Thursday, April 27, 2017

Action Alert: Protect the ACA and Medicaid

from National Family Voices:

Hello family leaders – Please take action ASAP and try to get many others to do so as well.  An urgent situation has developed regarding the House bill that would to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructure and cut the Medicaid program.  A vote on the bill could occur as early as Friday or Saturday.
In short, a proposed amendment to the House Republicans’ health care bill – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) -- has been endorsed by the House conservative Freedom Caucus, so the bill will now have many more supporters.  The so-called “MacArthur” amendment would make the original bill worse.  If this bill passes -- 
·        Medicaid would be restructured and less federal money will go to states, so states will have incentives to cut benefits, eligibility, and reimbursement.
·        24 million people would lose their health care.
·        States could get waivers to:
o   Do away with ACA’s Essential Health Benefits (e.g., habilitation services and devices, behavioral therapy, medications).  This would also mean the loss of protection from annual and lifetime coverage limits and loss of caps on out-of-pocket expenses.
o   Allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. 
Many House Members have not yet taken a position on the revised bill, and they will be strongly influenced by their constituents.  Getting the message to them is critical. They need to be told how harmful this bill would be to children and youth with special health care needs and other vulnerable populations.
Please CALL and/or otherwise contact your Representative’s office tonight or tomorrow.    (Instructions below.) You can leave a message after hours.  The message is simple –
Please oppose the revised American Health Care Act.  I have a [child/grandchild/student/patient] with special health care needs.  My child and family rely on [the ACA’s subsidies/benefits/protections and/or on Medicaid] to get the necessary care. 
{Personalize if possible, e.g., My child gets her $5000 per month medications through Medicaid. OR, Now I don’t have to worry about whether we can afford my child’s treatment after he reaches an annual limit on insurance coverage.}

If you’re not sure who your U.S. Representative is, check  (See upper right corner of page.) If you are not represented by one of the key Representatives, but work with families throughout the state, you can tell them how the bill would affect their constituents.
Feel free to use multiple methods to communicate -- call both DC and local offices, send an email, and use social media.  
·       Call through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 (not toll-free).You must know your Representative’s name.
·       Check to find your Representative and link to his/her website. On your Representative’s website, you can find their DC and local phone numbers, you can sent them an email (if you are a constituent) and you can find their Facebook and Twitter info. 
·       Use an online call tool that will suggest talking points and connect you automatically to your own Representative’s office based on your zip code:
·       If you can’t get through on the phone, please fax a note. 
·       Send a tweet to your Representative.
·       Use a number sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) –  English: 866-426-2631Spanish877-736-7831Based on your zip code, these numbers will connect you to a Republican Representative from your state (your own Rep. or another if your Rep. is not a Republican), and will suggest talking points.

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