There’s even more going on this week than the 2017-brand of “usual,” but while tuning in to the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court hearings, the “skinny” budget ramifications, and the for-God’s-sake-pay-attention unfolding story about Russia’s connection to the Tr*mp campaign/administration, we’ve reached a critical moment with the repealing of the Affordable Care Act. Congress is voting on the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—which we will not call Tr*mpcare because it’s an oxymoron—on Thursday, and it is crucial that you call your Congressperson and tell them to vote ‘NO’ on the AHCA.
Call Your Congressperson (Not Your Senator), Sample Script:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP]. I'm calling to take a stand against the American Health Care Act. A health care plan that would leave 24 million more people uninsured by 2026 and drive up healthcare costs for poorer Americans is an unacceptable replacement for the ACA. [If the ACA has helped you or someone you know, feel free to add this story here.] Can I count on my Representative to vote against this on Thursday?
IF YES: Please let my Representative know that I support the stand that she/he is making against the AHCA. Thank you for your time!
IF NO: Please pass along my disappointment that the Representative appears not to have the interest of their constituents in mind, and that I would be in favor of them voting ‘NO’ on Thursday. Thank you for your time!
Your call may be more valuable if you do 60 seconds of research to find out where your Representative stands on this issue. For example, there are a number of Republican Congresspeople who are leaning on voting ‘NO’ at this moment, because they don’t think the ACHA goes far enough—but it’s extra important that you call them to tell them you support their ‘NO’ vote, and it may be more beneficial if you don’t go into why! They will need as much strength as they can get to avoid the Tr*mp “charm” offensive. This leads us to our next important action point…
Target the ‘NO’-Leaning Republican Congresspeople
THIS INCREDIBLE TOOLKIT, which we found through To-Do Tuesday, was made to help coordinate the efforts of the constituents in these districts. Check to see if your Congressperson is on the list, and know that the first and most important thing you can do is call them and support their ‘NO’ vote. Then tell all of your nearby friends and neighbors to call. If you don’t live in these districts, consider offering this toolkit to those who may be constituents, and you can also use the suggested Tweets and Facebook messages to add your support to the important constituent calls and rallies.
Healthcare is important to everyone. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Reach out to people of any political persuasion to see if they might be convinced to support this issue.
FACT: Speaker Paul Ryan can only lose about 20-22 Republican votes and still win passage of this bill. Currently, an estimated 26 Republican Congresspeople have signaled opposition. SOURCE: Reuters
This is a slim margin, and Tr*mp and Ryan are doing everything they can to corral the opposing Republicans to their side. Supporting any Congressperson who is planning to vote ‘NO’ couldn’t be more important!
WHAT WOULD THE AHCA DO?
Clearing up what the AHCA does would require a 455 page document, because that’s exactly the length of the memo from the Democratic staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. But here are a few general findings about the impact of the potential ACA repeal on each of the 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia. Source.
FACT: “Repealing the ACA and reversing the Medicaid expansion would harm lower and middle class Americans in every congressional district.” The tax-credit approach will place a disproportionate burden on lower-income Americans, while giving the wealthy a tax break.
FACT: “Repeal of the ACA’s market reforms and Republican proposals to tax employer-based coverage would harm Americans in every congressional district who receive health insurance through their employer.” (Not just people on the ACA!)
FACT: “On average, 396,200 individuals with employer-sponsored insurance in each congressional district are at risk of losing important consumer protections if the ACA is repealed, and could be subject to a new tax on employer-sponsored insurance that would amount to the largest middle-class tax hike in the last 50 years."
FACT: “On average, 360,200 individuals in each congressional district stand to lose access to free preventive care if the ACA is repealed.”
THE ACHA & WOMEN
Much has also been written about how the AHCA will be particularly detrimental for women. This great article from Think Progress outlines a number of those.
FACT: The AHCA has a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. The Hyde Amendment already prevents Planned Parenthood from using any of its federal funding for abortions, so this provision actually affects the preventative care, cancer screenings and STD testing that PP makes available to low-income women.
FACT: The AHCA would prohibits people for using their tax credits towards any plan that covers abortion services, making abortion far more expensive and separating it from any other medical issue.
FACT: The AHCA will cut off Obama’s Medicaid Expansion in 2020, and further cap Medicaid spending which will mean even fewer people will be covered. 69 percent of adult Medicaid enrollees are women, so this disproportionally affects women.
FACT: Because women are also a larger percentage of the senior population, more women will also be affected by the increases in premium cost for seniors. Health care companies will be allowed to charge elderly patients as much as five times as much as their younger counterparts.
Tell me something good... 🙏🏽
John Oliver is a (non-native born) National Treasure. On “Last Week Tonight,” He shares a lot of great facts on the AHCA that we weren’t able to fit into this tome of an email. The facts may not be GOOD, but he will coat them in a lot of funny for you.