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Updates on 'Wellcare' (AHCA)

It is fitting that the week I learn to box is also the week Republicans begin to force their health care bill through the legislature. I have found that my punching power is heightened when I imagine I am punching the face of Donald Trump.

That's right. The Republicans are speeding up the process of bringing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to a House floor vote so they don't have to face constituents during their April recess. 

This is crazy-making. Obamacare took over a year to pass on the floor because the bill went through so much committee markup and overall changes before it was ready. Now, Republicans are being complete hypocrites and attempting to sidestep our democratic system.

Keep in mind that mid-term elections are coming up, and this bill only needs 22 Republican defectors in the House. Make sure to stop the AHCA in its tracks.

CBO REPORT on AHCA

Not only are Republicans doing exactly what they criticized Obama for doing (when he didn't), but the CBO score was finally released. Remember, the Congressional Budget Office is an estimate of the cost of a proposed bill. In this case, the CBO report also predicts the impact of the bill in terms of number of insured under Obamacare vs. Trumpcare. In fact, they say 24 million fewer people will be insured by 2026 under the new health care legislation, says CNN. That includes 14 million fewer insured Americans by next year.

“The CBO’s estimate makes clear that TrumpCare will cause serious harm to millions of American families,”
— Charles Schumer (D-NY)

What makes up this incredibly high number?

  • 5 million fewer insured under Medicare, because the AHCA limits coverage
  • 14 million fewer people could enroll in Medicare, because the AHCA restricts Medicare enrollment
  • 6 million fewer would be covered by the individual insurance market in 2018, and another 2 million by 2026, because employers will no longer be required to provide insurance, and will stop doing so

FIFTY SIX MILLION UNINSURED. Yes, you heard that right. The Republicans just DOUBLED the number of those who will be forced to live without insurance in 2026.

Meanwhile, Republicans are downplaying the significance of the CBO report. I am the least shocked person ever at that tidbit.

“I think that throwing 24 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older low income Americans, while giving $285 billion in tax breaks to the top 2% is a disgusting and immoral proposal.”
— Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
“Throwing 24 million people off their health care to give billionaires a tax break is heartless & irresponsible. We cannot pass #Trumpcare.”
— Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

ACTIONS

There are a lot, folks. This is a huge deal, and I know you are frustrated -- most of us with a heart are frustrated. So, let's pick an action (or a few!) from the list below and get started!

Call those representatives!

As usual, this is the most effective way to make your voice known and contact your elected representatives. Find your representatives with your zip code here.

Sign a petition

  • From the Town Hall Project 
  • Petition from Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Support the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act. Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill that would allow Americans to import safe + affordable prescriptions from Canada. Sign this petition to tell your senators to cosponsor it.

Support Planned Parenthood

  • Massachusetts has committed to funding Planned Parenthood from state funds. Call your state-level officials to urge them to do the same.
  • This week, show your support for women’s rights to access basic healthcare. Call your U.S. Senator and let him or her know you stand with women. 

Find your U.S. Senator or Representative: Use the following script, courtesy of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Hi, my name is ____ and my zip code is ____.

I’m calling to ask [Senator's name] to vote NO on any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

This is nothing more than a blatantly political attempt to attack women’s health and rights and take health care away from the people who need it most.  I stand with Planned Parenthood because [insert your own story, if you like]. I expect my Senator to vote against any attacks on Planned Parenthood and the vital health services they provide.

Thank you for your time.

Learn More!

  • The Kaiser Foundation provides an interactive way for us to see how the proposed health plan would compare to the ACA for our own situations. 
  • See who wins and who loses with this piece from the failing NY Times.
  • Constituent calls do work! Check out the report here.

Mad? Good. Call those legislators!

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