Today 5700 doctors broke with the American Medical Association's endorsement of Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Why? They know Price may be good for doctors, relieving them of caring for low-fee patients, but he will be horrible for patients.
Price is in policy concert with the anti-Affordable Care Act movement that seeks to cut and cap Medicaid and Medicare down the road. Medicaid - Medi-Cal in California - covers those already living on the margins financially including elders and those with disabilities whose Social Security income is too small to pay their Part B premiums or the 20% cost share. It also has recently covered the truly indigent, our large and growing homeless population of adults without children. This has been a godsend for people, often working but not earning enough for our skyrocketing rents, for whom even ACA is out of reach.
Tom Price and much of Congress want to convert Medicaid to a block grant with a fixed amount meaning few or no new people could be added by their respective state and/or their coverage could be capped no matter how ill they may be. Block grants are also not mandated spending meaning truly heartless states could use the money for other purposes including, yes, tax cut offsets for the wealthy.
Jesus gave his disciples the authority to cure those whom they served. Before any other deed, he told them, "Cure the sick, raise he dead, cleanse the lepers, cast our demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts." " (Matthew 10:8-9)
We cannot endorse our nation's health care planning being placed in the hands of someone who wishes to kill the program. It is critical that we raise our voices in opposition to this appointment. We do this in the name of every man, woman, and child whose health hangs in the balance.
If states obtain the right to eliminate services, the conditions no longer covered could be massive. In MN, a state representative, Steve Drazkowski, proposed eliminating maternal benefits and permitting physicians to reject care for unmarried pregnant women; doctors and insurance companies may omit coverage for: in-patient care for post birthing longer than 48 hours for natural childbirth, 90 hours for C-section; services for those on ventilators; diagnostic processes for cancer (blanket omission, no exceptions); prostate cancer screening; mental health; diabetes; and even emergency services.
This list is longer. It's too grim a picture of our future to fully post. No - we are not making this up. It's one legislator's state proposal under a fully decentralized and deregulated health care plan.
Please call your Senators to oppose Tom Price who would willingly support decentralizing health care coverage and turning our health care over to the likes of MN Rep. Drazkowsi. Ask them to take whatever measures they can including a block or filibuster to stop Tom Price's nomination. If your Senator is already in opposition, please thank her or him. This is a key position that cannot be allowed to move forward to abet the dismantling of our health care system.
Please call the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Senators. Then call again for your Representative to make sure we get a full look at any replacement bill before we take any more stesps in changing the Affordable Care Act or Children's Health Insurance Plan, or Medicaid, or Medicare.
Our lives and those of people with far too little say are on the line. Please act today to stop the nomination of Tom Price and to demand full accountability to us on any health care plan.