Senate Health Care Bill Update CTA!)
Senate Republicans expect to finish their secret health care bill today and send it to the CBO for scoring, with no public hearings. CBO will take 2 weeks to evaluate it, after which Republicans plan to ram it through before the July 4th recess.
Due to its unpopularity (17% approval), the Senate was expected to scrap the AHCA and start over. But the Senate bill reportedly preserves 80% of the House version, including allowing states to waive the ACA’s 10 essential health benefits (EHB). These benefits include ambulatory care and ER, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, rehab, labs, preventive services and chronic disease management, pediatric services (including oral and vision care), mental health and substance use disorder services. Skimpier plans will lower premiums, but result in higher out-of-pocket costs, especially for people with chronic medical conditions and older people.
The Senate plan also still guts Medicaid, affecting primarily children, the disabled, and elderly. It phases out Medicaid expansion over 7 years, instead of 3 years under the House version, but with the same result: 24M people will lose health insurance. The Senate is expected to add more funding for opiate addiction treatment to sweeten the bill, but if addiction treatment is eliminated as a mandated benefit, additional funding is irrelevant.
ACTION NEEDED: CALL OUR SENATE REPS!
Senator Jeff Flake is one of 10 senators identified by Indivisible as being a “frontline senator,” who could sway the GOP vote. Crash his phone lines!
Senator Jeff Flake: (202) 224-4521; (602) 840-1891, or send him a message at flake.senate.gov. Flake’s legislative assistant for health care is Helen Heiden, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 202-224-4521
Senator John McCain: (202) 224-2235; (602)952-2410. His legislative assistant for health care is David Bennett, email@example.com 202-224-2235
KEY TALKING POINTS
- Trumpcare is not a health care bill. It is a $880B tax cut for the very wealthy and for insurance companies – a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle and lower class to the top 1%. A bill that affects 6% of the economy should not be decided behind closed doors without public input.
- The ACA is NOT “imploding,” and insurance companies are NOT going broke because of the ACA. In 2017, the ACA marketplace was beginning to stabilize, but the Trump administration is sabotaging it by not funding cost-sharing subsidies this year (which will cause premiums to rise 19% this year), refusing to enforce the individual mandate, and creating enough uncertainty that insurers are pulling out.
Insurance companies are doing quite well. Consumer Affairs reports, “UnitedHealth announced record-breaking profits in 2015, followed by an even better year this year. In July 2016, UnitedHealth celebrated revenues that quarter totalling $46.5 billion, an increase of $10 billion since the same time last year. UnitedHealth’s CEO Stephen J. Hemsley made over $20 million in 2015.” Similarly, Aetna did well: Aetna, whose CEO Mark Bertolini reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission a $27.9 million compensation in 2015, has similarly celebrated sky-high profits. “In 2015, Aetna reported annual operating revenue of over $60.3 billion, a record for the Company,”
- Trumpcare will affect ALL insurance plans, even employer-provided plans.
Under the ACA, employer plans could not place a lifetime limit on the amount the plans pay out on essential health benefits, and required plans to limit the amount of out-of-pocket costs an employee had to pay annually. Companies could select whichever state’s regulations they wanted for their insurance plans. Under the AHCA, a company would be allowed to drop those protections for employees by choosing regulations from a state-granted waiver. The ACA also mandates all large employers (over 50 employees) offer minimum value health insurance to employees. Without that mandate, there is nothing stopping your employer from dropping health insurance.
For more info on the Senate Health Care bill and how to stop it, visit the Indivisible Guide’s Trumpcare page for Arizona. https://www.trumpcareten.org/arizona
Indivisible Guide Scripts: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/stop-trumpcare-senate-call-script/