday July 8, 10 a.m. (Wallowa County) and 2 p.m. (Union County)
Where: Wallowa Senior Center, and then the North Powder School Cafeteria
His stance on the BCRA: Sen. Merkley also opposes the reform, tweeting that it would lead to much higher premiums for older Americans.
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts (D)
When: Saturday, July 8, 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Where: Berkshire Community College's Robert Boland Theater
Joni Ernst, Iowa (R)
When: Monday July 10, 8 a.m. CDT
Where: Harlan Community High School Auditorium
Her stance on the BCRA: Ernst remains undecided on the bill. She said she was "carefully looking through it."
This story was originally published on June 30, 2017. We'll continue to update this if more events are announced.