GOP Misdirection: Senators are quietly deciding the future of healthcare without public input
Health Care | May 25, 2017
Republicans are wondering if the public is distracted enough by Russia that they’ll be able to ram their ACA-repeal bill through. If they see an opportunity, they will try to take away health care from millions of Americans.
Once again, we must stand-up and fight back. We must show the GOP the exact breadth and depth of our resolve. If we don’t do this, if we don’t fight back, then the GOP will think that TrumpCare is no longer a priority for their constituents. And they will push ACA repeal through the Senate as soon as they return to D.C.
REPUBLICANS ARE NEGOTIATING IN SECRECY.
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.”
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.
We must send our MoCs a clear message. We must show them that the reason the American people consider health care a do-or-die issue is because, for so many of us, it is just that. And accordingly, the American people expect Senators to take the health reform process just as seriously.
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.
Is your Republican Member of Congress lying to you about TrumpCare?
Health Care | May 26, 2017
If your Member of Congress (MoC) voted for TrumpCare, they know they’re in trouble. They took an indefensible vote, one that would directly harm their constituents, in order to give Donald Trump a victory. So what are they doing now? They’re hiding from constituents. They’re cancelling town halls or holding sham ones. And they’re lying to their constituents about the differences between the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and TrumpCare. They have to lie because they know the truth may very well cost them their seat. We’re providing you with the resources to push back if you’re at a town hall or on the phone with a Republican trying to mislead you.
The health insurance market created by the ACA is healthy and stable, even with 7 years-worth of Republican efforts to undermine it. Despite rhetoric from Trump, experts agree that there is no risk of it collapsing unless the Trump Administration actively sabotages it.
- The Trump Administration continues to sow uncertainty in the insurance market by not enforcing the individual mandate or paying plans money promised to them to offset the cost of subsidies for low-income Americans.
- The insurance market will react to this uncertainty: some plans may pull out and others will have to charge higher premiums to account for the uncertainty caused by the Trump Administration. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, recently said they were nearly tripling their premium increases for this exact reason.
- If the Trump Administration followed the law as it is written today, the health insurance market would continue trending toward stability.
Medicaid is decimated under TrumpCare and would result in millions of Americans losing coverage.
- TrumpCare would end Medicaid expansion by 2020 and cut $800 billion dollars from the program just in the first decade.
- Medicaid for kids, elderly and the disabled is radically transformed to a system where states get fixed funding, regardless of their health care needs or unexpected disasters like Zika or opioid addiction spikes that drive up the cost of services.
- Don’t let them tell you no one on Medicaid is hurt under TrumpCare. 14 million will lose Medicaid coverage.
The process to pass the ACA was lengthy, thorough and transparent. TrumpCare has been rushed, negotiated in backrooms, without input from experts, stakeholders, or the public.
- In the House, the ACA received 79 hearings with 181 witnesses and 121 amendments. Trumpcare received literally zero hearings and zero witnesses and no substantive amendments to the actual legislation were accepted in committee.
- The ACA took over a year to pass. Republicans first tried to pass Trumpcare 17 days after revealing it.
- Don’t let them tell you that TrumpCare was passed through anything but an undemocratic process.
People with pre-existing conditions are not guaranteed protection under TrumpCare. It was the ACA that, for the first time, blocked insurance companies from denying or charging people more because they had been sick. TrumpCare eliminates this guarantee.
- TrumpCare would allow states to easily opt-out of the ACA’s protections. Insurers in any state that adopted this would be allowed to charge people with pre-existing conditions 10 or 20 times more than other people. The Congressional Budget Office estimates one in six people in the country would live in such a state.
- Republicans are trying to make the case that high-risk pools will protect people with pre-existing conditions. This is false. High-risk pools aren’t a new–they’ve been tried before and they didn’t work. They usually have significantly higher premiums, lifetime limits, enrollment caps, waiting lists, and lock-out periods.
- If Republicans are serious about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, they should vote against TrumpCare.
Many Americans would pay higher premiums under TrumpCare.
- TrumpCare would dramatically increase premiums for Americans between the ages of 50 and 64, by allowing insurers to charge them five times as much as younger people (or even more, if a state gets a waiver). A 64 year old making $26,500 would pay 920% more in premiums than they do now.
- Women would be charged more under TrumpCare because states are allowed to opt out of essential benefit requirements that ensure women’s services, like birth control and maternity care, are covered by health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a woman wanting maternity care would have to add $1000 a month to her premiums.
- Don’t let them tell you that TrumpCare reduces premiums, because it won’t for those who are least able to pay them.
Of course people die because they are uninsured!
- In 2009, before the ACA was passed, a study in the American Journal of Public Health found that 45,000 deaths per year were associated with a lack of health insurance. The study’s author reported that one person every 12 minutes died because of lack of access to health insurance.
- Somewhere between 22,000-44,000 people will die a year due to lack of health insurance if TrumpCare becomes law.
- Don’t let them tell you that becoming uninsured is anything but a death threat.