Over 250,000 of you raised your voices to support the creation and passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. As you probably know, its very survival is under serious threat from this Congress and new Administration.
Tom Price is the new president's choice to be head of Health and Human Services. He is one of the architects of "repeal and replace" health policy, eliminating ACA and putting in...something. No one know yet what that would be.
Of the numerous and often conflicting suggestions about what would come, we have a clear assessment of their flaws from our allies, Families USA.
There are larger and more immediate problems, however. Price supports using budget reconciliation (a process that cannot be filibustered and that requires only 51 votes to pass) to cut the funding for subsidies, for Medicaid expansion support, for all manner of fiscal issues attached to ACA. To cut the funding means families would be left with the mandate to have insurance but no way to pay for it.
It is not possible to cut almost any part of ACA without its unraveling entirely. If we kept the mandate on insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions but with no "community rating" making the premiums no higher than for healthy people, it would be a "right" that existed in name only. If we continue the House notion of restoring "risk rates" - age, gender, even ZIP code" - as a way of raising premiums, women, older people, and those living in the "wrong" part of town will pay more without subsidies.
It is true that in some states the premiums have risen. ACA has offset those with increased subsidies. The actual facts are that premiums for non-ACA policies are the ones rising more, less so for ACA plans.
To have the Secretary of HHS support the gutting of ACA, a man who has not proffered anything else, is unthinkable. He has also made clear he will not guarantee women and family access to contraception or even to unbiased doctors who do not discriminate against LGBT people or - and this is actually now an issue - women who have once had an abortion. He has made clear that he will not be our champion on any issue at all.
It is very clear that Price and Congress are unified on one and only one point. The abolition of funding for ACA is more important to them than whatever plan might be passed in its place. This is entirely about offering a pool of funding for tax cuts for the wealthy. It is a budget "neutrality" issues - cut funding enough to equal the cost of the tax cuts for the rich. Do you and I matter in this equation? No.
For those who like "wonky" insights, we offer a long and fairly complex article on the ins and outs of conservative pro-cut, anti-ACA policy people. We urge at least one person in your congregation or group become familiar with the issues - make a pot of strong coffee and give the article a shot - so that we can be aware of what may come.
In the meantime, please raise your voices by calling your Senators, even the ones you think are already committed to opposing this nominee.
To get your Senators' contact information, please use our link here
To call your Senator via the US Capitol switchboard, please call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected.
If your Senator(s) is on board with opposing this nomination, please thank them. I
f they are not, please state that as a person of faith, you oppose Tom Price's nomination as a man who has publicly said he will not uphold the integrity of health care for Americans and that he should not be in charge of the Department that is responsible for our care.
Then please share this alert with others, encourage them to join churchimpact.org so that we have even more faith voices coming forward to both uphold the work we have accomplished that is doing so much good and oppose ratifying a man who would destroy it.