Many of you have likely been keeping up with the news, but the AHCA (the bill to repeal/replace the ACA) just wont die! There are key action steps outlined at the end of this email, but first some updates….The Republicans in Congress are determined to pass something on healthcare and are truly just playing political games now. Republicans in the House can do all the backroom vote-trading they want; their bill will still harm millions and millions of people in America and breaks President’s Trump’s promise to cover everybody and protect people with pre-existing conditions. Some of the worst elements of this bill continue to be:
- Charging women more than men. No longer requiring plans to cover maternity care would mean that insurance companies would once again be able to penalize women and charge them more
- Covering pre-existing conditions would only be on paper. Plans will not cover basic services, even prescription drugs, that people need to treat their conditions to stay healthy
- Removing Essential Health Benefits effectively obliterates out-of-pocket caps and reinstates annual and lifetime limits. Because annual and lifetime limits apply only to essential health benefits, insurers could once again put a cap on how much care one receives but not on how much people owe. Those with employer-sponsored coverage will be at risk too
- The MacArthur Amendment includes language that would actually EXEMPT lawmakers themselves from any of the bill’s impact. That means that while they might be supporting discrimination against pre-ex conditions, watering down essential health benefits and increasing costs for older people, Members of Congress themselves won’t face any of these impacts…See clip here.
Just this morning, we heard that there’s a potential Upton-Long amendment to add $8 billion for high risk pools in an effort to bring on moderate republican support. The Upton $8 billion is a non-solution—money thrown at “high risk pools” that experts on both sides of the aisle have clearly warned lead to higher costs, fewer benefits and waiting lists rationing care for those with pre-existing conditions. Despite today’s wheeling and dealing, the GOP bill repeal bill still drops the coverage guarantee for people with pre-existing conditions, strips coverage from millions and drives up costs for millions more. A measly $8 billion handout isn’t going to change that.
We need to continue to be more vocal than EVER about the importance of healthcare for all and our opposition to the AHCA by taking action in two ways TODAY!
First, the most important step right now is to be getting calls into vulnerable Republicans’ offices. Please invite friends and family who are constituents of these two Congressmen to make calls to their offices! Both offices can be reached using this phone number: 866-426-2631
- Congressman Peter Roskam
- Roskam represents the 6th District in Illinois which includes part or all of: Algonquin, Barrington, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Downers Grove, Elgin, East Dundee, Gilberts, Glen Ellyn, Hoffman Estate, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Palatine, Sleepy Hollow, South Elgin, St. Charles, Wayne, West Chicago, West Dundee, Westmont, Wheaton and Willowbrook
- Congressman Randy Hultgren
- Hultgren represents the 14th District in Illinois which includes part or all of: Batavia, Campton Hills, Crystal Lake, Geneva, Huntley, McHenry, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Plano, Sycamore, Warrenville, Wauconda, Woodstock and Yorkville
- Script: Hello, my name is __________ and I live at ____________. I am a constituent of the ____ Congressional district of Illinois and ask that Congressman ___________stand strong with Illinois and oppose the American Health Care Act. The AHCA would be devastating to IL and to me because ________(insert personal story).
Secondly, Governor Rauner continues to have an influence regarding the repeal of the ACA or any changes to Medicaid because of the fiscal impact on the state if this were to happen. Please call Governor Rauner either at his Chicago office 312-814-2121 or his Springfield office 217-782-0244 to voice your concern about the AHCA!
- Script: Hello, my name is _____________and I am a resident of Illinois. Governor Rauner needs to tell Congress that Illinois great benefits from the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, and we refuse to move backward! I urge Gov. Rauner to stand strong to protect health care access by voicing his opposition to the AHCA.
Once you make a call or encourage a family member to make a call, please email Ellen at eglover@ONENorthside.org to let me know how it went!