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!
Several news sources are reporting that Senator McConnell continues to apply pressure to Senators who are resistant to vote “yes” on BCRA. The NYT provided a list on Wednesday of the current positions in the Senate (article link HERE ). According to Talking Points Memo, McConnell is focusing on ten Senators who were most vocal in their opposition in the last week ( link to article HERE ). They describe the probable “wish list” for each of these Senators. The Washington Post outlines similar behind the scenes negotiating, but sees this as an attempt to revise parts of the bill to get a new CBO score prior to voting again in mid-July (link HERE ).
Regardless of the strategy, it is clear that BRCA is not dead yet. Marches and protests continue in Washington and at the offices of Senators. If anything was learned after passage of the AHCA, it is that zombie bills can rise again.
The Senate is rapidly moving toward another vote to try to pass BCRA, probably on Friday. We need to continue to make calls encouraging Senators to oppose this bill, in any form. Scroll down to previous action items for the phone numbers. Encourage anyone you know with a Republican senator to keep up the pressure.
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.
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.
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!