With the midnight action to begin repeal of the Affordable Care Act last night, the budget reconciliation process, the push to gut the entire plan moves forward. Two GOP Senators - Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul from Kentucky - are possible bulwarks against "repeal but don't replace". We need to contact them.
However, now the House intends to use budget reconciliation, possibly tomorrow, Friday the 13th, to do the same.
This will gut funding for ACA and by extension, Medicaid. In California this is Medi-Cal and carries different names in different states.
From analysts Maura Calsyn and Thomas Huelskoetter of the Center for American Progress comes this assessment:
First, they plan to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act—including the law’s Medicaid expansion—through the budget reconciliation process without yet offering any replacement plan. Second, congressional plans to drastically restructure the Medicaid program will make coverage less secure for those who remain enrolled in the program.
President-elect Trump will enter office armed with a variety of tools to undermine Medicaid’s safety-net guarantee, as well as with a Republican Congress eager to pass legislation to roll back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and leave the remaining Medicaid program underfunded. It will be extraordinarily difficult to push back against these actions. But the first critical step is recognizing that the rhetoric of state flexibility and state innovation is really just a cover for an end goal—to gut the Medicaid program.
In California Medicaid expansion has been an enormous boon to public hospitals, greatly reducing the unfunded "charity care" for the desperately poor and homeless. It has been a huge benefit to lower income working families that long went without medical care at all but now have reliable treatment including massive prevention of things such as childhood diseases, pneumonia, diabetes and a host of other illnesses and conditions. The cost of care will skyrocket as once again people take to the Emergency Rooms for treatment of conditions that have finally worsened to a desperate level. This is NOT a saving for society - it is an increase in costs via tax demands for ER support. We know anecdotally that those without any insurance get less care since the charge to ERs is to stabilize, not make people well. They cannot handle that kind of caseload and, as pre-ACA, may well have to close leaving all of us without recourse to health emergency care.
Raise your voice against this vicious false economy! It is antithetical to every single principle we hold dear in America and certainly in our faith.
Contact our Senators to resist "repeal without replacement" and the the House to stop their budget reconciliation cuts as well.
Go to: http://www.churchimpact.org/take-action.html to contact both your Senators and your Representative.
To contact Senators Collins and Paul or Senate and House leadership if you wish to be heard, please call the US Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected. Contacting legislators outside your district is not effective but DOES make popular will clear. Numbers matter here in terms of the public record of support and opposition for ACA.
As a note to CA residents: last night Senator Dianne Feinstein did not vote. She was in the hospital getting a pacemaker. She is fine, and she is back at work today, but her absence was essential and not indifferent.
We will do our best to keep you up to date, but things are obviously moving very fast, and your "Faithful Five Minutes" can keep ahead of us on any and all issues.
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