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CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: March 6 - March 11

CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: March 6 - March 11


Secret GOP Repeal Plan Expected to Drop Monday Night

Leaders came back to Washington after a raucous recess and wasted little time creating a new proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in secret. Even under lock and key, details leaked to Politico. The new plan looks a lot like the original leaked plan, and it will be devastating for communities of color in California. The plan would:

  • Cut Medi-Cal by $20 billion or more out of $100 billion program in California. Over one-third of California residents are covered by Medi-Cal. Rural counties will be hit hardest as they have the highest percentages (1 in 2) of residents enrolled.
  • Repeal key elements of the ACA, denying low income Californians subsidies based on income.   
  • Tax, for the first time ever, a portion of employer-sponsored health benefits as regular income, raising taxes for both workers and employers but of course the bigger tax increase would be on workers. And this would have a disproportionate impact on female workforces, older workforces and California workers (because our health care premiums are 10% above the national average).
  • Reverse numerous taxes on the affluent and the health care industry that were used to finance the ACA coverage expansions

The bill will go to vote in committee without a score from the Congressional Budget Office, meaning the cost of the plan, and the number of people it covers, will be unknown. While word is that the Republicans will be expected to fall into line around the plan, there are still wide disagreements over the details. Tax credits for the rich are reportedly out, in a nod to conservatives, but they are unlikely to vote for any of the subsidies that remain. Several moderate Republicans say they won’t vote for any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, and leaders in states with Medicaid expansion want to keep their federal funding.

CPEHN believes that any new health care plan needs to provide better coverage to more people at the same or better price. The Republican ideas do none of these things, and in fact do the opposite, with premiums and out of pocket costs spiking not just for ACA policy holders, but potentially for people with employer sponsored health care as well.

This is a crucial time to rally in defense of 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 be updating you with the latest ACA defense and policy developments, as well as actions you can take to make a difference.

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 actions this week:

  • February 27: Governors said they would go to work on their own repeal and replace plan in efforts to preserve their Medicaid expansion funds.
  • February 28: The President’s Tuesday night address outlined a plan that did nothing to bring the warring sides of the Republican Party closer together, and was roundly bashed by the Democrats. His address included nods to key elements included in the leaked GOP plan including proposals to eliminate ACA subsidies tied to income and allowing insurers to sell insurance across state lines, provisions that will harm Californians.
    • Here’s a guide to the specific policies Trump mentioned, what they mean, and how they fit into the current political debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act.
  • March 4: More than 1,000 protesters show up at McClintock town hall in El Dorado Hills.

What to Expect this Week (March 6-March 11):
The dates below are fluid and as we have seen repeatedly, subject to change.

  • March 6: We expect to see another draft of the reconciliation legislation by Monday evening. This language will likely be based on the framework laid out in the draft leaked last week.
  • March 8: The House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees should begin to “markup” the bill (meaning they will debate and possibly amend the bill). They will then vote on the bill and we expect it will pass out of committee.
  • March 13: Republicans hope to send the language from Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce to the Budget Committee to combine the language into one bill. The combined language will be voted on by the Budget Committee and then sent to the Rules Committee.
  • March 20: Republicans hope to send the agreed upon language from the Rules committee to the floor of the House. Note that the bill can be amended at any stage of this process though we expect the general framework to remain more or less intact.
  • March 27: Once the House has voted on the legislation, Republicans hope the bill will begin moving through the Senate. Typically the Senate would put the House language through its own committee process. However, we are hearing that the bill will likely skip the Senate committees and go directly to the floor.

It is unclear at what point in the process we will see the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the cost and number of people impacted by the proposed reconciliation legislation. However, it will be released prior to the vote on the floor.

Currently, we do not believe that the Republican leadership has the votes for passage. This will be an important window of opportunity to emphasize the shortcomings of the proposal and the consequences of repeal. 
Advocacy Actions for Partners:
Urgent action is needed call Congress and tell them:

  • Don't strip away health care from 20 million Americans.
  • Don't repeal consumer protections for millions.
  • Don't undermine care for kids, people with disabilities and older adults by cutting Medicaid. 

Message for Committee members only: Do not vote for legislation that would make massive changes to health care coverage and financing without holding hearings or providing us a chance to understand and analyze the costs and impacts of the proposal.

Get Involved:

  • Participate in an event! Check out our ACA defense hub for events next week in SoCal and NorCal.
  • Get informed! Read our fact sheets about what is at risk for 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.
  • Get loud on social media! Use #Fight4OurHealth! And check out the NEW Spanish language  #LuchaXnuestraSalud Facebook page!

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