ACTION: Call constituents to protect the ACA

If you have not been following, the Senate health care bill is TERRIBLE. It cuts Medicaid even more than the House bill, though on a longer time frame. It also goes even further than the House bill in allowing states to gut ACA protections and allowing insurers to define what services would and wouldn’t be covered in any given policy. The Senate bill claims not to allow states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but because various treatments (chemotherapy, maternity care) are not mandated to be part of coverage for everyone, they will be extremely expensive for people who need to buy them a la carte. And many think the bill will create a “death spiral” in the individual insurance market.

Schumer says that pressure from constituents is key, so please consider taking 30 minutes or more to make calls to constituents of Republicans in key states. What you can do:

  1. Get informed about the bill. 
    • Quick overview from Slate
    • Detailed reporting from Vox
  2. Register for phone banking to Republican states!
    • ACA DEFENDERS, based in MA, a collaboration of Health Care for All Massachusetts and SEIU 99. This uses the automated HubDialer and you can put the constituent through directly to their Senator. In the battle against the ACA, they have called voters in several states, depending on their legislators’ position in real time. If you sign up you will get the full emails with instructions day by day as the targets change. Sign up here
  3. SPREAD THE WORD!
    • Think of 3 people you know in red states, or 3 people you know who know people in red states. Share this great state-by-state resource from Indivisible

ACTION: Submit health care amendments to your senators

Republicans are using a special process called “reconciliation” to jam through TrumpCare. This means they only need 50 votes, instead of the usual 60, to pass it. But the trade-off is that they have to allow an unlimited number of amendments. Any Senator can file as many amendments as they want and then call them up for a vote on the Senate floor during a period called “vote-a-rama.” Democratic Senators can and should plan thousands of amendments and keep them going until Republicans agree to have public hearings on the bill.

By introducing tens of thousands of amendments, Democrats can slow down the process enough to draw necessary attention to Senate Republicans’ secret process and the disastrous impacts of their TrumpCare bill.

Submit your amendment now. https://www.ouramendments.org/

Help needed: ACA Storybook

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), also referred to as Trumpcare, has been passed in the House and is now secretly being revised by Republican Senators in an effort to push it forward for a vote before the July 4th recess. An estimated 23 million people would lose health care coverage under the AHCA and premiums would rise for the most vulnerable.

LIC Coalition is gathering stories related to health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an effort to stop the AHCA from being passed. The simple survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Add your story here and please share!

Call constituents of District 11 to save ACA

Please call constituents of Rep Dan Donovan (District 11 NY). He’s still undecided on AHCA and the vote is scheduled for Thursday.

To start, we will call everyone whose last name is “Brown” who is listed in the Staten Island White Pages, beginning with the middle of the alphabet. If you’d like to call the “K. Brown”s, respond to this post with “K Brown” in the comment section. The next person will respond with “L Brown” and so forth. If you want to make more calls once you’ve finished your first group, just check back here to see what letter we’re up to. If it looks like we’re close to calling all the Joneses in Staten Island, I’ll create a new post with a new last name. If you choose a letter and can’t get through all the names in the group, don’t worry -you don’t need to let us know. Thank you! -Miriam

Staten Island White Pages link:
http://statenisland.whiteyellowpages.com/

FACTS AND TALKING POINTS:

When I spoke to people in Bay Ridge on Friday, at first, I began by mentioning the health care bill or mentioning saving care in general and a couple of people said “Obamacare?’ and ran the other way. I switched to asking if they could ask Rep. Donovan to save health care for people with disabilities and home health care for the elderly that allows them to live at home plus nursing home care by urging him to vote “No.’ on the new health care bill. Then I asked if they wanted more information. This seemed to work.

Fact list (From Congressional Budget Office report and Kaiser summary):

  • 14 million to lose health insurance next year
  • 24 million to lose health coverage over 10 years
  • 7 million to lose employer based insurance
  • 880 billion dollars to be cut from Medicaid over 10 years
  • Cost of health insurance will increase considerably over the next.two years
  • No new Medicaid expansion enrollese as af Jan 1, 2020
  • Medicaid is now funded based on the actual costs of health care. It would change to a Per capita cap based on 2016 -meaning a set amount of money would be given based on the number of people enrolled in 2016. Medicaid increases will be less than the actual increases to costs of health care.
  • Children are now eligible for Medicaid if family income is up to 136% of the Fed. poverty rate – This would drop to 100% of the FPR
  • Plan allows insurance companies to charge 5X as much for older adults than younger people
  • Subsidies will not be income based and low and middle income older adults will see dramatic increases in insurance costs

Other info:

  • Over 40% of Medicaid funds are used for care for the elderly
  • New York is one of the states that chose to participate in a home health care program for the elderly which allows many people to stay at home rather than going to a nursing home. This program would likely be eliminated.
  • There will be Medicaid cuts for the blind, people with disabilities and children
  • Senior couples who have used up their savings on nursing home care will have to sell their home if it’s worth more than $560,000 to continue to receive care. The current NY limit is $860,000.

Donovan’s contact info:

  • E-mail (web form):  https://donovan.house.gov/contact
  • Phone: Washington, D.C. (202) 225-3371  | Brooklyn 718-630-5277 | Staten Island: 718-351-1062
  • Fax: Brooklyn: 718-980-0768 | Staten Island: 718-630-5388

E-mail might be best as phone lines may be busy.

NYS Senate Democrats propose universal single-payer health care system

On March 8, the New York State Senate Democratic Conference released a plan to create a universal single-payer health care system for New York State to ensure every New Yorker has access to high quality health insurance.

Learn more about what a single-payer system in New York means at http://www.singlepayernewyork.org and call your senator to express your support!

Trans health care access

From Shira:

The trans community is one of the most marginalized in access to healthcare, contributing to some terrifying statistics.

If you’re interested in supporting efforts from within the community to increase access to life-saving care, consider expressing your allyship through spreading the word and/or small monthly contributions: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5238484.

The person leading the project is a friend and has extensive experience in software engineering, bioinformatics, and political action.

Call House Ways & Means Committee re ACA replacement

The GOP’s plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as the American Health Care Act, proposes an age-based tax credit that would increase over time (regardless of people’s income) and cuts federal funding to Planned Parenthood through Medicaid and other government programs for one year. The bill would benefit the wealthy, deprive low-income people of essential health care, and threaten reproductive rights.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not had time to review the bill and prepare cost estimates or determine how many people will lose health insurance as a result. Please call the House Ways & Means Committee at 202-225-3625. More information on the ACA repeal and replace is available at: indivisibleguide.com

SAMPLE SCRIPT
“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

I’m calling to express my opposition to the American Health Care Act, the proposal to replace Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act with an age-based tax credit system. This tax credit system will disproportionately benefit the wealthy while leaving lower income people unable to afford healthcare. In addition, defunding Planned Parenthood, which uses NO federal funds to provide abortions, is an unacceptable assault on women. The Congressman/Congresswoman should not consider any action until a formal cost estimate has been publicly released by the CBO.”

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]