The Reasons Behind the Senate Vote on Banning Abortion.
The Senate has scheduled a vote on a bill, already passed by the House, that bans abortions after 20 weeks, and the Trump Administration has signaled its support of this bill. While some websites are raising the alarm, The Hillasserts that the bill has little chance of passing in the Senate with the narrow Republican majority. According to The Hill, the purpose of scheduling this vote is to get Senators on record with their votes for or against the bill. Anti-abortion activists are hoping that Democrats up for re-election in battleground states will suffer the consequences of their vote, while Democrats characterize the bill as an extreme assault on a woman’s right to make decisions about her health care. This bill, titled “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is based on faulty “science” mis-representing fetal development as outlined by Dr Daniel Grossman on Twitter (@DrDGrossman). When politicians insert themselves into medical decisions best made between doctors and their patients, decisions that should be based on the patient’s individual circumstances and unique needs, unintended consequences and unforeseen harm often follow.
The key to the electoral impact of the bill may be how issues-influenced voting weighs against voting based on economic factors. As always, who shows up to vote in an election can be critical – in 2017 special elections were sometimes decided by a strong showing of voters who have previously not been active at the voting booth. As The New York Times points out in their editorial post this evening, having Democrats take back control of either house of Congress will guard against future actions to restrict reproductive freedoms. Voting in local elections is important, as are actions supporting progressive voters in red states. Don’t forget, primaries in Illinois are March 20 and election day is November 6th – cast your vote and make your voice heard!
Another Opportunity to Get Your ACA Questions Answered
The POP (People Over Party) Workshop will bring Miranda Wilgus of ACA Consumer Advocacy in to update you with the latest information on the ACA sign-ups, Medicare and Medicaid, and answer your questions on health care coverage.
ACA Consumer Advocacy is making everyone aware of the upcoming ACA enrollment period that begins Nov. 1st. The Trump Administration has cut funds used for education and notifications, so please spread this information to as many people as possible!
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.
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.govPlease 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.
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!
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.
Just a quick update on what the Health Care Administrative Team has been up to. We have a terrific group of people working on contacting our political representatives and monitoring websites and other resistance groups for information and actions we can take to fight back against recent efforts to dismantle the ACA (aka Obamacare) and replace it with the AHCA (aka Trumpcare).
Currently we are encouraging people to call Gov. Rauner ( 217-782-0244) in support of Senators Durbin and Duckworth who sent him letters requesting he voice opposition to the AHCA and the secretive nature with which the Senate Republicans are conducting their business of crafting their version of the AHCA.
Other actions are to call Sen. Orrin Hatch, (SFC office 202-224-4515; fax 202-228-0554) to demand open hearings on the details of the Senate health care bill,
and joining in on National Call-In Day to Stop Trumpcare,
and contact your member of Congress to voice your opposition.
More details on the above are available on the North Shore Indivisible Facebook page.