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CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: Feb. 21 to Feb. 25

CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: Feb. 21 to Feb. 25

Last week the Administration began to chip away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sending mixed messages to the nervous marketplace it is trying to calm. While doubts have grown that a GOP consensus exists to repeal the ACA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a rule for 2018 which would make it harder for individuals to obtain and maintain coverage through federal and state exchanges. At the same time, the IRS announced it will not automatically reject tax returns that fail to disclose whether the individual obtained health coverage during the past year, undermining the individual mandate which is necessary to keep Californians with pre-existing conditions covered.

The GOP released its proposal for replacing the ACA, a 19 page white paper that will result in the loss of health care coverage for millions of people. The white paper includes no legislative language. Republicans plan to turn the proposal into legislation when they return from the February recess.

CPEHN believes that any replacement for the ACA must:

  • Cover more people
  • Increase basic protections, like those for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Reduce healthcare costs for everyone, not just the young and healthy

This plan does none of these things. It will effectively eliminate health coverage for millions and result in over $8 billion in cuts to our state budget.

On Thursday, there was a confirmation hearing for Seema Verma, the administration’s pick to run CMS. Verma wants to make poor people pay more for less when it comes to coverage. If confirmed, she will be in charge of administering health care to the thirty-four percent of the country that is currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In Local News: 

  • Loud opposition from constituents across the country is causing some GOP lawmakers to avoid public meetings. Darrell Issa’s constituents paid for a full page ad in the local paper demanding he show up and talk to them about immigration and health care issues. The Congressman has refused to meet with constituents in person. The ad made news across the country.
  • About 300 people made their voices heard at a Modesto Town Hall in the district of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock. Local residents urged the Congressman to avoid dismantling the federal health program, unless there’s a new plan that protects consumers and covers more people. Congressman Denham has issued a survey asking his members for their ideas on how to improve the ACA. CPEHN urges constituents to fill it out
  • Congress is on recess this week for the President's Day holiday and many town hall meetings and events are planned. It’s crucial that we continue to make our voices heard at ALL of these meetings. Many thanks to those who have been engaged in ACA defense activities from visiting your Congressional representatives to showing up at town hall meetings. Your voices are being heard throughout the nation!

There is still more work to do to defend our health care, protect our economic security and fight for the rights of all of our communities. CPEHN is actively engaged in the campaign to protect our health care and will continue to update you with the latest ACA defense and policy developments.

Check out CPEHN’s new #ACADefenseHub to learn more about California’s #Fight4OurHealth campaign and how to get involved.

What to Expect this Week (Feb. 21-24):

  • Congress is home for recess this week. Many members will be scheduling town hall meetings.

Advocacy Actions for Partners:

  • Get informed! Read our fact sheets about what is at risk in our health care and mental health.
  • Share your story. Tell us how the ACA has helped you or your family! Your Voice Counts!!!
  • Call your representative! Dial the Capitol switchboard at: (202) 224-3121 or click here.
    • (You will be asked to type in your name, number, email and address, after which you will receive a short message with talking points before being patched through to your representative).
  • Get loud on social media! Use #Fight4OurHealth!
  • Join our congressional district visits! Reach out to our Communications and Outreach Associate, Rocio Gonzalez at rgonzalez@cpehn.org to get involved.

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