Rep. Cheri Bustos delivering the message from House Democrats regarding the GOP’s American Health Care Act, the AHCA, which should more aptly be titled the “BBBA,” the Big Breaks for Billionaires Act. They hear us and they’re ready to stand up for the values that unite us and fight to get real results for hardworking families.
|Andrew W. Gurman, MD
American Medical Association
The American Health Care Act (AHCA), released by Congress this week, is intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But as introduced, it does not align with the health reform objectives that the AMA set forth in January to protect patients. While the ACA is imperfect, the current version of the AHCA is not legislation we can support.
The replacement bill, as written, would reverse the coverage gains achieved under the ACA, causing many Americans to lose the health care coverage they have come to depend upon.
In a letter sent today to leaders of the House committees that will mark up the AHCA, AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, wrote that the proposed changes to Medicaid would limit states’ ability to respond to changes in service demands and threaten coverage for people with low incomes. Dr. Madara also noted that the proposed changes in tax credits and subsidies to help patients purchase private health insurance coverage are expected to result in fewer Americans with insurance coverage.
It is unclear the exact impact this bill will have on the number of insured Americans, and review by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is still pending. The ratings and analytics firm S&P Global Ratings has already estimated that as many as 10 million Americans could lose coverage if this bill becomes law, saying that between 2 million and 4 million people could lose the insurance they purchased in the individual health exchanges under the ACA, and between 4 million and 6 million could lose their coverage under Medicaid.
That just won’t do.
We all know that our health system is highly complex, but our core commitment to the patients most in need should be straightforward. As the AMA has previously stated, members of Congress must keep top of mind the potentially life-altering impact their policy decisions will have.
We physicians often see patients at their most vulnerable, from the first time they set eyes on a newborn child to the last time they squeeze a dying loved one’s hand. We don’t want to see any of our patients, now insured, exposed to the financial and medical uncertainties that would come with losing that coverage.
That is, above all, why physicians must be involved in this debate.
Editor’s note: In the coming weeks, a series of AMA Wire® articles will explore policies that form the basis of the AMA’s advocacy on health reform. Read parts one (“Protecting insurance gains is priority No. 1”) and two (“No going back on key market protections”).
Reprinted with permission and as Published by the American Medical Association on AMA Wire at: https://wire.ama-assn.org/ama-news/physicians-reject-house-aca-replacement-bill
Read and download more resources at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/
A priority for the Trump administration is to wage a concerted attack against immigrants and refugees. We’ve already seen what this looks like: Muslim and Refugee bans, ramped-up internal immigration enforcement, racial profiling, harassment, and privacy violations at the US border. This is only the beginning. Trump is gearing up to unleash a wave of raids that will be unprecedented in both number and intensity.
It is no exaggeration to say that ICE agents are now terrorizing our communities, our neighbors, and our families. Immigrants fearful of being detained and separated from their families are being pushed deeper into the shadows. This is not who we are, and this is not what the majority of Americans voted for.
WE STAND INDIVISIBLE WITH IMMIGRANTS
Trump won’t stop terrorizing immigrants on his own—it is up to all of us to stop him. Fighting back on these attacks remains a top priority for Indivisible. We strongly believe that all of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies can be stopped by Congress. Indivisible will continue to pressure MoCs to do their job, to protect families from being torn apart, and to protect democracy from this aspiring tyrant. But protecting our communities will require an even greater commitment. To this end, we will support local efforts intended to shield immigrants and other vulnerable communities from the terror brought upon them by this administration.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
While Indivisible’s mission is to empower groups to realize their constituent power through congressional advocacy, we also want to recognize how important this issue is for all of us. Below are some suggested local activities to help protect immigrants and to fight back these anti-immigrant attacks.
- Connect and support local immigrant rights organizations. Local immigration groups will be on the front lines protecting families against Trump’s deportation force—and they need your help! We recommend connecting with these groups in your area. Invite them to your meetings, share their resources, sign up for their alerts. You may need to do a little bit of research to find out what groups operate near you, but here is one directory to get you started.
- Help spread “Know Your Rights” materials in your community. You and your neighbors may have lots of questions about what legal rights and protections immigrants have. Being informed can be the key difference between a parent being able to come home to their kids or finding themselves in ICE custody. We encourage you to read up on what those rights are and help disseminate them with your friends and family. You can find resources here and here.
- Make sure local officials aren’t facilitating immigration raids. In some cases, local officials, including police departments, are assisting ICE officers in their immigration raids. This should not be their job. Turning police officers into immigration officers does more harm than good and undermines the community’s trust of police officers. Talk to your local officials and let them know that you don’t want them acting as immigration officers. For talking points see here.
- Push your local government and other institutions to adopt “sanctuary” policies. Cities, local and state governments, colleges and universities, hospitals and clinics, and places of worship are adopting policies to help protect immigrants from immigration enforcement. A sanctuary policy is not a refusal to follow the law – it is a commitment to refuse to unnecessarily cooperate with immigration officers. For more information about sanctuary policies, see here.
Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaking at 4:15AM this morning on the impact of the Republican’s #TrumpedUpCare bill on those who receive Medicaid benefits for #LongTermCare ….so much for Republicans NOT picking “winners and losers” … about 6.9 MILLION seniors across America who could find themselves turfed out of care when there’s no way to pay the bill for their care.
A friend of mine lives in Ohio and is lucky enough to be represented in Congress by a truly progressive fighter, Sen. Sherrod Brown. Here’s the letter he sent to her the other day in response to her letter (I’ve replaced her name for privacy reasons with “Constituent”).
Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding potential reforms to Social Security.
Social Security, combined with Medicare, forms the bedrock of retirement security for millions of Americans. I oppose any efforts to privatize, reduce benefits, or raise the retirement age for Social Security. Such actions would pull the rug out from workers and seniors who’ve planned their retirement around earned benefits.
Contrary to rumors otherwise, Social Security is not going bankrupt or “belly up.” According to the most recent trustees’ report, the program can pay full survivor and retirement benefits until 2034, at which point revenues will still cover around 79 percent of obligations. Congress can and should take steps to bolster the long-term solvency of the program. But solvency should not be justification for harmful cuts.
I support strengthening the program to ensure adequate benefits for participants. I believe we should change the way Social Security calculates its cost-of-living-adjustments to better reflect price changes in the everyday items seniors purchase, like prescription drugs or healthcare. And I support lifting the current taxable income cap of $127,200 to improve the solvency of the program and ensure a fairer system for paying into it.
These issues are extremely important to me, and I appreciate your input. As Congress considers any reforms to Social Security, I will keep your thoughts in mind.
Thank you again for contacting me.
United States Senator