Before the United States Senate goes on a week-long recess starting on July 3, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to clear the legislative decks for the president’s proposed tax cuts and other legislation. To do so, the Senate must first pass a bill repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, including measures to slash funding for Medicaid.

Last week, 3 things happened you need to know about:

  1. Senator McConnell gave a presentation to his GOP colleagues on how to restructure Medicaid.
  2. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that a simple majority, not 60 votes, is needed to pass a health care bill.
  3. Senator McConnell then told reporters that Republicans are close to having a proposal to take to the Senate floor.

The stage is set. The timing is clear. The stakes are enormous.

And a titanic, down-to-the-wire struggle over the future of Medicaid lies ahead of us all.

Now is not the time to be apolitical. Now it’s time to act, deliberately, decisively, and with sheer determination. And we only have 3 weeks to do so.

The Senate parliamentarian’s 50-50 ruling means Senator McConnell cannot lose more than 3 of his Republican colleagues. Losing 2 Republican votes still allows Vice President Pence to break the ensuing tie. So, ultimately, persuading 3 GOP senators to give a thumb’s down to the legislation is crucial. But frankly, that’s not enough.

We need to make the case to EVERY United States Senator—Republican, Democrat, and independent alike—that per capita caps and block grants are bad for the states and bad for older adults.

When the quality of life for so many hangs in the balance, saying “I’m voting with you” is simply not enough. Senators who support our position against Medicaid caps and block grants must actively lobby their Senate colleagues as the vote nears.

Call and email your Senators today. They need to know what we know: that hundreds of thousands of their constituents will be harmed, that hundreds of aging service providers in their state will be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, that the unintended consequences of their vote will be to pit aging services against schools, roads, and other essential programs for years to come.

Remind them that the older population is growing rapidly and that a capped payment system will never meet the needs of those they represent. This is the wrong policy at the wrong time.

Join LeadingAge in the next several weeks in an aggressive grassroots campaign to Save Medicaid. Tell Senators about the real people whose lives depend on Medicaid. These stories can melt even the hardest of hearts.

Thank you.