Take action!This is not a drill. The Senate aims to take another run at repealing the Affordable Care Act, and the clock is ticking.

The Senate has until Sept. 30 to act under budget reconciliation rules that allow such a measure to pass with a simple majority vote. According to experts, the proposal, known as the Graham-Cassidy plan, would be just as disastrous if not worse for public health as the previously defeated measures.

APHA announced its strong opposition to the bill and outlined its grave concerns in a letter sent to the Senate Monday.

“Much like previous proposals to repeal or weaken the ACA, the Graham-Cassidy plan would take health insurance coverage away from millions of people, eliminate critical public health funding, devastate the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs and weaken or eliminate protections for people living with pre-existing conditions,” wrote Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA.

APHA argued against provisions that would end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and significantly reduce federal Medicaid funding to all states putting the most vulnerable Americans at risk.

“Consistent with previous proposals, the Graham-Cassidy plan would also eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the first and only mandatory funding stream specifically dedicated to public health and prevention activities,” APHA stated in the letter.

The fund has provided more than $6 billion to support a variety of public health activities in every state including tracking and preventing infectious diseases, preventing childhood lead poisoning and expanding access to childhood immunizations. The fund also provides 12 percent of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

APHA argued that the ACA has made significant progress in reducing the number of uninsured Americans and investing in prevention, among other public health improvements.

“We ask you to oppose this and future efforts to repeal or weaken the ACA,” wrote Benjamin. “Instead, we urge you to continue the bipartisan efforts to improve and build upon the successes of the ACA, and ensure health insurance coverage to the more than 28 million who still lack coverage.”

Take action now and urge your senators to oppose the Graham-Cassidy proposal.