Help Save the ACA

Take action this weekend and submit your story for the Graham-Cassidy Hearing on Monday, September 25th.

Jen Hoffman’s action item for this weekend

Action: Submit public testimony for Monday’s Graham-Cassidy hearing.

Email: GCHcomments@finance.senate.gov by 1pm EST/10am PST Monday 9/25.

Script: I/my family rely/relies on quality, affordable healthcare. Because of this, I oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill. My story with [Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, disabilities, affordability, etc.] is… I would like to see a bipartisan Congressional effort to improve the ACA, not repeal it.

Sincerely, [name]

[town, state]

It’s An All Hands-On-Deck Time to Fight the Graham-Cassidy Bill

Make Calls, Write Emails to Crucial Republican Senators

Multiple news organization are reporting that the Senate Republicans may be one vote away from being able to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill and now is the time we need to double-down on calling Senators not only from our own state, but from crucial Republican states (see list below).

I am someone who is not comfortable making calls to strangers, especially senators in Washington.  I am also someone who has just spent 5-10 minutes making those calls, and it turned out to be not difficult at all.  I wrote down my own script to read when I made the calls – that felt easier and more natural than a script suggested on a website.  However, many people may prefer to use a script from a website (see an example below).  It’s best to do what feels most comfortable for you.  On most of the calls I made I left a message on voicemail, on a couple I spoke to a person, and on a few I wrote an email because the mailbox was full or the line was busy.

The script I wrote for myself was:

I would like to urge Senator ______ to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill.  Please don’t use the health of the American people to score political points.  This issue is too important for that.  Take time to carefully research ways to improve access to affordable health care and don’t rush a terrible bill through for political purposes.  Thank you.

A script from Jen Hoffman’s Weekly Activism Checklist:

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham plan to repeal the ACA. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.

 

More Threats to The Affordable Care Act.

It’s Time to Pick Up Your Phone and Make Some Calls!

Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson introduced the latest ACA repeal bill last week.  It would give states block grants instead of the tax credits, Medicaid expansion and cost-sharing payments that the ACA requires.  Protect Our Care IL in their Sept. 15 Weekly Digest, reports that it threatens over $1.4 billion in cuts to Medicaid in Illinois while raising premiums and cutting coverage for millions.

Even though  Politico previously gave this bill a low chance to succeed, the President and leading members of the party have been lobbying Republican Senators to support it. The most recent reports show that these efforts are swaying increasing numbers of Senators!  This is combined with continuing Administration threats to withhold the cost-sharing payments that stabilize the ACA individual plan marketplace and the resulting uncertainty is making insurers extremely nervous.

Premiums in Illinois are already projected to increase dramatically because of this uncertainty.  Below is a script to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill.  I would also ask your Senators and Gov. Rauner to demand that cost-sharing payments be guaranteed.  The Republicans should not be playing politics with our health!

From Jen Hoffman’s Weekly Activism Checklist:

Action: Oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan to repeal the ACA.

Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham plan to repeal the ACA. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.

(Senator Duckworth – 202-224-2854)

(Senator Durbin – 202-224-2152)

(Gov. Rauner – 217-782-0244)

 

Healthcare – Now What?

Next Steps In the Healthcare Battle.

In the recent news rollercoaster ride, we heard that Republicans were unable to pass bills addressing ACA ” repeal and replace”, “skinny repeal and replace”, “repeal only”, “skinny repeal” or any variation thereof.   So now what?

A Washington Post article today outlines two Republican options – withhold cost-sharing payments to insurers, thereby further destabilizing the health insurance market place and cause already expensive premiums to skyrocket even higher, or work in a bipartisan fashion to guarantee the health insurance subsidies and stabilize the individual insurance marketplace.  The Chicago Tribune , in a rather partisan editorial, forecast a 43% hike in rates for Illinois in the current climate of uncertainty and confusion.  Donald Trump signaled his view (via tweets of course) that payments should be withheld and the ACA should “implode”.

There are a few signs of hope that this Congress may ultimately act in a responsible manner.  In the Senate, Republican Lamar Alexander has called for bipartisan legislation to extend federal payments to insurers for at least a year.  The House of Representatives has also formed a Problem Solvers Caucus to look at bipartisan solutions to problems such as health care.  In the meantime, a coalition of 16 state attorneys general is challenging in the ability of the White House and Congress to withhold the healthcare subsidies.  To ultimately improve the ACA, more must be done than simply shore up struggling insurance marketplaces, but that is at least a place to start.

The time for solutions is growing short so we must keep up the pressure on Congress to form responsible and bipartisan solutions to our current healthcare crisis.

 

National Day of Action: #KillTheBill. Stop Trumpcare.

Tuesday July 18th is a National Day of Protest.

From Maine and South Carolina to Hawaii and Alaska, Indivisible groups are organizing rallies and  die-ins, and visiting congressional offices to say that Trumpcare will hurt our friends, our families, and our country.  Protests in Illinois will be in Springfield, Wheaton, Oak Park, and Chicago .  The Indivisible website  lists the protests across the country. just type in your zip code for one near you.  If you are not able to attend a rally, call your members of Congress and Gov. Rauner  (217-782-0244) on Tuesday and let them know the Senate healthcare bill will devastate many hardworking families in Illinois and across America, stripping health insurance from millions of people and shredding the vital Medicaid safety net.  Let your friends and family in other states know about this National Day of Action #KillTheBill!

Pressure Congress: Don’t Repeal and Replace the ACA!

The Senate continues to work on ways they can repeal and replace the ACA.  We need to maintain our momentum and keep reminding Senators how unpopular their replacement healthcare bill (BCRA) is.

Action: Register your opinion on health insurance on Regulations.gov by July 12.

Note: July 12 deadline!

Visit regulations.gov    Please comment on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Reducing Regulatory Burdens and Improving Health Care Choices to Empower Patients”.

 

While this sounds very patient-friendly, the actual goal of this act is to allow states to obtain waivers from following the Patient Protection requirements of the ACA (offering coverage for  preventative care, maternity care, protection of those with pre-existing conditions etc) and allow them to sell useless health insurance policies with cheap premiums, but insufficient coverage for when you get sick.

Tell Friends: Make Calls to your GOP Senators. Save ACA!

The Senate is on recess for the July 4th holiday, but you can bet your sweet bippy that Mitch McConnell is wheeling and dealing with all the Republican Senators still on the fence about the ACA repeal bill.

When calling friends and family to wish them a happy 4th of July this year, make sure those in states with GOP Senators know they can still Save the ACA!

Use our share buttons below to pass this on!

If they need a script, one can be found here.

Extra Credit for these states:

Save the ACA!

Health Care Forum – Understanding the Federal Healthcare Debate.

A Brief Summary of the Health Care Forum

June 27,2017

Palatine Public Library

During an information-packed health care forum hosted by NWSOFA (North West Suburbs Organizing For America) and Protect Our Care IL, presenters painted a clear picture of what the healthcare insurance landscape looked like before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect.   Of the non-elderly population who lacked employee coverage and had to look for an individually purchased insurance plan, 17% had no insurance at all. premiums were sky-rocketing. Of those insured by individually purchased plans, 75% had no maternity care, no addiction treatment, no preventative care and a multitude of loopholes where insurance companies could deny you coverage if your care became too expensive. Medicaid was only available to those below a certain income level and additionally they had to be disabled, be a child or care-giving parent of a covered child or pregnant. Those battling chronic health conditions and the “working poor” were not eligible, despite not earning enough to afford health insurance.

When the ACA was passed, during the first year, the uninsured rate dropped from 17% to 7% and the insurance plans covered the 10 Essential Health Benefits, giving robust coverage, and banning denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and banning life-time caps on the cost of certain coverage. Medicaid was expanded to include the “working poor” where eligibility was based on income and not a checklist of other qualifiers. Though the ACA (like most programs when they are newly launched) needed some tweaks to correct problems, it was working in providing more Americans better access to quality health care coverage.

The current health care plans being proposed by the House (AHCA) and Senate (BCRA), would roll back all progress made in providing Americans with health insurance, to the conditions found prior to the ACA. Medicaid cutbacks would devastate many hospitals, particularly those in rural areas. Loss of those hospitals would also result in loss of jobs both directly in those affected hospitals and jobs in areas that support the hospitals, further hurting those communities. Loss of coverage for many Americans would result in more people dying from preventable conditions.

The unpopularity of the recent Senate plan has resulted in some Republican Senators refusing to support the BRCA and a delay in the planned Senate vote. Although this is a temporary victory, the battle has just begun. Senate leaders will modify their plan – not necessarily for the better – and use all means to persuade enough Senators to vote and pass the BCRA

Now is the time to maintain pressure on the Senators and turn up the volume of your protest! This will be a long battle. Call your Senators, call wavering Republican Senators, join rallies, write letters to the editor, call Gov. Rauner. Do whatever you can.  See our action items list for suggestions and events as they are updated.    Click here (or the link in the first paragraph) for the link to all of the information sheets covered at the forum.

Fight Back Against the ACA-Repeal.

We can persuade some of these Senators to vote NO on the Senate health care bill! 

  • They may vote as early as Thursday.
  • Lawmakers are beginning to listen to voices outside their districts/states when they hear from many of us.
  • Include a personal connection to their state if you can (e.g. we enjoyed our vacation in your state, we visit with friends in your state, I’m concerned about my family members in your state etc.)

This list of Senators was shared in the Indivisible-10th District meeting on Sunday, June 25:  (From Protect Our Care)

Call these Senators and tell them we need them to vote NO on the ACA-repeal.

Lamar Alexander (TN)                 202-224-4944

Shelley Moore Capito (WV)        202-224-6472

Bill Cassidy (LA)                            202-224-5824

Susan Collins (ME)                      202-224-2523

Bob Corker (TN)                            202-224-3344

Tom Cotton (AR                             202-224-2353

Jeff Flake (AZ)                                202-224-4521

Cory Gardner (CO)                       202-224-5941

Lindsey Graham (SC)                   202-224-5972

Dean Heller (NV)                           202-224-6244

Lisa Murkowski (AK)                   202-224-6665

Rob Portman (OH)                       202-224-3353

 

#ProtectOurCare

America is counting on them to value our lives over tax breaks for the wealthy