Action Alert! Last Chance to Tell Your Senators to Save Healthcare
The Better Care Reconciliation Act, the US Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act, is Expected to Come to a Vote This Week
June 27, 2017
Update (6/27/2017, 2:35pm ET): The Senate has delayed their vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act until after the July 4th recess. We must keep up the pressure! After the House of Representatives delayed their first vote they reorganized and were able to pass their bill. The same thing could happen in the Senate. Please keep calling, visiting, emailing, and tweeting your Senators to tell them not to support this bill!
The Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), was released to the public last Thursday and analyses of the bill are now available. As expected, the Senate’s bill proposes drastic cuts to Medicaid and services that people with disabilities rely on to live. The bill would force more people with disabilities into nursing homes and would increase the chances of people dying due to lack of care. The Senate is expected to vote on this legislation before the 4th of July recess, likely this Thursday (6/29).
Now is the time to contact your Senators to oppose this legislation! These next couple days are our last chance to convince the Senate that this bill is a bad deal for people with disabilities and for all Americans. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released their nonpartisan analysis of the bill, which estimates a $772 billion dollar cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years. The CBO also estimates that an additional 22 million more people will be uninsured by 2026, which includes 15 million people who currently receive coverage through Medicaid.
Next steps for the BCRA: voted on by the Senate and then sent to the House of Representatives where it will either have to go through the reconciliation process or be accepted by the House as is. At the end of this process, the resulting bill will be on President Trump’s desk where it will be signed into law. NOW is the time to make sure your Senators understand the life-saving coverage that people with disabilities receive thanks to Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as the services and supports provided by Medicaid that enables people with disabilities to go to school, work, and live in their communities.
The BCRA is similar to the House of Representatives’ bill, as shown in the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) comparative graphic below:
- H.R. 1628, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 – Congressional Budget Office
- New CBO Estimate: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Republican Health Bill – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- CBO: Senate Bill Would Raise Premiums, Deductibles, or Both for Most Marketplace Consumers – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A Glimpse on the CBO’s Analysis of the BCRA
- Millions more people will lose health insurance over the years under the BCRA:
- 2018: 15 million
- 2020: 19 million
- 2026: 22 million
- For people under 65, total number of uninsured by 2026 under BCRA: estimated 49 million (in contrast to 28 million under current law)
- Medicaid Enrollment by 2026 for people under 65: About 16% lower
- Increases in premiums under the BCRA vs current law: 20% in 2018 and 10% in 2019
- Average premiums under the BCRA will be 30% lower in 2020, but deductibles will be higher.
Since the Senate bill could be voted on by Thursday, June 29, you must connect with your Senators NOW. You can:
Call, Visit, and Email your Senators
Contacting Congress allows you to easily search for your Senators and access information on their offices.
- Civic Engagement Toolbox for Self-Advocates – Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- How to Set up a Meeting with your Member of Congress – Families USA
The key states and target Senators we are focusing on are:
- Maine: Collins
- Alaska: Murkowski and Sullivan
- Nevada: Heller
- West Virginia: Capito
- Colorado: Gardner
- Louisiana: Cassidy
- Arizona: Flake
- Ohio: Portman
- Pennsylvania: Toomey
- Montana: Daines
- Nebraska: Fischer and Sasse
- Missouri: Blunt
- Wisconsin: Johnson
- Indiana: Young
- Georgia: Isakson
- Alabama: Shelby
- South Carolina: Graham
- Florida: Rubio
Continue to share your stories with Member offices as well as through op-eds, newsletters, and letters-to-the-editor. Everyone needs to hear a story of how Medicaid cuts will harm children, families, adults with disabilities, service providers, schools, communities, state budgets, and workplaces. Without Medicaid, all of our institutions and every family in America will suffer.
ADAPT Actions and Resources:
- Call to Action and Action/Organizer List
Includes a list of ADAPT actions happening around the country this week
- Toolkit to #ADAPTandRESIST to #SaveMedicaid
Includes sample press releases, talking points, chants, resources, and more
Engage Your Senators on Twitter
Tweet your Senators and use the hashtags, #ProtectOurCare, #SaveMedicaid, #NoCutsNoCaps, #ADAPTandRESIST, #KeepAmericaCovered, and/or #CoverageMatters
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Over 10 million people with disabilities rely on #Medicaid for healthcare coverage. Please – #ProtectOurCare & #SaveMedicaid.
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] Don’t allow insurers to discriminate against people w/ disabilities because of pre-existing conditions. #ProtectOurCare
[insert your Senator’s Twitter handle] The #AHCA would leave people w/ disabilities & millions of others without healthcare. #ProtectOurCare & #KeepAmericaCovered
Social Media Graphics:
You are welcome to use any of the graphics below as part of your social media outreach. Thank you to SuMo Design Workshop for pulling these together!
Don’t Take Our Healthcare Graphics – MoveOn.org
- Congressional Budget Office’s Analysis Report on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
The Congressional Budget Office released their analysis report on Monday, June 26, 2017, to provide an explanation on the effects that the BCRA will have on the economy and the people’s access to health care. This webpage contains the overview of the report and the report document itself.
- A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Medicaid
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) recently released their third plain language advocacy resource: A Self-Advocate’s Guide to Medicaid. This guide has six parts: Medicaid introduction and background, Who Can Get Medicaid?, What Does Medicaid Pay For?, Medicaid funding, What Could Happen to Medicaid?, and a summary and glossary explaining the terms used in the toolkit.
- Join the Fight to Protect Medicaid
The Center for Public Representation developed this website to help people with disabilities, their families, and advocates/allies understand the impact of AHCA and give them the tools to advocate.
- Protect Our Care Initiative
Families USA hosts and action center on their website that provides updates on the status of the American Health Care Act as well as an Action Kit to help advocates contact their Members of Congress.