Dear Access Living friends and allies,
This week, Congress is back in session. They are still working on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), but they also have a very serious budget deadline for this Friday at midnight. They must pass a budget continuing resolution bill by that time, or the federal government will begin shutting down except for essential functions. It is expected that they will try to prevent that by probably passing a smaller budget bill that provides for an extension of the deadline. In the meantime, we have work to do...
Access Living, and many other advocates for social justice, are part of the statewide Protect Our Care Illinois coalition, which is fighting to defend access to health care (and includes fighting for home and community based services too). Today, Protect Our Care Illinois has set up a brand new hotline to make it easier to call your member of Congress. While we know many people like using social media, calls are still the number one way that Congress keeps track of constituent interests, so please make the effort to call today! If you get anxious about calls, remember that if you call overnight you can just leave a voicemail too.
See below my signature to get the details, and call call call!
Director of Advocacy
Message From Protect Our Care Illinois:
Call your Member of Congress TODAY using the Protect Our Care Illinois hotline!
Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now polls higher than ever, Illinois congressional Republicans and the Trump administration seem to be moving forward with a revived ACA repeal bill that still takes away health care insurance from over 1 million Illinois residents.
Protect Our Care Illinois has set up a new hotline to help you call your House representative. It will connect you directly to their DC office. Call (866) 877-3303 NOW. Members of Congress must hear from you TODAY! It's critical that your representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, hear from you right now and know that you reject any new proposals that eliminates the ACA guaranteed coverage for essential health benefits like maternity care, prescription drugs and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Your representative needs to know that the America Health Care Act (AHCA) is a bad bill and should stay dead. Their constituents want more, better, and more affordable coverage and this Republican plan, in any form, will not achieve any of these goals!
About the AHCA amendment
The American Health Care Act continues to be unacceptable and should never be revived. The new proposal would keep the terrible parts of the AHCA (e.g., slashing Medicaid funding by $880 billion and causing 24 million Americans to lose health coverage) and with the new "MacArthur Amendment" would also allow states to drop two important provisions of the ACA:
• the requirement that insurance plans cover 10 essential health benefits (e.g., maternity care, prescription drug coverage, mental health counseling); and
• the requirement (known as "community rating") which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against sick people.
Under the new amendment, insurance companies couldn't refuse coverage, but they could sell bare bones plans that don't cover the medical care that sick people need, or they could charge such expensive premiums that sick people couldn't afford coverage. The Center for American Progress estimates that the new amendment would cause premiums for people with pre-existing conditions to "skyrocket". As the table below illustrates, someone with an uncomplicated pregnancy could expect their premium to increase 425% -- over $17,000 - and someone with metastatic cancer could expect their premium to increase 3500% -- over $140,000!
This revived GOP health care plan would hurt people who need health care the most! This is not only heartless and immoral but goes back on the promises made by many of our GOP representatives and President Trump.
Republicans and Democrats need to hear from you - Call TODAY! Use the Protect Our Care Illinois new toll-free hotline. It will connect you directly to their DC office. Call (866) 877-3303 NOW and tell your Member of Congress to reject any new proposals that eliminates the ACA guarantee for affordable health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and to reject any bill that eliminates guaranteed coverage for essential health benefits like maternity care and prescription drugs!
When you call, here is what to say:
Hello my name is _______and I live in [city & state]. I am a constituent of the representative, I am calling to demand that you continue to oppose the American Health Care Act, with or without any amendments. The American Health Care Act will hurt Illinois residents and families by making it harder and more expensive to get the care they want and need. All Americans deserve better. I urge you to oppose the American Health Care Act.
After you call, tell your community to do the same! Urge your friends and family to also call their Member of Congress. Share the script and phone number on Facebook and Twitter.
Protect Our Care - Illinois is a statewide coalition of health care advocates, providers, consumers, and workers, working to prevent the repeal of the ACA, prevent disastrous changes to Medicaid, and protect and expand access to quality affordable health care. See www.protectourcareil.org