Health Care Hijacking

REPUBLICANS ARE NEGOTIATING IN SECRECY.

The Senate is trying to do what the House of Representatives did in May: jam through its TrumpCare bill in secrecy, without public hearings, without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, and without knowing its full impact on American families.

TrumpCare bill (American Health Care Act, or AHCA) would strip coverage from at least 23 million people and cut Medicaid by $800 billion, in order to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. It would also undermine critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, defund Planned Parenthood, and raise premiums for American families.

GOP Senators are deciding the future of the American health care system without following formal processes or seeking public input. Right now, GOP Senators are secretly cutting deals on TrumpCare through informal working groups which are aimed at gaining support for TrumpCare from any hold-outs. These working groups do not include a single female Senator—Republican or Democrat. As the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, said, “When women aren’t at the table, they are on the menu.”

How many on this committee have had a pregnancy, breast cancer, ovarian cancer or other female only medical condition ? It's like a baker fixing your car. (author's note)

REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT PUBLIC INPUT.

The Senate has not held public hearings or listening sessions on TrumpCare. They have not asked for feedback from any of the key stakeholders—not from the public, from children’s or disability rights groups, from providers, nor from small business owners. In short, the GOP is not interested in the opinions of the families or health care providers who will live out the consequences of the GOP’s decisions everyday.

DEMAND THAT YOUR SENATORS WORK ON THIS BILL IN AN OPEN AND TRANSPARENT FASHION.

Demand hearings with experts and careful consideration of the impacts on all facets of American society, not just the rich who benefit from tax breaks.

Demand that all members of the Senate, not just an all male working group, are allowed to participate in debate and offer amendments. This includes Democrats.

Demand that your Senators propose a piece of legislation that provides equal or better access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare as the Affordable Care Act does. Source

Your SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know Senator Rubio’s position on TrumpCare (the American Health Care Act)?

OPTION 1: SUPPORTS / DODGES / HAS NO POSITION 

Staffer: Thank you for calling. Senator Rubio supports AHCA / hasn’t made up their mind yet.

Caller: That’s terrible. I’m very disappointed to hear that. This bill would take away health care from millions of Americans, including 2,062,700 in our State, cut the Medicaid program, increase premiums and allow states to get rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. All that to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy. This is unacceptable to me.

[I/my family member] [am/is] at risk of losing [my/his/her] insurance. [I/ my family member] [have/has] a pre-existing condition that before the ACA could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against me. My health depends on Senator ______ voting against the American Health Care Act.

Staffer: The Senate version of the bill will not be the same as the one that passed the House. The Senator will make sure that Americans are protected...

Caller: That is not true at all. It does not matter which version passes if the effects are the same or similar. As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that

  • ...no one will lose coverage as a result of this bill?
    or
  • ...there will be no cuts to the Medicaid program?
    or
  • ...SenatorRubio won’t vote for ANY bill unless it has received a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)?

Staffer: Obamacare is collapsing. The Senator has a responsibility to act to protect Americans from the disastrous ACA.

Caller: The health insurance market created by the ACA is healthy and stable, even with seven years’ worth of Republican efforts to undermine it. Despite lies from Trump, experts agree that there is no risk of it collapsing unless the Trump Administration actively sabotages it.

OPTION 2: OPPOSES  

​Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know SenatorNelson’s position on TrumpCare (the American Health Care Act)?

Staffer: Thank you for calling. Senator Nelson opposes this legislation.

Caller: That’s great! Please tell Senator Nelson thank you for opposing the bill. I’d like to hear himspeak out in the media or on the Senate floor against repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He needs to make it clear that he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions, those on Medicaid, and everyone else who depends on the Affordable Care Act for health and well being.

Staffer: I will certainly pass on your message to Senator Nelson.

Caller: Please do. This is extremely important to me and I will be watching closely for his public statements in opposition. Thank you for your time.

What Health Care Plan do MOC's  have?  

The ACA (2013) required members of Congress and many congressional staffers to leave the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and join the health-care exchanges in the District. Through the federal plan, lawmakers and their staff members had about 70 percent of their insurance premiums covered by the federal government.

But members and their staff members generally make too much money to qualify for subsidies in the exchanges, which were intended for people who previously did not get insurance from employers. So the Obama administration made an exception that allowed them to use the D.C. small-business exchange to receive health-care stipends from their employer (the federal government).

On the exchanges, members and staff members get an employer (i.e., taxpayer) contribution of 72 percent for their premiums. So this allowed them to receive a similar subsidy as they did under the federal health plan. Some members say they donate to charity an amount equivalent to the taxpayer-funded subsidy. Source

Florida and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion

No Medicaid expansion, despite 68% public support

InFlorida, 467,000 people are in the coverage gap; onlyTexas has more people in the coverage gap.

2017 and beyond

Republicans control Florida’s House and Senate, and Republican Governor Rick Scott has been outspoken in his opposition to the ACA, including Medicaid expansion. Democrats in the Florida legislature have been pushing for Medicaid expansion for years, but the election of Donald Trump means that the future of the ACA is uncertain.

Under the proposal put forth in 2016 by U.S. House Republicans, the ACA’s Medicaid expansion would be replaced to block grants or per-capita allotments. Reducing Medicaid costs would be a feature of either one, and public health experts warn that the result would likely be fewer people covered and less-robust benefits. But sinceFlorida leaders have rejected federal funding for Medicaid expansion since 2014, the impact of such a change wouldn’t be as pronounced as it would be in states that have expanded Medicaid. Source

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