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!
We all had a little breather over the 4th of July break, but the Senate will be back in session tomorrow. Indications are they will pull out all the stops to pass BCRA. Mitch McConnell submitted revisions to the CBO last week, and has been offering money to flip “no” votes. He will have two weeks to pass the bill after the CBO scores it. Save My Care has TV ads in Nevada, Alaska and West Virginia. It’s time for us to go back to the phones and call everyone on the list.
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!
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.
Rep. Brad Schneider is Hosting a Health Care Roundtable on July 7th.
The Health Care Roundtable is free and open to the public but space is limited so RSVP for a ticket now! The event on July 7th, 2-3:30 pm, will be at the Lake County Board of Health in Waukegan. For more information, click here.
Comparison of the ACA, AHCA and BCRA Health Care Bills
Confused by what is in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) vs. AHCA (American Health Care Act – House version) vs. BCRA (Better Care Reconciliation Act – Senate version)? Click here to see a Huffington Post article that clearly shows the differences in an easy to understand, side-by-side comparison.
Hosted by Protect Our Care Illinois and others. They will rally outside Governor Rauner’s office and present him with a petition (you can sign it on the website) requesting him to speak out against the AHCA.
Several media sites report that Mitch McConnell wants a vote on the AHCA before the July 4th recess. Ask your Senators to use every method at their disposal to block passage of the Senate version of the AHCA known as the BCRA (Better Care Reconciliation Act). Let them know that you believe this health care bill will hurt a large number of Americans and you do not support it. Please call:
Be sure and leave your name and zip code so your call will be counted!
The Kaiser Foundation posted an interactive map that allows you to compare the impact of the Senate AHCA bill on individual market place insurance. Select your age, income and state and the tool will highlight the changes in premium and tax credits between the ACA and the proposed AHCA. The link to the site is HERE
While the bill’s devastating effect on Medicaid is all too apparent, it will also damage the individual marketplace. The actuarial value (the average amount of cost the plan will cover) will drop from 70% to 58%, basically turning Silver plan coverage into Bronze plan coverage. Out-of-pocket costs will rise, more people will drop insurance and the individual markets will go into what Rodney Whitlock calls a “death spiral”. (For an more in-depth explanation see HERE )
If you have marketplace insurance, look up how the bill will impact you and share it with your legislators when you call this week.
With a deadline for passage by July 1st, the Senate is racing toward a vote on the AHCA (American Health Care Act of 2017). Many Americans don’t understand the ACA (Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare), so grasping the changes in the AHCA can be a daunting task. This article by Lynne Anderson at The Conversation provides a good explanation of the key components: Medicaid, individual mandates, and essential health benefits.
In his column yesterday, Michael Hiltzik, outlined the details of changes to Medicaid in the AHCA bill. The changes attack essential health benefits, protection of pre-existing conditions and the individual mandate.
For people who enjoy granular detail, this post from Charles Gaba’s blog explains the individual market of the ACA using the model of the “three legged stool” (attributed to Jonathan Gruber). It is easy to see if we start sawing off portions of the stool, as the AHCA bill proposes, there won’t be much left to sit on.