Thursday, July 13, 2017

Two New Healthcare Bills Released by Senate Today

***Watch this space for updates as we learn more***

Senators today unveiled changes to the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), and information is drabbling out to the public (and to most senators). Here's what we've heard - we will update below as we learn more:
  • The revised bill will add $70 billion in additional money to states to make health care more affordable.
  • As in previous versions, Medicaid will move to a block grant system. However, during public health emergencies, spending will not count towards Medicaid caps. These cuts could mean 15 million fewer people would be insured by Medicaid in 2026.
  • Insurers will have the option to offer plans that do not meet ACA standards as long as at least one of their offerings meets "sufficient minimum coverage" under the ACA.
  • People who enroll in catastrophic health insurance will be able to use subsidies to pay for those plans.
  • $45 billion will be added to combat opiod addiction.
  • Updated 7/13 3:25 PM - The bill will keep two of the current ACA taxes on the wealthy.
At the same time, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy released their own version of a healthcare bill. According to an interview on CNN, this plan will:
  • Keep current ACA taxes on the wealthy and return them to the states (an estimated $500 billion in block grants)
  • Repeal the medical device tax as well as penalties on employers and individuals without health insurance
  • Allow states to determine how to use funding and how to offer healthcare, including the ability to repeal ACA within their own state
We will keep updating this post over the next few days as we learn more. Please add what you know in the comments.

In the meantime, here are some specific action steps that you can take to stand up for higher quality healthcare:


  • Call your Senators toll free at 866-426-2631 and ask them to vote no on any proposal that
    • Ends Medicaid expansion at any point in time
    • Destroys the Medicaid program by changing the structure through per capita caps or block grants 
    • Increases the number of people without health insurance
    • Undermines the consumer protections put in place by the Affordable Care Act
  • Attend and generate turnout for in-state Events. Here is a compilation of local events, including 24-hour vigils, rallies, press conferences and sit-ins. Check these calendars (here, here, and here), plug in ASAP and amplify the events online and to your network.
  • Amplify through social media. These graphics are designed for you and your networks to use on social media, amplifying the message the constituents are counting on their senators to #ProtectOurCare. Remember to tag elected officials when appropriate.

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