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CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: January 23 - January 27

CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: January 23 - January 27

The past few weeks have been chaotic yet energizing as Congress started off the New Year with efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) along with the transition of a new Presidential Administration. Many thanks to those who have been engaged in ACA defense activities from visiting your Congressional representatives to participating in last weekend’s solidarity marches. Your voices are being heard throughout the nation!

And, there is still more work to do to defend our healthcare, 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 be updating 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.

Re-Cap of ACA Repeal Efforts
Here is a quick overview of past actions:

  • On January 3, the Senate introduced a budget resolution that kicked off the process to repeal the ACA in Congress.
  • On January 12, in the early morning hours, the Senate voted 51-48 to pass the budget resolution and the House followed suit on January 13 by a vote of 227 to 198 in favor of the repeal.
  • On January 20, President Trump signed a one-page Executive Order which included broad language directing members of his Administration to take steps that will facilitate the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. We will be closely following any actions taken by the Health and Human Services Agency as a result of the Executive Order.
  • Last week the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate highlighting the fact that 18 million Americans stand to lose coverage in the first year following enactment of a repeal bill, with as many as 32 million losing coverage by 2026 if there is no replacement. The report also finds premiums in the individual market could increase by 50% following repeal.

What to Expect this Week (Jan. 23-27)

  • House Republicans to begin drafting a Budget Reconciliation BillThis week, the House will likely begin drafting the budget reconciliation bill, which will include specific funding reductions. The deadline to finalize the draft is January 27th. Once the language is final, the House will vote on the bill first followed by the Senate, where it must be debated for at least 20 hours. Only 51 votes are required to pass budget reconciliation in the Senate. Republicans hope to send the final legislation to President Trump by February 20th.
  • New Republican “Replacement” Proposals being introducedFour Republican Senators have said they won't support "repeal" without "replace" (Rep. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Rep. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Rep. Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Kentucky)). This could help slow down the repeal process if there are not the required 51 votes. Today, January 23, Republican Senators Susan Collins and Bill Cassidy announced their replacement plan: the 2017 Patient Freedom Act, which is similar to an earlier proposal introduced in 2015. The proposal encourages greater use of health savings accounts and eliminates the requirement to have insurance. Senator Rand Paul is set to release his plan later this week which will likely center on narrow benefit plans and tax credits.

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 TOMORROW (1/24) for a National Call-In Day! 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! Join national organizations including the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (@APIAHF) tomorrow at 11am for a twitter chat on Health Equity and the Affordable Care Act. 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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