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CPEHN'S ACA DEFENSE UPDATE

CPEHN’s #Fight4OurHealth Policy Round-Up: Jan. 23 to Feb. 3

Thank you to our members for staying engaged in the fight to defend our healthcare. Your efforts are paying off! The first two weeks of the new Trump Administration brought a brief reprieve from ACA repeal efforts as a leaked recording from a closed-door Republican retreat exposed divisions within the party over how to move forward. As Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif), California’s lone Republican lawmaker who voted against the repeal noted: “We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created. That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.”

The reprieve came at a high cost though as the nation was surprised and stunned by a pair of Executive Orders issued by President Trump to further militarize our southern border and scapegoat immigrant communities, particularly those from Muslim countries. These orders could have a chilling affect on immigrant communities who rely on critical health care services. CPEHN joined many other voices across the country in rejecting these punitive and divisive orders.

In other news, House Republicans scheduled a debate on February 2nd over several new proposals to “replace” portions of the ACA. Unfortunately, none of these deal with the real issue at hand which is whether insurers and consumers can count on Congress to continue funding the affordability provisions (premium and cost-sharing subsidies) that low and middle-income families rely on. Continued uncertainty about Congress’ plans past March could throw the insurance markets into chaos experts warned at a Senate panel, as health plans are currently trying to price their products for 2018. On Saturday February 4th,thousands of Californians expressed their concerns directly to Congressman McClintock at a town hall organized in Roseville. Opposition to Congress’ efforts to repeal the ACA without a viable replacement plan was so great the Congressman had to be escorted out of the town hall by police.

As we look to the future, there is still much 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. Check out CPEHN’s ACA Defense Hub to learn more about California’s #Fight4OurHealth campaign and how to get involved!

Re-Cap of ACA Repeal Efforts:
  • January 23, 2017: 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 would allow states to continue to operate their state exchanges, but encourages greater use of health savings accounts and eliminates the requirement to have insurance which is crucial to maintaining coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • January 25, 2017: Senator Rand Paul released his plan, click here to read more.
  • January 27, 2017: House Republicans released four partial “replacement” bills that were considered at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on February 2, 2017. The Committee then heard testimony and began to debate the proposals on February 2 and 3.
  • On January 30, 2017: Congressman Darrell Issa released his plan, “Access to Insurance for All Americans Act” which would allow anyone to enroll in Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHB) health plans. However, the measure would offer little or no help to most low-income uninsured.
  • January 31, 2017: Democrats boycotted the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Rep. Tom Price’s nomination for Secretary of Health & Human Services over ethics concerns. Republicans suspended the rules and passed Price’s confirmation out of committee by unanimous consent the next day. Despite heavy opposition and ethics questions, Rep. Price is expected to be approved as HHS Secretary along party lines this week.
  • February 1, 2017: the U.S. Senate Health Committee heard from experts including heads of the insurance industry on how to stabilize the individual health insurance market.
Coming up:
  • Hearings Continue in February: Over the coming weeks, the Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees will continue to hold hearings to discuss potential components of the reconciliation package. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the intention to send the budget reconciliation legislation to President Trump by March or April according to reports from the press.
  • February 20-24 Congress is in Recess. Some members of Congress will be returning to their home districts for the February recess, making it an ideal time to make your voice heard loud and clear. Please read below for immediate actions you can take.
Advocacy Actions for Partners
  • Join our congressional district visits or attend a Town Hall event! Reach out to our Communications and Outreach Associate, Rocio Gonzalez at rgonzalez@cpehn.org to get involved.
  • 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 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!!!
  • Get loud on social media
Questions? Please contact Cary Sanders, Director of Policy Analysis, at csanders@cpehn.org or (510) 832-1160.

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