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General News You Want to Talk About

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91default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:03 am

*Jeremy*

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Also hope Dusty is okay. 

Last year, some foreign journalists pretended that jihadism was a Belgian problem but, after all the not-linked-to-Belgium terroristic attacks that happened this year, I guess they see things differently now...

92default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:36 pm

Poppy

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Jeremy, I wasn't aware that some journalists said that.  So they were saying the terrorists originated from Belgium?

And just want to report, that dusty is ok.  Thank goodness!

93default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:03 am

*Jeremy*

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Yeah and that Belgium was a "rich failed state" what?!

I'm also glad dusty is ok.

94default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:04 pm

Poppy

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How offensive that they accused Belgium of that and called your country a failed state.  Ick.  oh   Thank you for your kind words about dusty.  :happy face

95default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:16 pm

Poppy

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Man, it is huge what is being revealed about Trump's past conversations with former FBI Director Jim Comey.  It is BIG! 

I am going to be glued to the TV watching Comey's testimony tomorrow (Thursday) during the Senate Intelligence Committee.   But today, there was a statement released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, about Comey's memoranda (that he wrote immediately after each of his conversations with Trump) memorializing  his past conversations with Trump, prior to being fired by Trump.

96default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:29 pm

Poppy

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SAVE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT!  STOP TRUMPCARE!



Lives are at stake--those with pre-existing conditions, those who are on Medicaid (folks with low-incomes, children, the aged, and/or people with disabilities, in other words, those who are the most vulnerable in our country), not to mention that in general millions in the U.S. may be uninsured under TrumpCare, or face higher premiums.

The Republican Senate is so far behaving even more despicably than the Republican House of Representatives.   Because:  The Republican Senators are refusing to hold public hearings or debate.  They are not following formal processes.  They are not seeking public input!  They do not care what representatives of children and families, the elderly, or those with pre-existing conditions will have to say, or even representatives of small business owners or insurance providers. 

Instead, they are conducting informal working groups in private, in secrecy!  And they are excluding the Democratic Senators from these private meetings!  Source:   https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/13/15785332/senate-republicans-health-care-bill-secret
 
See the video where Democratic Senator Clair McCaskill calls out the Republican Senators on this issue.




We need to have the Republican Senate agree to hold public hearings before they pass a health care bill that will damage or take away our health care!

A bill could be rushed to passage as early as in JUNE (THIS MONTH!), with little public influence, without us, the constituents knowing anything about a bill that will affect our health care! 

And Republican Senators even are saying to the media that no one from the public is calling them about health care!  Source:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/6/12/1671161/-Republican-senators-say-their-phones-aren-t-ringing-to-save-the-ACA-so-here-s-the-contact-list  (Note:  The dailykos article has a list, by state, of the Senators and the email address to their legislative assistant.)


I've seen this post on Tumblr and it seems to be taken from Indivisible.  Please consider doing what you can to save the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and to stop TrumpCare.

smartalexy:


twoearsandaheart:

6-13-2017
Everything that was true last week about the Senate’s Repeal-and-Replace effort is still true this week. But now we have more (and more alarming) information:




  • The Senate has no intention of making the bill public, and has put measures in place to ensure it hits the floor for a vote before any public testimony, hearings, or awareness of it can be rallied.

  • Republican Senators are CLAIMING NOT TO KNOW THIS BILL EXISTS. This is tantamount to calling the constituents they’re in office to represent stupid.

  • Coverage about the bill is below the radar in all major news outlets.


-Breaking with precedent, the Senate has banned filming of hallway interviews with Senators. They now require previously granted permission from a Senator AND the Rules Committee of Senate. This makes Senators less visible and less accountable.

ACTION ITEMS remain the same:

1) CALL EVERY SINGLE DAY. Here’s the Capitol switchboard #:  (202) 224-3121. Find numbers for your reps’ state offices here.   (Link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ ) If you have Dem Senators you know will vote against it, encourage them to withhold consent or filibuster unless the bill is made public. (Great guide on this from INDIVISIBLE.)

2) ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO CALL. Indivisible has created a tool  (Link: https://indivisiblemoco.org/stoptrumpcaresocial ) that makes it easy as heck to reach out to Facebook friends who are in key (swing vote) states. If you’re not on Facebook, tap that email list. No time to be shy–you’ve got friends out there who just need a little nudge/encouragement/empowerment. 

3) WRITE a Letter to the Editor. Pen a message and send it to your local paper. Media isn’t doing its job covering this incredibly important issue, leaving room for citizens to step in.

4) SHOW UP. Be a body on the ground at your Senator’s district offices (find those offices here  (Link:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/ ) and find others to team up with here). Be loud. Be quiet but present. Be whatever you are, but be in that space, demanding accountability. Congress works for us.
5) Take to social media and demand the Senate #ShowUsTheBill … but don’t JUST take to social media; that won’t get ‘er done
Call call call. I use my lunch hour every day. It’s easy.
via gleekto

Here are some helpful sites:


For DC and district offices addresses (and telephone numbers) of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues.  Here is a website with the names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA

For specific information about how TrumpCare would affect your state (how much premiums would increase, how many people would lose health insurance coverage, or Medicaid coverage, or employer-sponsored health insurance coverage):   https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/impact-of-trumpcare-by-state/#CA

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:



Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to write and pass the American Health Care Act in secret, with no Senate hearings or public debate.

What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill (the American Health Care Act)?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program, increase premiums, and allow states to get rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.  

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.

[OPTIONAL: Share a personal story of why Obamacare , also known as the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"),  is so important to you, your family, and/or your community, such as your concern that a family member may be discriminated against by the insurance companies because this family member has a pre-existing condition ]

As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

--That Senator _______ won’t vote for ANY bill unless it has received a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)?

- - That Medicaid expansion will be kept in place?

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.

97default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:35 pm

Poppy

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I'm sorry to hear about the terrorist attack today, Jeremy.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.

98default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:38 am

*Jeremy*

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Advanced Member I
And it's actually a train station that I regularly frequent :shocked

But, don't worry, I'm not scared. And thank you for the message :happy face

99default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:58 pm

Poppy

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Oh wow.  I'm glad it doesn't scare you (although I would understand if it did--it is scary).   And you are welcome.  I thought of you when I heard the news. :happy face

100default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Poppy

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So Mitch McConnell is hoping to bring the Senate health care replacement bill (which ironically, is called the Better Care Reconciliation Act) to a vote NEXT WEEK (before the July 4 recess)!

The bill is worse in some ways than the Republican House bill. 

Please, please CALL your Senators and let them know you want them to vote NO on the Republican health care bill! 

Some articles showing how bad the Senate bill is:

Washington Post wrote:
Senate health-care bill faces serious resistance from GOP moderates

June 25, 2017

The vast changes the legislation would make to Medicaid, the country’s broadest source of public health insurance, would represent the largest single step the government has ever taken toward conservatives’ long-held goal of reining in federal spending on health-care entitlement programs in favor of a free-market system.

That dramatic shift and the bill’s bold redistribution of wealth — the billions of dollars taken from coverage for the poor would help fund tax cuts for the wealthy — is creating substantial anxiety for several Republican moderates whose states have especially benefited from the expansion of Medicaid that the Affordable Care Act has allowed since 2014.

[There are] concerns that the legislation would harm the nation’s most vulnerable and cause many Americans to become uninsured

[. .  . ]

. . . *Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is up for reelection next year, said he could not support the bill in its current form. Heller specifically cited its cuts to Medicaid, not just by ending its expansion in Nevada and 30 other states, but by restricting government spending for the program starting in 2025.

[. . . ]

Part of the pressure the moderates now face is that Medicaid consistently draws widespread support in surveys. A poll released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that three-fourths of the public, including 6 in 10 Republicans, said they have a positive view of the program [Medicaid].  Just a third of those polled said they supported the idea of reducing federal funding for the expansion or limiting how much money a state receives for all beneficiaries.

Even among Republicans, the foundation found, only about half favor reversing the federal money for Medicaid expansion.

[. . . ]

Under the Senate GOP version, 2021 is when Medicaid’s transformation would begin. The expansion, which has provided coverage to roughly 11 million people, would be phased out. What is now an open-ended entitlement, with federal funding available for a specific share of whatever each state spends, would be converted to per capita payments or block grants.

[. . . ]

“There has never been a rollback of basic services to Americans like this ever in U.S. history,” said Bruce Siegel, president of America’s Essential Hospitals, a coalition of about 300 hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients. “Let’s not mince words. This bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals, it will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. ... People will die.

[. . . ]

But the analysis showed that the greatest damage would come in [Senator Mitch] McConnell’s own state: Kentucky, which has had the nation’s largest Medicaid expansion under the ACA, would see a 165 percent jump in unpaid hospital bills.

. . . Beyond Medicaid, it [the Senate bill] would permit private health plans to cover fewer services and would allow individuals and employers to eschew coverage without penalty — elements that its authors say could lower how much consumers pay for their insurance.

[. . . ]

“This is bringing us back to where we were before 1965,” said Paul Starr, a Princeton University professor of sociology and public affairs who has written extensively about the history of U.S. health-care policy. “There is no longer the federal commitment to back up the states in terms of health care for the poor.”

Link: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/senate-health-care-bill-faces-serious-resistance-from-gop-moderates/2017/06/24/d6d8cf2e-584d-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_healthimpact-730pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5a8c4e577990

Note:  *Senator Dean Heller on Friday (June 23) became the latest Senate Republican to say he opposes the current GOP health care bill.



AAMC (The Association of American Medical Colleges) wrote:
June 22, 2017

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (the Senate bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare):

“We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today. Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs.

[. . .]


Rather than stabilizing the health care marketplace, this legislation will upend it by crippling the Medicaid program while also placing untenable strain on states and providers.

As Congress has discussed repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the AAMC has held steadfast that any replacement bill should at least maintain current levels of health coverage, not weaken Medicaid, and be the result of a deliberate and transparent process. The bill that came out of the Senate today meets none of those principles. 

We urge members of the Senate to reject this bill and return to the drawing board to draft legislation that does not result in millions of Americans going without health insurance. The AAMC stands ready to work with Congress to craft a solution that protects and improves the health of all.”

Link: 
https://news.aamc.org/press-releases/article/senate-reform-bill-06222017/


Note: 
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies.




New York Times wrote:


Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid

6/22/17

Senate Republicans, . . . [unveiled] a bill to make deep cuts in Medicaid . . . while offering states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.


[ . . . ]

Four conservative senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, announced that they would oppose it without changes — more than enough to bring it down.

[. . . ]

Other Republican senators, like *Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of Ohio, expressed their own qualms, as did AARP, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

[. . .]

. . . The Senate bill would make subsidies less generous than under current law [the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare]. It would also lower the annual income limit for receiving subsidies to cover insurance premiums to 350 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,000 for an individual, from 400 percent. [Less people would qualify to receive federal subsidies that would help cover insurance premiums.]

Older people could be disproportionately hurt because they pay more for insurance in general. Both chambers’ bills would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as younger ones; the limit now is three times.

The Senate measure, like the House bill, would phase out the extra money that the federal government has provided to states as an incentive to expand eligibility for Medicaid. And like the House bill, it would put the entire Medicaid program on a budget, ending the open-ended entitlement that now exists.

[There also] would in effect [be] handing a broad tax cut to the affluent in a measure that would also slice billions of dollars from Medicaid, a program that serves one in five Americans, not only the poor but also almost two-thirds of people in nursing homes. A capital-gains tax cut for the most affluent Americans would be retroactive to the beginning of this year.

[ . .  .]

Democrats and some insurers say Mr. Trump has sabotaged the Affordable Care Act, in part by threatening to withhold subsidies paid to insurers so they can reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for millions of low-income people.

And President Barack Obama, who has been hesitant to speak up on political issues since leaving office, waded into the debate on Thursday, saying the Senate proposal showed a “fundamental meanness.”

. . . Mr. Obama wrote on his Facebook  “[the Senate bill is] a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.”

[. . . ]

But with only 52 seats, Mr. McConnell can afford to lose only two Republicans, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.

Democrats have assailed Republicans for putting the bill together without a single public hearing or bill-drafting session.

[. .. ]

The [Congressional]  budget office found that the bill passed by the House would leave 23 million more people without insurance in a decade.

[. . . ]

The Senate bill would also cap overall federal spending on Medicaid: States would receive a per-beneficiary allotment of money. The federal payments would grow more slowly than under the House bill starting in 2025. Alternatively, states could receive an annual lump sum of federal money for Medicaid in the form of a block grant.

State officials and health policy experts predict that many people would be dropped from Medicaid because states would not fill the fiscal hole left by the loss of federal money.

“The Senate bill creates an illusion of being less draconian than the House bill, but is arguably more so” on Medicaid, said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University.

The Senate bill would make it much easier for states to opt out of insurance standards in the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement for insurers to provide certain “essential benefits.”

Republicans said the bill would still guarantee access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. But consumers could be exposed to new medical costs if, for example, insurers did not have to cover certain expensive new drugs or medical procedures.

 “An individual with a pre-existing condition could be insured, but the services needed to treat that condition might not be covered because of a waiver,” said Timothy S. Jost, an emeritus professor of health law at Washington and Lee University.

[…]

The Senate bill, like the House bill, would cut off federal Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for one year. The money [currently received  from the federal government] reimburses clinics for birth control, cancer screenings and other preventive care. About half of Planned Parenthood patients are on Medicaid.

Also like the House measure, the Senate bill would repeal taxes imposed on high-income people by the Affordable Care Act, including a payroll tax increase that helps finance Medicare.

 

Link:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/us/politics/senate-health-care-bill.html






Please call your Senators every day for this coming week--especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act !!


When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues.  Here is a website with the names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:


Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.



As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Panned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.

101default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:41 am

Poppy

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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) release their report!  And it's bad news for so many people.


Washington Post

CBO: Senate GOP health-care bill would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026

June 26, 2017

Senate Republicans’ bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade — only about a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office

[. . . ]

According to the 49-page report, the immediate increase in the ranks of the uninsured would be slightly larger than under the House version, with an estimated 15 million fewer Americans likely to have coverage in 2018, compared to 14 million in the House bill.

The Senate’s bill also would reduce federal spending on subsidies for people who buy individual health insurance policies, significantly more than the House’s version, cutting spending for tax credits by $408 billion by 2026.

[. . . ]

Democrats immediately seized on the estimates to criticize Republicans for planning a vote on a bill that would force millions to lose insurance coverage and drive up premiums for seniors.

[. .. ]

. . . The Senate added a provision Monday that would let health plans freeze out customers for six months if they let their coverage lapse.

In different ways, both [the House and the Senate bills] would replace federal subsidies that help the vast majority of consumers buying coverage through ACA marketplaces, instead creating smaller tax credits that would provide greater assistance to younger adults while making insurance more expensive for people from middle age into their 60s.

After two years, both [the House and the Senate bills] also would end subsidies that now help about 7 million lower-income people with ACA health plans afford deductibles and copays.  And both would repeal an array of taxes that have helped to pay for the ACA’s benefits, including levies on health insurers and on wealthy Americans’ investment income.

[. . . ]

The bill would, for instance, leave in place the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid through 2020. After that, it would begin a three-year phaseout of the federal money that under the ACA has paid almost the entire cost of adding 11 million Americans to the program’s rolls in 31 states.

That means the extra funding wouldn’t disappear until the mid-2020s.

Over the weekend, the senior Democrat on the Senate subcommittee that oversees the CBO said in a tweet that he had asked the budget office to estimate the Senate bill’s effect on insurance coverage over a longer time horizon. “GOP is hiding the worst Medicaid cuts in years 11, 12, 13 and hoping CBO stays quiet,” wrote Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.


Link:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/imminent-cbo-report-could-prove-pivotal-for-senate-republicans-health-care-bill/2017/06/26/cb8d61e2-59f7-11e7-a9f6-7c3296387341_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_cbosenate-12pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.018e30d3a398


Mitch McConnell is trying to get the Senate bill pased before FRIDAY of THIS week!! 

Pease call your Senators every day for this coming week--especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act !!

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is important to call and let your views be known to these Senators:  Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona), Dean Heller (Nev.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues.  Here is a website with the names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:


Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.



As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Panned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.

102default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:54 pm

Poppy

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So the Republican Senators decided to postpone the vote on their health care bill (which ironically, is called "The Better Care Reconciliation Act") until sometime after they get back from the 4th of July recess.  They return on July 10 (10 day-recess), and they hope to pass their bill before the August recess. I heard that by August 1, they hope to have their bill passed.  Mitch McConnell is working on giving a revised bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by tomorrow, so that the CBO can work on the numbers and have a rating/report ready for the Senate when they return July 10.

During this 10 day recess, when Senators return home, it is absolutely critical that we make our voices heard by these Republican Senators who are trying to take away many health care protections from real people. 


This health care bill has real-life consequences.  Real people will suffer from this:  Children, the elderly, those with disabilities, those with low incomes, those with pre-existing conditions. 


Real people may die from lack of coverage caused by this bill.  


Early this week we got CBO predictions that "Senate Republicans’ bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade — only about a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office."   Source: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/imminent-cbo-report-could-prove-pivotal-for-senate-republicans-health-care-bill/2017/06/26/cb8d61e2-59f7-11e7-a9f6-7c3296387341_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_cbosenate-12pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.018e30d3a398


Note that this estimate by the CBO focused on the first decade (to the year 2026).

Now, a new CBO estimate that focuses on the second decade (to the year 2036) sheds light on how the damage done by this bill is even worse during the second decade.

Washington Post wrote:

GOP health-care debate turns to stark question: help vulnerable Americans, or help the rich?

June 29, 2017

The Republican debate over how to overhaul the Affordable Care Act turned sharply Thursday to a divisive and ideological question: How much money should the Senate health-care bill spend on protecting vulnerable Americans, and how much on providing tax relief to the wealthy?

[. . . ]

[There was] a new Congressional Budget Office estimate Thursday finding that the Republican plan to change how Medicaid payments are calculated starting in 2025 would lead to significantly deeper reductions in its second decade than at the end of the first decade.

By 2036, the new analysis says, the government would spend 35 percent less on Medicaid than under the current law, compared with a 26 percent decrease in the first decade.

[. . . ]


The updated Medicaid estimate from the CBO, which shows how spending would shrink over the next 20 years, underscored the extent to which McConnell’s plan would squeeze the longstanding public insurance program.


The current draft already cuts $772 billion over 10 years from Medicaid, which covers poor Americans as well as the elderly, children and pregnant women.

With senators leaving town Thursday for a 10-day break over the July 4th holiday, Republicans are not likely to announce any new deal or unveil full legislation until after their return next month. That would give time for the CBO to analyze the new proposals and for senators to hear from constituents, setting up a few more days of haggling when they return July 10 and a vote possible the week after that.



Pease call your Senators every day during the 10 day-recess-especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act !!

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is important to call and let your views be known to these Senators: 
Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona),
Dean Heller (Nev.),
Rob Portman (Ohio),
Bill Cassidy (La.),
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
[size=13][size=13]Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (TN)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Luther Strange (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Ron Johnson (WI)


[/size][/size]
When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues.  Here is a website with the telephone numbers and  names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:


Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.



As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.


The advocacy group, Center for American Progress, has a "Trumpcare Tool Kit," to assist you in calling and tweeting 15 key Republican Senators about the Republican health care bill.   Another advocacy group, Indivisible, has been using this tool kit as well.

Go to this link on your smart phone (with a click of a button, the site will connect you by phone with one of the 15 Republican Senators listed above):  
https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/


Or you can go to this Indivisible site, which will provide you with phone scripts that are tailored to 10  key states (Alaska, Maine, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas):    https://www.trumpcareten.org/daily


xx



Last edited by Poppy on Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

103default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:45 pm

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
I'm pasting in this message from Indivisible about 2 Immigration Bills which the Republicans are quietly pushing to a vote TODAY in the House of Representatives.

** URGENT!! TIME SENSITIVE **
** HOUSE WILL VOTE ON THURSDAY 6/29 **
** CALL YOUR REPS: HOUSE TO VOTE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILLS **


Following in the Senate’s footsteps, the House is now bypassing legislative procedure norms to push partisan bills through Congress faster. The bill was recently introduced on 6/22 with no time for amendments.

‘The House will vote THIS THURSDAY on two bills aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, putting one of President Donald Trump’s signature issues in the spotlight before Congress adjourns for its Fourth of July recess.


#1. H.R. 3003 - NO SANCTUARY FOR CRIMINALS ACT, which would withhold federal law enforcement grants from cities & states that have declared themselves sanctuaries for unauthorized immigrants by not assisting the federal government in enforcing immigration law. As an example, ICE detainers would now be legally honored versus the current policy of only honoring a judicial warrant. Sanctuary jurisdictions would be exposed to lawsuits filed by the victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants after the jurisdiction released them from custody.


#2. H.R. 3004 - KATE’S LAW, which has been a part of Trump’s immigration policy platform since his campaign. Kate’s Law would allow for enhancement of criminal sentences for unauthorized immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the U.S. Punishments would be progressively harsher for unauthorized immigrants who have been convicted of misdemeanors or felonies, based on the severity of their offense.


How to Find Your House Rep

1. Go to one of these links:
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
or
https://www.contactingcongress.org/

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

2. Reisistbot app: Use your texting service and type the number '50409' Type 'Resist' in the text line. The app will ask you a series of questions to determine your members of Congress. It will then prompt you for your message, which will be faxed. Very easy and user friendly!

**



SCRIPT:
Hi, my name is xxx, a constituent in zip code xxx.

I’m urging House member xxx to vote NO on the 2 immigration House bills, HR 3003 No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and HR 3004 Kate’s Law.

These are related to Trump administrations’ crackdown on illegal immigration.


HR 3003 is taking aim at Sanctuary cities themselves, overriding their local detention policies and barring them from receiving Homeland Security and Justice Dept. grants, if they don’t comply.


HR3004 makes it more difficult for defendants to challenge wrongful prior removals and makes no exceptions for asylum seekers.

The US is a nation of immigrants and studies show immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than those born in the US.

Together these bills would increase prison population as well as the fear level within our communities. Please urge the Congress member xxx to vote NO and much gratitude for the support!

104default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:43 pm

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
So the Republican Senators decided to postpone the vote on their health care bill (which ironically, is called "The Better Care Reconciliation Act") until sometime after they get back from the 4th of July recess. 

They return on July 10 (10 day-recess), and they hope to pass their bill before the August recess. I heard that by August 1, they hope to have their bill passed. 


This 10 day recess is nearly over.  We need to keep making our voices heard to these Republican Senators who are trying to take away many health care protections from real people. 


This health care bill has real-life consequences.  Real people will suffer from this:  Children, the elderly, those with disabilities, those with low incomes, those with pre-existing conditions. 


Real people may die from lack of coverage caused by this bill.  


Early this week we got CBO predictions that "Senate Republicans’ bill to erase major parts of the Affordable Care Act would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade — only about a million fewer than similar legislation recently passed by the House, according to the Congressional Budget Office."   Source: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/imminent-cbo-report-could-prove-pivotal-for-senate-republicans-health-care-bill/2017/06/26/cb8d61e2-59f7-11e7-a9f6-7c3296387341_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_cbosenate-12pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.018e30d3a398


Note that this estimate by the CBO focused on the first decade (to the year 2026).

Now, a new CBO estimate that focuses on the second decade (to the year 2036) sheds light on how the damage done by this bill is even worse during the second decade.

Washington Post wrote:

GOP health-care debate turns to stark question: help vulnerable Americans, or help the rich?

June 29, 2017

The Republican debate over how to overhaul the Affordable Care Act turned sharply Thursday to a divisive and ideological question: How much money should the Senate health-care bill spend on protecting vulnerable Americans, and how much on providing tax relief to the wealthy?

[. . . ]

[There was] a new Congressional Budget Office estimate Thursday finding that the Republican plan to change how Medicaid payments are calculated starting in 2025 would lead to significantly deeper reductions in its second decade than at the end of the first decade.

By 2036, the new analysis says, the government would spend 35 percent less on Medicaid than under the current law, compared with a 26 percent decrease in the first decade.

[. . . ]


The updated Medicaid estimate from the CBO, which shows how spending would shrink over the next 20 years, underscored the extent to which McConnell’s plan would squeeze the longstanding public insurance program.


The current draft already cuts $772 billion over 10 years from Medicaid, which covers poor Americans as well as the elderly, children and pregnant women.

With senators leaving town Thursday for a 10-day break over the July 4th holiday, Republicans are not likely to announce any new deal or unveil full legislation until after their return next month. That would give time for the CBO to analyze the new proposals and for senators to hear from constituents, setting up a few more days of haggling when they return July 10 and a vote possible the week after that.



Pease call your Senators every day before July 10 --when their recess ends-especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Republican Senate bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare) !!

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is important to call and let your views be known to these Senators: 
Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona),
Dean Heller (Nev.),
Rob Portman (Ohio),
Bill Cassidy (La.),
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
[size=13][size=13]Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (TN)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Luther Strange (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Ron Johnson (WI)



[/size][/size]For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

When you call your Senator, ask for his/her staff person assigned to health care issues.  Here is a website with the telephone numbers and  names of staffers assigned to health care issues, for each Senator for each state:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/#CA



Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:


Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.



As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.


The advocacy group, Center for American Progress, has a "Trumpcare Tool Kit," to assist you in calling and tweeting 15 key Republican Senators about the Republican health care bill.   Another advocacy group, Indivisible, has been using this tool kit as well.

Go to this link on your smart phone (with a click of a button, the site will connect you by phone with one of the 15 Republican Senators listed above):  
https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/


Or you can go to this Indivisible site, which will provide you with phone scripts that are tailored to 10  key states (Alaska, Maine, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas):    https://www.trumpcareten.org/daily


xx

105default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:59 pm

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
The Senate has returned from their 4th of July recess, and Republicans will be working hard to try to get their Senate repeal & replace healthcare bill passed.

Please call your Senators, especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Republican Senate bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare).

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is critical that you call your Senators and let them know your views about health care!


Jeff Flake (Arizona)
Dean Heller (Nev.)
Rob Portman (Ohio)
Bill Cassidy (La.)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (TN)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Luther Stranger (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Ron Johnson (WI)



For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.


As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.



The advocacy group, Center for American Progress, has a "Trumpcare Tool Kit," to assist you in calling and tweeting 15 key Republican Senators about the Republican health care bill.   Another advocacy group, Indivisible, has been using this tool kit as well.

Go to this link on your smart phone (with a click of a button, the site will connect you by phone with one of the 15 Republican Senators listed above):   https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/


Or you can go to this Indivisible site, which will provide you with phone scripts that are tailored to 10  key states (Alaska, Maine, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas):    https://www.trumpcareten.org/daily


Read this inspirational story of a young boy called Ethan and his mom who fiercely fights for her beloved son.  (Note:  Due to the length of the article, I edited quite a bit.   Please click on the link to read the entire heartfelt message from this mom.)



VOX wrote:
I shared my toddler's hospital bill on Twitter. First came supporters -- then death threats

July 7, 2017




. . . My son, Ethan, was born with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare condition that can cause any of the internal organs to be malformed, misplaced, multiplied, or missing altogether. Ethan’s insides are a math all their own: two left lungs, five spleens, and nine congenital heart defects. It was his heart that had brought him to the operating room to have his chest opened four times in his short life, and the bill I was holding was for the latest of these surgeries.

I snapped a picture of the bill and opened Twitter on my phone, absentmindedly imagining that someone might be interested in knowing why we medical mamas care so much about laws that ensure our access to affordable health care, why Obamacare has been a lifeline to our children, banning lifetime limits and ensuring that no one would deny them coverage simply because they’d been born with preexisting conditions like heterotaxy. Maybe someone would listen when I explained how terrified I was now that these protections were under siege due to the Trumpcare bill that stood before the Senate.

The tweets came easily; I’ve always been an external processor. I told our story the same way I always do, softening the hard edges of Ethan’s struggle with photos of the tender-hearted little boy who’s fought so hard to make it this far. I wrote about his medical team, about the surgeries and procedures and medications that he will rely on for the rest of his life, and also I wrote about his love for sticks and fireflies and his mama. I begged the people in power to look him in his big brown eyes and tell him to his face that his life was too expensive to be worth saving.

[. . . ]

At first, the comments were almost entirely supportive. . . the vast majority of people were either in shock at just how high the lines on the bill had added up or else they were staunchly on our side. People were ready to fight for a kid they’d never met, and they were sharing their stories with me in the hopes that I’d fight for their children too.

But as more and more people saw the original tweet, the tide seemed to shift . . . The attacks became increasingly personal and increasingly violent. Strangers were telling me it would have been cheaper to make a new kid, as if anyone in the history of the world could ever replace this bright light of mine, the boy who loves animals and can’t keep himself from kissing babies and always wants to sleep with one arm wrapped around my neck.

[. . .  ]

And then a message from another family of a medically fragile child showed up in my inbox. It wasn’t the first, by any means, but this one was special. It was a mother who had never gotten a proper diagnosis for her son, but after reading our story and doing some research, she’d connected the dots; her son has heterotaxy. She finally had a name for the specter that stalked him, and with that, she could find a community and support as she advocated for her child.

. . . My focus narrowed back to what was important: my son, and the kids like him all across the country, the ones quietly living out their stories every single day with no fanfare and no media attention.

And now the whole world has heard. Now they know that heterotaxy can mean hospitals and surgeries and a lifelong fight, but if another mama somewhere down the road stumbles out of that appointment, broken-hearted and bleary-eyed, maybe she’ll remember the time she saw a little boy named Ethan blowing raspberries on her TV. Maybe she’ll Google heterotaxy and, sandwiched between the black-and-white statistics, she’ll find a boy who sleeps with a stuffed moose (and 15 other animals) and who, thanks to one rather well-known hospital bill, hikes through the woods on sturdy legs, a whole heart instead of the half he was born with beating bravely beneath the scar running the length of this chest.

And the other mamas? The ones who aren’t like me, who haven’t become the “other people,” the ones who bad things happen to? I hope they heard me when I said I want to fight for something better for all of us, for those of us whose children rely on the protections afforded by the current laws and for those of us who are struggling under the system as it stands now.

Some of those people will have heard our story and imagined themselves in our place, maybe for the first time. They will have realized that tragedy does not discriminate, that anyone could be just one diagnosis or one accident away from medical bankruptcy, and that I’m speaking out because I care about my kids but I care about yours too. Maybe this will be the thing that finally gets us to join hands across the political divide and aim our passion away from strangers on the internet and toward the people who are responsible for the laws that affect us all.

And that’s priceless.

Link:  https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/7/7/15934752/health-insurance-heterotaxy-twitter

106default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:13 am

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
As the Republican Senate is preparing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as "Obamacare"), don't forget about this video of Jimmy Kimmel speaking about how life-saving good health care is, how important affordable health care coverage is, that health care should be accessible regardless of your income levels, and that children with pre-existing conditions need good heath care.  " No parent should have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life." 



Published on May 1, 2017






Make no mistake, the Senate Republican replacement bill will have a harsh effect on kids (as well as on those with low-incomes, those with disabilities or pre-existing conditions, or women, or the elderly).


CNN wrote:
Children will pay cruel price for GOP health bill

By Paul Viviano

June 30, 2017

Editor's Note:  Paul Viviano is the president and chief executive officer of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

Generosity, kindness and compassion are principles we ought to embrace, both as Americans and as human beings . . .

But, today -- at least in our political world -- compassion seems to be something people must earn. Nothing demonstrates this more vividly than the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" or BCRA. If Senators pass the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act, the most vulnerable among us -- our children -- will not receive "better care." In many cases, they will receive no care at all; in some cases, they could die.

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, a doctor from Louisiana, said the Senate version of the health bill needs to pass "the Jimmy Kimmel test"-- that no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it. The bill does not do that, at least not entirely.

. . . Now is the time to start from scratch with Republicans and Democrats coming together to find a solution that protects our nation's youth and does not threaten Medicaid coverage for the more than 30 million children and their families currently enrolled.

If you have forgotten why Jimmy Kimmel's story touched so many lives, here is a refresher. Earlier this year, the late-night talk show host came to Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) when his newborn son needed emergency open-heart surgery. A few days after the successful procedure, Kimmel shared his heartfelt story in front of a national audience, sounding less like a comedian in a monologue and more like a relieved, exhausted and grateful parent.

He ended with a direct appeal to those considering overhauling the nation's health care laws: "If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make," Kimmel said.

Congress needs to remember that children represent nearly half of all Medicaid beneficiaries -- and will be one of the groups hardest hit by the BCRA. Challenge your colleagues to do better: Don't accept a 142-page bill that only references children eight times. (Six of the references are merely legal definitions). Put children first.

The only direct consideration for children in the bill is a focus on blind and disabled youth. While this is a population deserving of coverage, it neglects more than 95% of children in Medicaid and in the states-administered Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much for Medicaid and who also face a loss or reduction of coverage.

That's 19 out of 20 needy children now being put at risk as a result of the proposed law.

Every day at CHLA, we witness how access to clinically excellent, compassionate care for all children results in recovery and successful management of the most complicated health conditions that children endure. Having health care coverage makes a huge, tangible difference.

In contrast, BCRA was drafted by only a few members of the US Senate, in a surprisingly closed-door manner, with little or no input from stakeholders closest to the beneficiaries of the nation's current health care system -- doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, insurance carriers, the pharmaceutical industry and, most importantly, patients and families.

According to Mathematica Policy Research, a non-partisan, academic think tank, uninsured children are 70% less likely to get routine or emergency care. They also are less likely to get treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. Hospitalized, uninsured children are at greater risk of dying than children with insurance. And children with limited access to treatment also miss more days of school -- impacting their path to productive adulthood -- and affecting the future of the American economy.

Children like Cristian Mendoza, survived leukemia, in part, because he was covered by Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid. Mendoza now worries about the uncertainty of what kind of coverage might be available to him when he transitions to adult care and pursues his career dream to fight childhood cancer.

"I want to become a pediatric oncologist, and that's something that's very expensive to do," says Cristian, who wonders if he would be able to afford private insurance if he is ineligible for Medi-Cal.

"As a cancer survivor, I have faced and may continue to face longer-term effects on my health, but the idea of not having access to the specialist that I require like my oncologist and cardiologist is very worrisome to not only myself, but also to my friends who are also cancer survivors."

And, yes, conservatives would argue the BCRA shrinks an expensive government entitlement (Medicaid), but it also provides substantial tax breaks to America's wealthiest citizens with little consideration to the devastating effects this could have on children's health.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the long-term burden of these cuts falls disproportionately on the poorest and least healthy members of our society, who will face higher deductibles and a lower chance of coverage. This includes children with medically complex diseases like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, heart disease and cancer.

How is this generous, kind or compassionate?

At CHLA, we believe Medicaid funding for children's health care must be maintained, not cut, capped or block-granted.

[. . . ]

We should not and cannot force millions of families to choose between obtaining health care when they are sick or putting food on the table. We urge the Senate to reject this bill and unite to develop a plan that does not imperil child health. Those who vote yes put more than 30 million children at risk for poorer health outcomes and diminish their ability to live full and prosperous lives. There is no better investment of time or money than making sure any plan voted on keeps kids covered.

We can't keep health care from being complicated, but we can certainly stop it from being heartless. Let's show just how much generosity, kindness and compassion America has by preserving Medicaid coverage for children.

That's the true Jimmy Kimmel test.

Link:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/30/opinions/health-bill-children-opinion-viviano/index.html


Please call your Senators, especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act," the Republican Senate bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare).

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is critical that you call your Senators and let them know your views about health care!


Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)  202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Luther Stranger (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

And the bill should not give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, because that would be unacceptable to me.


As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--there will not be tax cuts for the wealthy

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.



The advocacy group, Center for American Progress, has a very cool, efficient tool called the "Trumpcare Tool Kit," to assist you in calling and tweeting 15 key Republican Senators about the Republican health care bill.   Another advocacy group, Indivisible, has been using this tool kit as well. 
Go to this link on your smart phone (with a click of a button, the site will connect you by phone with one of the 15 Republican Senators listed above):   https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/


Or you can go to this Indivisible site, which will provide you with phone scripts that are tailored to 10  key states (Alaska, Maine, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas):    https://www.trumpcareten.org/daily

Please call your Republican Senators and tell them
vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act." 

You can use the phone script I posted above, and go to this link to find the phone number of your Senators based on your state:
https://www.contactingcongress.org/ .  Or use the Trumpcare Tool Kit on your iphone: https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/   It's easy.  And more importantly, this most likely will affect you, or someone in your family or one of your friends, or a co-worker:  Whoever has children, has an elderly parent, has a pre-existing condition or a disability.  It's absolutely critical to make your voice heard-to express your concern-to your Senators about your own health care.  Please call now.





Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:56 pm; edited 2 times in total

107default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:30 am

*Jeremy*

avatar
Advanced Member I
Advanced Member I
I've just read that, in Arkansas, raped women who want an abortion have now to ask the permission to the rapists :shocked

108default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:19 pm

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Hi Jeremy, yes, it boggles the mind, doesn't it?  How backwards can the U.S. be?   Completely disgusting and unbelievable. 

Health care advocates like Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights, along with  the ACLU are making a legal challenge against that Arkansas law.  Now is a good time to donate to the ACLU and/or Planned Parenthood.  

More info about ACLU's legal challenge of the Arkansas law:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/only-way-get-arkansas-legislators-out-exam-room-take-them-court



To donate to the ACLU:  https://action.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=web_horiz_nav_hp

To Donate to Planned Parenthood:  https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2?df_id=24598&24598.donation=form1

109default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:23 pm

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Mitch McConnell unveiled a revised Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which still called (ironically) "The Better Care Reconciliation Act."  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is reported to score this revised Republican health care bill on Monday of next week.

Washington Post wrote:
The new GOP health-care plan is still an abomination

By Paul Waldman (Opinion)

July 13, 2017

The big picture is that this bill is an absolute nightmare that would cause a spectacular amount of human suffering — and yes, even deaths — if it were to pass. It would mean fewer people with coverage, more people having trouble affording coverage, less protection and less security.


Let’s go through the major provisions in the bill:

--The bill would utterly eviscerate Medicaid, which is relied on by tens of millions of poor, elderly and disabled Americans. It would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the program. It would also transform the program into a block grant, for the first time allowing states to kick enrollees off their coverage and cut back benefits.

--The bill allows insurers to sell bare-bones plans that go by the name “insurance” but cover very little, as long as they also offer a plan that meets the “essential health benefits” requirement of the ACA. This in effect sets up two pools, one containing young and healthy people, and one containing people who are older or who have more serious health needs. The insurance industry, along with many analysts, predict that this could produce a death spiral of skyrocketing costs for those with preexisting conditions.

--The bill retains the ACA’s 3.9 percent tax on investment income and 0.9 percent payroll tax for wealthier Americans.

--It eliminates the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies after two years, but creates a fund with $182 billion (over 10 years) for states to use to help patients with out-of-pocket costs and those with high medical expenses.

--It allows people with tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts to use their HSAs to pay premiums, which they are currently not allowed to do. Note that HSAs overwhelmingly benefit wealthier people, because they’re the ones with spare money they can put into them to gain the tax benefits.

--Though it slashes the Medicaid through which many opioid addicts now receive treatment, it sets aside $45 billion to combat opioid addiction.

--It has a new provision allowing people to use tax credits to buy catastrophic plans with extremely high deductibles that cover no routine care.

--It replaces the ACA’s subsidies with stingier tax credits based on what high-deductible plans cost and allows insurers to charge older people more than they can now.

--As before, it eliminates the individual and employer mandates, bars tax credits from being used for any insurance plan that covers abortion, and prohibits women on Medicaid from getting any treatment at Planned Parenthood facilities.

If your Republican senator votes for this plan, he or she is supporting gutting Medicaid, taking away health coverage from at least 20 million Americans and potentially the end of real protections for those with preexisting conditions, higher deductibles, less help for those with modest incomes, potentially the return of lifetime limits on coverage (outlawed by the ACA), which turn a health-care challenge into a financial calamity, and an attack on women’s health choices.

In short, this bill is an abomination. No one should be able to get away with saying, “Well, it’s a little better than it was before.” All that does is obscure how spectacularly cruel it is.

Note: Paul Waldman is a contributor to The Plum Line blog, and a senior writer at The American Prospect.

Link:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/07/13/the-new-gop-health-care-plan-is-still-an-abomination/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6bea5f38eb63





The New York Times wrote:
Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill but Divisions Remain

July 13, 2017

. . . The bill would allow insurers, under certain conditions, to offer health plans that did not comply with standards in the Affordable Care Act. Under that law, insurers sell regulated health plans through a public insurance exchange in each state.

But health care experts worried that such a change would send healthy consumers to low-cost, basic health plans, leaving sick and older consumers to buy more comprehensive health policies at much higher prices. To compensate, Republican leaders added billions of dollars to try to offset rising premiums.

[. . . ]

But the revised bill is broadly similar to the earlier measure that Senate leaders hoped to vote on before the Fourth of July recess, though the new version includes some additional provisions meant to entice reluctant Republican senators with varying policy concerns.

“It appears that little has changed at the core of the bill,” the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said on the Senate floor. “The Republican Trumpcare bill still slashes Medicaid. The cuts are every bit as draconian as they were in the previous version — a devastating blow to rural hospitals, to Americans in nursing homes, to those struggling with opioid addiction and so many more.”

Like the previous bill, it would end the requirement that most Americans have health coverage, and it would make deep cuts to Medicaid, capping payments to states and rolling back its expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Though some Republican senators expressed concern about how the previous bill would affect Medicaid, Senate leaders stuck with the same approach in the new version.

[. . . ]

Mr. McConnell has said he intends to take up the revised bill next week, although it is unclear if he would try to move ahead if he did not know for sure whether he had the votes to begin debate — or to ultimately pass the bill.
Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/us/politics/senate-republican-health-care-bill.html



The new bill has added "slush funds" (such as the money set aside to battle opioid  abuse), intended to win the votes of some moderate Republicans, as well as some additions to win over the more conservative Republican Senators.   These slush funds will only help in a very temporary way, because sooner or later, the slush funds will run out of money, although they may be used as a justification for a moderate Republican Senator to vote for this bill.  Note that children represent nearly half of Medicaid beneficiaries.  There will be massive suffering among children.  Also note that Medicaid also helps pay for seniors in nursing homes and helps keep hospitals, especially hospitals in rural areas, open to serve their communities. 



Please call your Senators, especially if you have Republican Senators--and tell them to vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act," the Republican Senate bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare).

In particular, if you reside in the following states, it is critical that you call your Senators and let them know your views about health care!


Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)  202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Luther Stranger (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Here is a telephone script to use when you speak to the staffer assigned to health care issues of your Senators:

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass
the Better Care Reconciliation Ac


What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cut the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--That persons with pre-existing conditions receive adequate health care, with meaningful essential benefits (such as emergency services, hospitalization coverage, mental health coverage, prescription drugs coverage, coverage of laboratory costs, and more).

--That Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--That women on Medicaid will not be prohibited from getting any treatment (including family planning, contraception, preventative screening) at Planned Parenthood.

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.



The advocacy group, Center for American Progress, has a very cool, efficient tool called the "Trumpcare Tool Kit," to assist you in calling and tweeting 15 key Republican Senators about the Republican health care bill.   Another advocacy group, Indivisible, has been using this tool kit as well. 
Go to this link on your smart phone (with a click of a button, the site will connect you by phone with one of the 15 Republican Senators listed above):   https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/


Or you can go to this Indivisible site, which will provide you with phone scripts that are tailored to 10  key states (Alaska, Maine, Arizona, Ohio, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas):    https://www.trumpcareten.org/daily

Please call your Republican Senators and tell them
vote NO on the "The Better Care Reconciliation Act." 

You can use the phone script I posted above, and go to this link to find the phone number of your Senators based on your state:
https://www.contactingcongress.org/ .  Or use the Trumpcare Tool Kit on your iphone: https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/   It's easy.  And more importantly, this most likely will affect you, or someone in your family or one of your friends, or a co-worker:  Whoever has children, has an elderly parent, has a pre-existing condition or a disability.  It's absolutely critical to make your voice heard-to express your concern-to your Senators about your own health care.  Please call now.


110default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:20 am

Poppy

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It looks like the Senate repeal and replace bill, "The Better Care Reconciliation Act," will not proceed further since two more Republican Senators, Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kansas) have come forward with their opposition to The Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Now, Mitch McConnell and Trump are tossing around the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA," also known as "Obamacare") now, and two years later, replacing the ACA with a new health care bill.

As happy as I am to see that this current Republican Senate repeal and replace bill has failed, I am very concerned about Mitch McConnell's proposal to repeal the ACA now, and replace 2 years later.  That is just crazy to  repeal the ACA now and take away the health care coverage of millions of Americans now, and then two years later, replace it with some other Republican health care bill. 

We--as real people whose lives will be affected by the ACA being repealed without any immediate replacement health care--need to stand ready to make our voices heard against this new Republicans' new plan .

The New York Times wrote:
Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two Republican Senators Defect

July 17, 2017

WASHINGTON — Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law. Two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they would not support a procedural step to begin debate.

[ . . . ]

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, conceded Monday night that “the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He outlined plans to vote now on a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with it taking effect later. That has almost no chance to pass, however, since it could leave millions without insurance and leave insurance markets in turmoil.

But President Trump was not ready to give up. He immediately took to Twitter to say: “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

[. . . ]

Already, Mr. McConnell was trying to sell legislation that was being assailed from many directions. On Friday, the health insurance lobby, which had been largely silent during the fight, came off the sidelines to blast as “unworkable” a key provision allowing the sale of low-cost, stripped-down health plans, saying it would increase premiums and undermine protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

[. . . ]

The pressure on Mr. Moran at home showed no sign of relenting. The Kansas Hospital Association said last week that the revised Senate bill “comes up short, particularly for our most vulnerable patients.”


News media are reporting that people choosing to make their voices heard--whether expressed through phone calls to their senators of their states, or whether expressed through community rallies, or through constituents taking the initiative to visit the local district offices of their senators, or attending town hall meetings of their senators--played a huge role in the defeat of this repeal and replacement bill. 

Senator Jerry Moran, one of the 2 Senators who most recently came forward with their opposition to the current Senate repeal and replace bill, was met with his own daughter's pediatrician attending Moran's town hall meeting (during the 4th of July recess). 



Think Progress wrote:

Republican senator confronted by his daughters' pediatrician over health care bill

July 6, 2017

Last month, as the Senate GOP was crafting its health care bill in secret, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) faced angry constituents at a town hall when he said he would vote for an Obamacare replacement, even if there were no public hearings.

On Thursday, he told constituents in his rural Kansas home county the same thing. But Moran — one of just three Republican senators holding a town hall this recess — received a better reception this time because of his decision to come out against the Republican health care bill last week, after the vote was delayed.

[. . . ]

One constituent who spoke out was Bob Cox, Moran’s daughters’ pediatrician, who joked that he knew the senator’s daughters before he met Moran.

“The federal government is charged with the protection of its citizens from external threat,” Cox said. “The U.S. military provides this service, and it’s funded appropriately. We as a culture have not accepted the responsibility to protect citizens from internal threat, disease and injury.”


So an active, interested, passionate constituency is absolutely critical, and again, we need to be ready to speak out once we hear more from the Republicans about this awful plan to repeal the ACA now, and replace it two years later.

111default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:38 pm

Poppy

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So  three Republican Senators--all women--came forward to voice their opposition to Mitch McConnell's proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act ("ACA," or "Obamacare") now, and replace with a new health care bill two years later. 

Mitch McConnell is insisting he will bring his proposal to a vote next week.  If these three Republican Senators continue to oppose McConnell's "repeal now, replace 2 years later" plan, then this plan also will fail. 

I'm hoping that these three Republican senators, and other Republican Senators, stand their ground and oppose this dangerous "repeal now, replace later" plan.

But we cannot take this for granted.  We must continue to make our voices heard to our Senators.  If you have a Republican senator, it is vital that you call them NOW, and tell them to oppose Mitch McConnell's plan to repeal the ACA now and replace it two years later! 



For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/





Los Angeles Times wrote:
McConnell's latest Obamacare repeal plan also collapsing amid more Republican defections

July 18, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's latest bid to salvage the GOP campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act collapsed Tuesday as centrist Republicans balked at legislation to repeal the healthcare law now and develop an alternative later.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski became the third GOP lawmaker to reject McConnell's new strategy, making it impossible for Senate Republicans to bring up the plan.


Earlier Tuesday, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, said they would not back the "repeal and delay" approach.


“I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians,” Capito said in a statement.


McConnell on Monday night floated the plan to vote for legislation repealing most of Obamacare now with a plan to develop an alternative over the next two years.
Link:  http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-senate-republicans-new-plan-to-repeal-1500389717-htmlstory.html






So what would happen if McConnell's "repeal now, replace later" plan passes the Senate?   By analogy, we can look at 2015, which was the last time Republicans in the Senate voted to repeal the ACA. 




The Washington Post wrote:
Senate Repulbicans' effort to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare all but collapses

July 18, 2018

Republicans last voted on repeal in 2015. Every current GOP senator who was then in the Senate voted for it, except Collins. But it was a meaningless protest vote; Obama was president, and he quickly vetoed it. With Trump in the White House, a vote to repeal the law without replacing it could have far-reaching consequences.

Abolishing Obamacare’s central pillars — such as the mandate that taxpayers buy coverage; federal subsidies for many consumers’ premiums; and Medicaid coverage for roughly 11 million Americans — without replacing them could wreak havoc in the insurance market. In January, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that premiums in the individual insurance market would rise by as much as 25 percent next year and would roughly double by 2026.

The CBO said repeal would cause the number of uninsured people to rise by 18 million next year and by 32 million by 2026.

[. . . ]

While the path forward remained uncertain, consumers and health industry players continued to reach out to lawmakers. On Monday, two members of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network journeyed from West Virginia, and one of them spoke with a Capito aide about an 18-month-old girl who had developed cancer while her mother was working part-time at a bank. After the woman lost her job, both she and the little girl went on Medicaid, allowing the child to receive treatment.

“A lot of times people assume anyone on Medicaid is too lazy to work,” the child’s grandmother Lora Wilkerson told the aide, handing her a photo of the girl — bald, with a teddy bear in her arms.


“Can you please ask Ms. Capito to look at this picture when she casts her vote?” Wilkerson said.


The aide, according to Capito’s spokeswoman, made sure the senator saw it.

Link:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-suggests-republicans-will-let-aca-market-collapse-then-rewrite-health-law/2017/07/18/5e79a3ec-6bac-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-banner-main_healthcare-844am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7c0421a84806




Note that the CBO estimated that 32 million would lose their health care within a decade, if the ACA was repealed without any replacement, which is 10 million more than the number of people (22 million) that the CBO estimated would lose their health care coverage under the original Senate "repeal and replace" bill.  McConnell's plan to "repeal now, and replace later" is the cruelest plan yet concocted by either the Republican House or the Republican Senate.


Sadly, Trump has put his pride (his need to have a "win") and his politics above the welfare of American people, even above the welfare of his own supporters.  Today, he stated that he plans to let the ACA fail.  This means that in effect, he is saying publicly that he does not care about whether Americans will lose health care coverage.  He is saying he does not care if people can afford to pay their premiums that currently are lowered by federal subsidies.  In effect, he is saying that he does not care whether people's health and their lives will be hurt. 

It has been widely reported that the ACA has its flaws, but Trump and the Republicans in the House and the Senate are making no effort to try to fix these flaws.   And by Trump refusing to take steps to support health care coverage under the ACA, he will be sabotaging the ACA, and thus sabotaging the health care for those people who obtain health care under the ACA.



The New York Times wrote:
'Let Obamacare Fail,' Trump Says as G.O.P. Health Bill Collapses

July 18, 2017

Mr. Trump declared that his plan was now to “let Obamacare fail,” and suggested that Democrats would then seek out Republicans to work together on a bill to bury the Affordable Care Act. If he is determined to make good on that pledge, he has plenty of levers to pull, from declining to reimburse insurance companies for reducing low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs to failing to enforce the mandate that most Americans have health coverage.

“It’ll be a lot easier,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, adding: “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”

[. . . ]

Mr. Trump has considerable leverage to gum up the works of the Affordable Care Act. He could throw insurance markets into a tailspin at any time by cutting off the subsidy payments to insurers, as he has threatened to do. He could further destabilize the markets by not enforcing the mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

And he could cancel advertising and other efforts to encourage enrollment under the Affordable Care Act when the annual sign-up period begins in November. A barrage of negative statements from the administration could project an official view that the health law is collapsing, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The lack of certainty over the subsidy payments, which go toward reducing out-of-pocket costs for low-income people, has been a major concern for insurers. The companies say premiums will be significantly higher without the funding, and some companies that have submitted rates to sell insurance in the market next year could decide to pull out.
Link:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/us/politics/republicans-obamacare-repeal-now-replace-later.html



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

112default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Poppy

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So the never-ending saga of the Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act ("ACA," or "Obamacare") continues . . .  It's like a nightmare that never ends.

So Trump had a lunch with all the Republican Senators and is trying to assert pressure on them to get the job done, so that he can add it as a political "win" for him and the Republican party (although it would be a devastating loss to the American people).  At this lunch, Trump called out Dean Heller (Nev.) as one of the Republican Senators who came forward with his opposition to the original Senate repeal and replace bill.  In fact, Trump "jokingly" threatened Senator Heller, saying "he [Senator Heller] wants to remain a Senator, doesn't he?"

So after the lunch, several Republican Senators are now talking about working again on a repeal and replace bill, since that is what Trump stated he preferred.

But Mitch McConnell has not stated publicly that he is abandoning his proposed bill of "repeal now, replace 2 years later." 

This just came out a few minutes ago:  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has come out today with an estimate of what would happen if the "repeal now, replace 2 years later" plan actually passed the Senate.  McConnell's "repeal now, replace 2 years later" bill is called the "Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA)."


Business Insider wrote:
The CBO just delivered a devastating score for the GOP's Plan B on healthcare

July 19, 2017

According to the CBO, the bill — the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) [McConnell's "repeal now and replace later" bill] — would leave 17 million more Americans without healthcare insurance in 2018 compared to the current system. That would ramp up to 27 million more uninsured by 2020 and 32 million more uninsured by 2026.


The numbers were similar to the projections the last time Republicans advanced the legislation in 2015.

Under the ORRA, repeal would not kick in until 2020 but would then go into effect immediately, rather than phasing out Obamacare's provisions. The CBO score does not take into account any replacement that may be passed during that two-year period.

According to the CBO, the impact on premiums would be similarly devastating.


"Average premiums in the non-group market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by roughly 25% — relative to projections under current law — in 2018," said the report. "The increase would reach about 50% in 2020, and premiums would about double [to 100%] by 2026."

The bill would also decrease the federal deficit by $473 billion by 2026, while cutting Medicaid spending by $842 billion in that same timeframe.

Link:  http://www.businessinsider.com/cbo-score-gop-obamacare-repeal-bill-2017-7




Yes, you read that right.  32 million more people by 2026 would be uninsuredAnd premiums would go up by 100% by 2026!

Again, if you have a Republican Senator, it is imperative that you call them to urge them to vote NO, or visit them in their Washington DC offices if you live in that area. 

They need to hear your concerns about your own health care, about the lives of yourself, your children and your parents, your friends and your co-workers.


If you live in these states, it's especially important you call your Senators:

Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)  (202) 224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)  (202) 224-5941
Richard Shelby (AL)  (202) 224-5744
Luther Stranger (AL)  (202) 224-4124
Pat Toomey (PA)  (202) 224-4254
Lamar Alexander (TN)  (202) 224-4944
Ron Johnson (WI)  (202) 224-5323
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/


Remember, McConnell is planning a vote NEXT WEEK
(unclear if it will be on a "repeal and replace" bill or a "repeal now, and replace later" bill).  So NOW is the time to make your voices heard. 


113default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:44 pm

Poppy

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Administrator
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IMPORTANT!!


Guys, NEXT WEEK, Mitch McConnell is planning to have the Senate take a vote on the Republican healthcare bill --unclear if it's on a "repeal and replace" bill (leaving 22 million more people uninsured) or a "repeal now, replace later" (leaving 32 million more people uninsured)! 

Again, if you have a Republican Senator, it is imperative that you call them on MONDAY (and EVERY DAY up to the date of the vote) to urge them to vote NO, or visit them in their Washington DC offices if you live in that area. 

They need to hear your concerns about your own health care, about the lives of yourself, your children and your parents, your friends and your co-workers.


If you live in these states, it's especially important you call your Senators:

Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)  (202) 224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)  (202) 224-5941
Richard Shelby (AL)  (202) 224-5744
Luther Stranger (AL)  (202) 224-4124
Pat Toomey (PA)  (202) 224-4254
Lamar Alexander (TN)  (202) 224-4944
Ron Johnson (WI)  (202) 224-5323
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/


Remember, McConnell is planning a vote NEXT WEEK
(unclear if it will be on a "repeal and replace" bill or a "repeal now, and replace later" bill).  So NOW is the time to make your voices heard!!  Call your Senators on MONDAY (and EVERY DAY up to the day of the Senate vote)!

Here are two different phone scripts (since Mitch McConnell is being secretive and not disclosing which version of the Republican health care bill he will be having the Senate vote on--whether it is the "repeal and replace" bill, or whether it is the "repeal now and replace Later" bill,' which is also called the "repeal only" bill).



Phone script for a "repeal AND replace" bill:

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cuts the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--That persons with pre-existing conditions receive adequate health care coverage, with meaningful essential benefits (such as emergency services, hospitalization coverage, mental health coverage, prescription drugs coverage, coverage of laboratory costs, and more).

--That Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--That women on Medicaid will not be prohibited from getting any treatment (including family planning, contraception, preventative screening) at Planned Parenthood.


Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.


OR




Phone script for a "repeal only" bill (also known as a "repeal now and replace 2 years later" bill):

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass the "repeal now, replace later" health care bill, known as the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA).

What is Senator [ name ]’s position on the Republican health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, and cuts the Medicaid program.

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.



114default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:00 am

*Jeremy*

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Advanced Member I
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Why is there such opposition to Obamacare ? How much do people have to pay to get an insurance ? Do they have a good coverage for what they pay ?

115default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:21 am

Poppy

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Well, it's not a simple answer.  You would have to research all the issues that the ACA covers, and the various reasons why Republicans and others oppose that statute.  In terms of Republican politicians, repealing the ACA was something they campaigned on and they seem stuck on that issue.  They don't acknowledge that things have changed since the Affordable Care Act was first passed.  Now, more people favor the ACA, than any of the Republican health care bills (whether it's the Republican "repeal and replace" bill, or whether it's the "repeal only" bill).  Republicans in general are against what they call "entitlement" programs, that is, programs that are funded or subsidized by the government to provide a social benefit.  In addition, some folks resent being mandated by the government to buy healthcare under the ACA (or if they do not buy healthcare, they must pay a fee).  From what I understand, healthcare coverage obtained under the ACA is good, but for folks who earn too much to qualify for federal subsidies to help lower the costs, the healthcare they pay for may be expensive for them to pay. 

Democrats admit that the ACA has its problems, but they also recognize the good that is achieved under that law in terms of how it  saves lives, so they want to keep the ACA and fix its flaws.  Republicans basically want to weaken the ACA, or alternatively, just repeal the ACA altogether.




Anyway, TODAY (Tuesday) the Senate will take a vote:

CNN wrote:
Republican senators poised to vote today on health care. What you need to know

July 25, 2017

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the Senate set to vote Tuesday on the first major test for the GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. It's a vote on the motion to proceed to debate and amendments on the House-passed health care bill (i.e. the AHCA.)

McConnell needs 50 out of the 52 Senate Republicans to support him

Link http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/politics/senate-poised-to-vote-today-on-health-care/index.html






Again, if you have a Republican Senator, it is imperative that you call them TODAY to urge them to vote NO, or visit them in their Washington DC offices if you live in that area. 

They need to hear your concerns about your own health care, about the lives of yourself, your children and your parents, your friends and your co-workers.


If you live in these states, it's especially important you call your Senators:

Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)  (202) 224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)  (202) 224-5941
Richard Shelby (AL)  (202) 224-5744
Luther Stranger (AL)  (202) 224-4124
Pat Toomey (PA)  (202) 224-4254
Lamar Alexander (TN)  (202) 224-4944
Ron Johnson (WI)  (202) 224-5323
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/



Here are two different phone scripts (since Mitch McConnell is being secretive and not disclosing which version of the Republican health care bill he will be having the Senate vote on--whether it is the "repeal and replace" bill, or whether it is the "repeal now and replace Later" bill,' which is also called the "repeal only" bill).

Phone script for a "repeal AND replace" bill:

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act.


Can you tell me how Senator [  ] plans to vote on the motion to proceed on the health care bill?

As a constituent, I feel Senator [ name ] should oppose any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

I strongly believe the Senator should OPPOSE any bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans, cuts the Medicaid program,  and allow states to permit insurers to get rid of essential benefits for people with pre-existing conditions and other people. 

As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that:

--No one will lose coverage as a result of this bill;

--There will be no cuts to the Medicaid program;

- -That Medicaid expansion will not be phased out

--That persons with pre-existing conditions receive adequate health care coverage, with meaningful essential benefits (such as emergency services, hospitalization coverage, mental health coverage, prescription drugs coverage, coverage of laboratory costs, and more).

--That Planned Parenthood will not not lose federal money

--That women on Medicaid will not be prohibited from getting any treatment (including family planning, contraception, preventative screening) at Planned Parenthood.

I would like to urge the Senator to vote NO to the motion to proceed , and to vote NO against the Republican health care bill.

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.


OR




Phone script for a "repeal only" bill (also known as a "repeal now and replace 2 years later" bill):

Script

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling today because I’m very angry and disturbed about the Republican’s plan to pass the "repeal now, replace later" health care bill, known as the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA).

Can you tell me how Senator [  ] plans to vote on the motion to proceed on the health care bill?

As a constituent, I strongly believe the Senator [ name ] should oppose any bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

I would like the Senator to oppose any bill that takes away health care from millions of Americans, and cuts the Medicaid program.

I would like to urge the Senator to vote NO to the motion to proceed , and to vote NO against the Republican health care bill.

Please let the Senator know about my concerns.  I will be following the Senator's views closely. Thank you for your time.



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total

116default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:14 am

*Jeremy*

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Advanced Member I
Advanced Member I
Thank you for your answer. See you tomorrow for Darren's surprise :happy face

117default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:04 am

Poppy

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Administrator
Administrator
You're welcome.  See you tomorrow, Jeremy.  Have a good day!

118default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:53 am

Poppy

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Administrator
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I'm very disappointed that the Republican Senate was successful in their procedural motion to start debate on the Republican health care bill(s).  I do applaud the 2 Republican Senators who voted "No":  Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).  I'm very disappointed that other "moderate" Republican Senators voted yes, as well as disappointed in John McCain for voting "yes.

Now, the Senate will be voting on many amendments.  The public may not even be informed about the details of each amendment, and the amendments may not even by scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).   This is scary.

PLEASE KEEP CALLING YOUR REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE ANY ATTEMPT TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT!!

119default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:45 am

Poppy

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Administrator
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After the Republican Senate won on the motion to proceed to debate on Tuesday, the Senate then considered, but failed to pass two health care proposals. 

First on Tuesday (July 25), the Senate voted on a Republican "repeal and replace" proposal.  Because the proposal was not scored by the Congressional Budget Office, 60 votes were required for passage.  The proposal failed, with a vote of 43-57. 

Nine Republicans . . . voted against the bill (some of the Republican Senators voted against the bill because they felt the bill  did not go far enough in terms of repealing enough of the Affordable Care Act). 

Then today (Wednesday), the Senate voted on a Republican "repeal only" bill (also called a "clean repeal" bill).   This bill also failed to pass, with a vote of 45-55.  Seven Republicans voted against the bill. 

NY Times wrote:
Health Care Vote: Senate Rejects Repeal Without Replace

June 26, 2017

• The Senate on Wednesday afternoon rejected a proposal to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act without providing a replacement. Follow the live vote tracker to see how each senator voted.

• President Trump lashed out Wednesday morning at Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of two Republicans who voted on Tuesday against beginning debate on repealing the health law.

• Blue Cross Blue Shield warns senators against repealing the mandate that almost everyone have insurance without something to take its place.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a measure that would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act but would not have provided a replacement, signaling that the “clean repeal” bill that conservatives have embraced cannot get through Congress.

The vote, 45-55, underscored the bind that Republican leaders have found themselves in. Seven Republicans voted against the measure — Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — showing that repealing the health law without an immediate replacement lacks crucial support among Republicans.

But a more comprehensive measure that would have repealed major parts of the law with a ready replacement also came up short on Tuesday night.


So there has been a lot of discussion among the media that the Republican Senate will now try to pass a bill that does not touch Medicaid, but that removes the individual mandate (the requirement that individuals must buy health insurance) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as remove the employer mandate under the ACA, end the 2.3 percent tax on medical device manufacturers, and ban funding for Planned Parenthood.  This bill has been dubbed the idiotic nickname of the "skinny repeal" bill.   This bill is still extremely dangerous, in that it will deny millions more people of health insurance (16 million people, according to the CBO), and cause premiums to skyrocket.  It is also unclear if federal subsidies for low-income persons would be available under the "skinny repeal" bill (and without such subsidies, they will not be able to afford health insurance).

The Washington Post wrote:
GOP momentum grows for more modest plan to overhaul Obamacare

July 26, 2017

Senate Democrats announced late Wednesday afternoon that a preliminary CBO estimate found that 16 million people would lose coverage if Republicans enacted a handful of the policies floated for the pared-down repeal bill. The analysis was based on the assumption that the GOP wants to repeal the individual and employer mandates, end a 2.3 percent tax on medical device manufacturers, ban funding for Planned Parenthood and repeal prevention health funds.

In a sign of how the prospect of a spike in the uninsured rate continues to worry governors, a bipartisan group of 10 of them — including Republicans Brian Sandoval of Nevada and John Kasich of Ohio — urged Senate leaders late Wednesday to work together with governors in developing a new plan and to reject a skinny repeal, which they said “is expected to accelerate health plans leaving the individual market, increase premiums, and result in fewer Americans having access to insurance.”

[. . . ]

Meanwhile, the ongoing uncertainty on Capitol Hill sent jitters through the insurance industry.

Joseph R. Swedish, the chief executive of Anthem — the nation’s second-largest health insurer — said on a conference call to review second-quarter earnings that the company is reassessing its participation in ACA marketplaces for next year. Anthem has decided to largely withdraw from the markets in three of the 14 states it participates in, and he said it may stop participating elsewhere unless the markets seem stable.

He cited, in particular, the question of whether Congress and the Trump administration will continue “cost-sharing subsidies” that the ACA provides insurers to help lower-income customers — about 7 million this year — afford deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

[. . . ]

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association warned that even the skinny repeal Republicans now envision could undermine the individual insurance market because it would eliminate the requirement that Americans buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. The measure, which remains subject to negotiation, also would probably eliminate the ACA’s requirement that employers with 50 workers or more provide health coverage, and a medical device tax that generates $19.6 billion in federal revenue over a decade.

[. . . ]

A CBO estimate in December projected that repealing the ACA’s individual mandate would leave 15 million Americans uninsured most years and prompt premiums to rise by 20 percent.




The bottom line is that if any parts of the ACA is repealed, that millions more people will lose their insurance.  It's just a matter of how many millions.  Even under the "skinny repeal" bill, the CBO is estimating that 16 million more people will lose their insurance. 

Again, if you have a Republican Senator, it is imperative that you call them TODAY to urge them to vote NO on any health care bill that repeals all or part of the Affordable Care Act, or visit them in their Washington DC offices if you live in that area. 

They need to hear your concerns about your own health care, about the lives of yourself, your children and your parents, your friends and your co-workers.


If you live in these states, it's especially important you call your Senators:

Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)  (202) 224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)  (202) 224-5941
Richard Shelby (AL)  (202) 224-5744
Luther Stranger (AL)  (202) 224-4124
Pat Toomey (PA)  (202) 224-4254
Lamar Alexander (TN)  (202) 224-4944
Ron Johnson (WI)  (202) 224-5323
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/


Please keep calling!  The Republican health care bills that repeal the ACA will harm millions of people, including children, the elderly, those with disabilities, and those with low-income.   



If you are interested, many events will be held all across the country on Saturday, July 29, to protest the Republican health care bills to repeal the ACA.   Go here to see if there is an event near you:  http://ourlivesontheline.org/#find

120default Re: General News You Want to Talk About on Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:45 pm

Poppy

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Administrator
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I love all the activity regarding Darren's release of his cover of "I Dreamed A Dream," and the announcement of Elsie Fest.  However, to be honest, I am extremely distracted with what is happening in the U.S. right now, especially the Republicans' efforts to do away with all protocol of how a bill is normally passed, to fast-track the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The Senate will be voting on the "skinny repeal" bill  TONIGHT (TUESDAY NIGHT)Please call your Republican Senators TODAY and tell them to Vote NO on the "skinny repeal" bill and on any bill that repeals parts of the Affordable Care Act!



On the healthcare issue, things are spiraling out of control.  Just minutes ago, 4 Republican Senators (Lindsey Graham of So. Carolina, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin) held a press conference admitting their fear that if this "skinny repeal" bill is passed by the Senate, that the House of Representatives would act quickly to vote to pass the bill "as it is" without a conference (without any debate over amendments that could be added to the skinny bill).  And then Trump would sign the bill and it would become the law of the land.  (And then, millions of Americans would lose their health care, or no longer be able to afford their healthcare because premiums will skyrocket.)  

Senator Lyndsey Graham himself stated:  "The skinny bill as policy is a disaster."

The Washington Post wrote:
Senate GOP leaders work to round up votes for more modest health-care overhaul

July 27, 2017

In an email to Republican senators, McConnell said the proposal — dubbed “skinny repeal” — would eliminate the law’s requirement that Americans obtain coverage or pay a tax penalty, and suspend the mandate that firms employing 50 or more workers provide insurance for at least five years. It also would eliminate funds for preventive health care provided under the 2010 law and transfer the funds Planned Parenthood would receive for one year to community health centers. Finally, the measure would provides states more flexibility in how they administer their Medicaid programs under the law’s 1332 waiver program.

While the revamped health measure is more modest than earlier versions of the bill, it would still have a major impact on the individual insurance market. Eliminating the ACA’s individual mandate could change the makeup of those buying insurance, and cause the premiums of those remaining in the system to rise significantly.

[. . . ]

Still, there was deep uncertainty over whether such a measure would be subject to further negotiation or simply face an up-or-down vote in the House.

[. . . ]

President Trump exhorted Republicans on Twitter on Wednesday morning to fall in line and back some sort of proposal to scale back the law known as Obamacare.

[. .  . ]

Senate Democrats announced late Wednesday afternoon that a preliminary CBO estimate found that 16 million people would lose coverage and that premiums would rise 20 percent if Republicans enacted a handful of the policies floated for the pared-down repeal bill. The analysis was based on the assumption that the GOP wants to repeal the individual and employer mandates, end a 2.3 percent tax on medical device manufacturers, ban funding for Planned Parenthood and repeal funds for preventive health care.

In a sign of how the prospect of a spike in the uninsured rate continues to worry governors, a bipartisan group of 10 of them — including Republicans Brian Sandoval of Nevada and John Kasich of Ohio — urged Senate leaders late Wednesday to work together with governors in developing a new plan and to reject a skinny repeal, which they said “is expected to accelerate health plans leaving the individual market, increase premiums, and result in fewer Americans having access to insurance.”



New York Times wrote:
Senate Health Care Vote: Disarray Over narrow Repeal Measure

July 27, 2017

Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin declared Thursday evening that they would not vote for a slimmed-down partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act without ironclad guarantees that the House will negotiate a comprehensive measure.

The senators were unsparing in their criticism of the so-called skinny repeal, saying it would crater the health insurance market and send premiums skyward.

“The skinny bill as policy is a disaster,” Mr. Graham said. “The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud.”

[. . . ]

Insurers come off sidelines with warning


The health insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, came off the sidelines on Thursday to warn Senate leaders against repealing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most Americans have insurance without approving some mechanism to pressure people to maintain their coverage.

“We would oppose an approach that eliminates the individual coverage requirement, does not offer continuous coverage solutions, and does not include measures to immediately stabilize the individual market,” the group wrote.

. . . On Wednesday, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a narrower insurance lobby, weighed in with a similar warning.

[. . . ]

The American Medical Association piles on.

The American Medical Association, by far the largest physicians’ advocacy group, has stood firmly against each of the bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now the A.M.A. has come out against the “skinny repeal.”

“There has been considerable speculation regarding a so-called ‘skinny package’ that would primarily eliminate penalties related to the individual and employer mandates and provide tax cuts to device manufactures and the health insurance industry. Eliminating the mandate to obtain coverage only exacerbates the affordability problem that critics say they want to address. Instead, it leads to adverse selection that would increase premiums and destabilize the individual market.

“We again urge the Senate to engage in a bipartisan process – through regular order – to address the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act and achieve the goal of providing access to quality, affordable health care coverage to more Americans.”

Oh, and so does AARP.

Protesters make their voices known.

Across the Capitol on Thursday, supporters of the Affordable Care Act tried to reach out to senators, sometimes through mass protests, sometimes through their stories.

 [. . . ]

“The message was: we are not backing down,” Nora Franco, campaign organizer at Planned Parenthood, said in the Capitol. She added, “Now is not the time to throw in the towel. Now is the time to literally be harassing your senators.

The bottom line is that if any parts of the ACA is repealed, that millions more people will lose their insurance.  It's just a matter of how many millions.  Even under the "skinny repeal" bill, the CBO is estimating that 16 million more people will lose their insurance. 

Again, if you have a Republican Senator, it is imperative that you call them TODAY to urge them to vote NO on any health care bill that repeals all or part of the Affordable Care Act, or visit them in their Washington DC offices if you live in that area. 

They need to hear your concerns about your own health care, about the lives of yourself, your children and your parents, your friends and your co-workers.

If you live in these states, it's especially important you call your Senators:

Jeff Flake (Arizona) 202-224-4521
Dean Heller (Nev.)  202-224-6244
Rob Portman (Ohio)  (202) 224-3353
Bill Cassidy (La.)  (202) 224-5824
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)  (202) 224-6665
Dan Sullivan (Alaska)  (202) 224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
202-224-6472
Susan Collins (Maine)  (202) 224-2523
Bob Corker (TN)  (202) 224-3344
Cory Gardner (CO)  (202) 224-5941
Richard Shelby (AL)  (202) 224-5744
Luther Stranger (AL)  (202) 224-4124
Pat Toomey (PA)  (202) 224-4254
Lamar Alexander (TN)  (202) 224-4944
Ron Johnson (WI)  (202) 224-5323
Jerry Moran (Kansas)  (202) 224-6521

For telephone numbers--and DC and district offices addresses--of all Senators by state:  https://www.contactingcongress.org/


Please keep calling!  The Republican health care bills that repeal the ACA will harm millions of people, including children, the elderly, those with disabilities, and those with low-income.  


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