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Weekly Newsletter

June 27, 2017

“Healthcare is a right, not a privilege”

- Edward Kennedy

 

 

 

The first House version of the AHCA would have left 24 million Americans without health insurance.  Today the CBO reported the current version of the Senate bill is down to only 22 million lacking coverage.  But 22 million is still unacceptable! And the current Senate bill would penalize people who have a lapse in coverage by forcing them to go uninsured for 6 months before being able to acquire another policy. This is their idea of an “improvement” over the individual mandate of the ACA.

 

This week’s exclusive focus is to take action on Healthcare!  The Senate version of the AHCA, is even worse in many ways than the House’s version and includes a plan to cut ALL Medicaid over the course of several years.  There are reports that the Senate will be releasing a revised bill, so we must stay aware of additional changes and whether they are meant to appease the Freedom Caucus (far right) senators or the more moderate Senators (like Susan Collins).

 

Indivisible Guide has some new pages up with info about what the Senate bill means for Americans.

  1. The bill fails people with pre-existing conditions: “The Senate bill allows states to opt-out of covering essential health benefits, which means insurance companies can stop offering plans that cover the kind of services people with pre-existing conditions need. This has the effect of driving up the price for consumers for plans that offer the broader coverage they need, likely to the point where no one could afford it.”

  2. The bill will result in higher costs for Americans: “Like the House version of TrumpCare, you can definitely expect premiums to go up if the Senate version becomes law. That’s in part because it allows insurance companies to charge seniors more than they can under current law….The percentage of consumer costs covered by plans will decrease. Currently, plans have to cover at least 70% of the health care costs incurred by a consumer. TrumpCare drops that number to 58%, meaning consumers could see their out of pocket costs go up for things like co-pays and prescriptions. It will be much more expensive for you if you get sick or injured.”

  3. The bill destroys medicaid as we know it: “Not only does the Senate version of TrumpCare end Medicaid expansion—it also makes deep cuts into traditional Medicaid. We can’t overstate what a fundamental remaking of Medicaid this is...That is not the vision contemplated by TrumpCare: for the first time, Medicaid funding would be capped under a system called “per capita caps.” This means that access to Medicaid, even if you’re eligible, won’t be guaranteed...the growth rate for Medicaid funding laid out by the bill doesn’t grow as fast as medical costs. What does all this mean In real terms? Millions of Americans would have to go without the care they need. Some might find themselves on waiting lists, and others on plans that are inferior to what they get now.”


    Is this so bad that there's no way we could expect this to pass the Senate? Is the public disapproval rating enough to doom this bill? Maybe not!  We can't count on anything right now (see Will the GOP's awful health bill pass? Here's what you need to know)!
     

    Action Items

     

     

    1. Support our Senators: Expressions of support for Senators Cardin and VanHollen.

     

    Have you tried Resistbot yet? An easy way to let Cardin and VanHollen know you appreciate them standing up for us is to text word Resist to 50409.  You can use the free service to send a fax or make a phone call any time of day or night.  No need to worry about all those "full" voicemail boxes.  Takes about 2 minutes!

     

    2.  Spread the Word!

     

    At the writing of this newsletter, the following senators have not yet made a public commitment to voting yes or no on the AHCA legislation. If you know someone living in these states, please ask them to call their senators as soon as possible and ask them to reject the AHCA.

    While we typically have been told that it is not productive to call senators who are not our own, in this case, overwhelming everyone’s phone lines can’t hurt!
     

    Unknown Votes (42)

    {Note that the * indicates states/senators most likely to vote against the bill.}

    Dan Sullivan (R-AK)* 202) 224-3004

    Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)* (202) 224-6665

    Luther Strange (R-AL)* (202) 224-4124

    Richard Shelby (R-AL)* (202) 224-5744

    John Boozman (R-AR) (202) 224-4843

    Tom Cotton (R-AR) (202) 224-2353

    Jeff Flake (R-AZ)* (202) 224-4521

    John McCain (R-AZ)* (202) 224-2235

    Cory Gardner (R-CO)* (202) 224-5941

    Marco Rubio (R-FL) (202) 224-3041

    David Perdue (R-GA) (202) 224-3521

    Johnny Isakson (R-GA) (202) 224-3643

    Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (202) 224-3744

    Joni Ernst (R-IA) (202) 224-3254

    James Risch (R-ID) (202) 224-2752

    Mike Crapo (R-ID) (202) 224-6142

    Todd Young (R-IN) (202) 224-5623

    Jerry Moran (R-KS) (202) 224-6521

    Pat Roberts (R-KS) (202) 224-4774

    Bill Cassidy (R-LA)* (202) 224-5824

    John Kennedy (R-LA)*  (202) 224-4623

    Susan Collins (R-ME)* (202) 224-2523

    Roy Blunt (R-MO) (202) 224-5721

    Thad Cochran (R-MS) (202) 224-5054

    Steve Daines (R-MT) (202) 224-2651

    Richard Burr (R-NC) (202) 224-3154

    Thom Tillis (R-NC) (202) 224-6342

    John Hoeven (R-ND)* (202) 224-2551

    Ben Sasse (R-NE) (202) 224-4224

    Deb Fischer (R-NE) (202) 224-6551

    Rob Portman (R-OH)* (202) 224-3353

    James Lankford (R-OK) (202) 224-5754

    Jim Inhofe (R-OK) (202) 224-4721

    Pat Toomey (R-PA)* (202) 224-4254

    Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (202) 224-5972

    Tim Scott (R-SC) (202) 224-6121

    John Thune (R-SD) (202) 224-2321

    Mike Rounds (R-SD) (202) 224-5842

    Bob Corker (R-TN) (202) 224-3344

    Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202) 224-4944

    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)* (202) 224-6472

    Mike Enzi (R-WY) (202) 224-3424
     

     

    3. Call the Governor!

    If this bill or a version of it passes, we will need to rely more than ever on aid at a state level. Where is Larry Hogan? He has remained silent for TOO long.

     

    Call: 410-974-3901

    Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Chestertown.

    I’m calling today because I’m extremely concerned about congressional Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Many governors have already signed onto a bipartisan letter opposing these ACA repeal efforts--has Governor [NAME] co-signed this letter yet?

    IF YES: I'd like to thank the governor for their advocacy and ask them to continue resisting ACA repeal efforts by urging our senators to leave the ACA intact.

    IF NO or DON'T KNOW: I ask that the governor consider co-signing this letter and urge our senators to leave the ACA intact. [ADD your own additional thought here!]

    Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

    [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
     

     

    4. Show up (if you can)!

     

    The Center for Public Representation is promoting a People’s Filibuster of Trumpcare in DC this week.  KQA Indivisible has signed on as a co-sponsor and would love to see some of our folks participate if your schedule allows:

     

    “In response to this disastrous "healthcare" bill being considered by the U.S. Senate next week, Planned Parenthood, MoveOn, SEIU, Protect Our Care, the Hub, Center for American Progress and many many others are planning a People's Filibuster in front of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday through Thursday and several other activities. We are inviting everyone to join us and there are several ways you can plug in.

     

    Throughout the three days we invite your organization to hold court and join the filibuster - share your story, your friends or family member's story, or read one of the thousands of stories submitted from across the country from people whose lives are on the line as a result of this dangerous legislation. You'll be joined by members of congress, activists, organizational leaders, healthcare providers and more.

     

    3 Key Moments for Turnout!

     

    Obviously, we'd love folks to be there the entire time, but here are three key moments we need to maximize turnout.

     

    Tuesday, The People's Filibuster Launches @ 2pm - Invite your members, staff, everyone to join us at 2pm in Section 9 for the kick off of the Filibuster! We'll get a Facebook invite out soon!

     

    Wednesday Hug the Senate Action - Evening (Exact time TBA) - We'll be forming a human chain around the Senate building, holding up photos of the people whose stories have been shared over the course of the week, a moment of silence for those who will be harmed. More info coming, including a Facebook invite to circulate.

    Thursday Rapid Response Rally 3-7pm - Hours before the bill vote is the moment to turn out in front of the capitol and we need bodies! Facebook invite coming soon.

     

    Our friends in the faith community are organizing a vigil from Wednesday at 3pm to Thursday at 3pm and we encourage folks to come out and support this as well.”

     

    Check out their Facebook page for additional info and updates: https://www.facebook.com/CenterforPublicRep/

     

    5.  A Mile In Our Shoes Event NEXT WEEK

    Come out to KQA Indivisible’s public installation artwork highlighting the human cost of the American Health Care Act. The event will be held Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM in Fountain Park in Chestertown.

     

    The rain-date for the event is 7pm July 13, 2017.

     

    We are partnering with other groups in the region to achieve a goal of collecting 900 pairs of shoes for this installation, representing the roughly 900 individuals in Kent County alone projected to lose healthcare coverage under the American Health Care Act. Nation-wide, an estimated 22 million people will lose their healthcare under the new plan. After the event, the collection of shoes will be donated to several different charity organizations.

     

    The event will begin with opening remarks from KQA Indivisible and testimonials regarding health care from community members followed by a candlelight vigil.  Even if the new bill is passed by then, the event is an important demonstration at the state-level as it is the states that will bear the burden of this new bill.

     

    THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND TO DONATE SHOES at the Farmers’ Market.  If you have shoes to donate, but cannot make it to the Farmers’ Market, please email us to make drop-off arrangements at KQAIndivisible@gmail.com.

    The Facebook event can be found here, PLEASE SHARE: https://goo.gl/oSzUkB
     

    PLEASE, DO NOT BE SILENT THIS WEEK!

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