Call for Action, Health Care

Call For Action: Call John Faso To Oppose The So-Called “American Health Care Act”

Dear Fellow Activists,

Please call Rep. John Faso to oppose the Republicans’ so-called “American Health Care Act,” intended to “repeal and replace” the ACA. It is every bit as terrible as we expected, and in some places, just that little bit more.

Short Backgrounder

Now that the House has unveiled its proposal, we can see that it contains many of the provisions we feared, and more. Among the most egregious:

  • It will undo the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, under which an estimated 14 million more Americans have been insured; almost 68,500 people here in New York #19 benefit from the expansion.
  • It also block grants Medicaid at a fixed amount based on 2016, which, if NY State chose to keep insuring its poor and working poor, would cost the state an estimated 3 to 6 billion dollar per year.
  • It replaces the ACA’s insurance subsidies with a tax credit insufficient to begin with and which remains flat, even as insurance premiums go up — and which isn’t adjusted based on the state cost of living.
  • It eliminates the individual mandate, which could lead the individual market to collapse, with a potentially serious impact on those with pre-existing conditions who buy health care coverage in this market.
  • It eliminates the ACA provisions that extend the life of the Medicare trust fund — under this plan, it is estimated that Medicare will be out of money by 2020.
  • It allows insurance companies to charge older people a lot more, without a tax credit sufficient to offset the increased cost.
  • It gives a huge tax cut to the wealthy (that’s why there’s less money all around) and lets insurance companies deduct the cost of executive salaries over $500,000.
  • It bars Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for all services for a year.

Sample Call Script for Contacting Congressman Faso

I am [name], [town-county-zip]. I vote in Congressman Faso’s District.

I am calling to implore Congressman Faso to oppose the American Health Care Act. First of all, it’s fiscally irresponsible to proceed with this bill in the absence of a cost assessment from the Congressional Budget Office. Second, it is clear to me that the bill will make coverage less affordable to those who need it most, causing many to drop their coverage, all in service of giving windfall tax breaks to the wealthy. Our area has many older, working poor, and self-employed people — this bill will hurt ALL of them. Please do not support this bill.

Phone Numbers for Congressman Faso

Washington, DC Office: (202) 225-5614
Delhi District Office: (607) 746-9537
Kinderhook District Office: (518) 610-8133
Kingston District Office: (845) 514-2322

Sample Tweets

@RepJohnFaso 68,500 people in ‪#NY19 are insured due to Medicaid expansion. ‪@RepJohnFaso are you going to make sure that they can stay that way?

@RepJohnFaso Rep ‘healthcare’: $ for ins corp & wealthy-not much for us everyday people in #NY19 where 68.5k get Medicaid/exp, 13.7% poor

Sample FB Post

RepJohnFaso: I implore Congressman Faso to oppose the American Health Care Act. First of all, it’s fiscally irresponsible to proceed with this bill in the absence of a cost assessment from the Congressional Budget Office. Second, it is clear to me that the bill will make coverage less affordable to those who need it most, causing many to drop their coverage, all in service of giving windfall tax breaks to the wealthy. Our area has many older, working poor and self-employed people — this bill will hurt ALL of them. Please do not support this bill.

More Information

Paul Waldman, in his Op-Ed piece, The New Republican Health-Care Plan is Awe-inspiringly Awful, expands on each of the points noted above and concludes:

[I]n sum, the Republican bill makes coverage more expensive and less comprehensive, will inevitably lead to fewer people with insurance, is particularly cruel to those with low incomes, and destabilizes the insurance market, all to give a tax break to the wealthy.

Jennifer Rubin, speaking from the right about ACA repeal, excoriates the proposal as fiscally reckless and irresponsible:

In what must be the understatement of the year, it seems, “several House Republicans expressed concerns that the committees might start to work on the legislation without a complete fiscal assessment.” That’s putting it generously. . . the notion that House Republicans would vote to end legislation on which tens of millions of people depend for health-care coverage without knowing critical facts about their bill arguably is the most irresponsible display of governance in my lifetime.

Rubin concludes:

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) put out a perfunctory statement last night excoriating the House plan. It read in part, “Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care. This plan would cut and cap Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood, and force Americans, particularly older Americans, to pay more out of pocket for their medical care all so insurance companies can pad their bottom line.” We think that is correct, but frankly, neither we nor the members of Congress voting for it know for sure. And that is a disgrace.

A summary of the bill’s key provisions may be found in the New York Times article, The Parts of Obamacare Republicans Will Keep, Change or Discard. Paul Krugman, in A Plan Set Up To Fail, offers a typically perceptive and well-informed assessment. Commenting about the Republican plan proposals on the individual mandate and ACA subsidies, he concludes:

Taken together, these moves would almost surely lead to a death spiral. Healthy individuals, especially low-income households no longer receiving adequate aid, would opt out, worsening the risk pool. Premiums would soar – without the cushion created by the current, price-linked subsidy formula — leading more healthy people to exit. In much of the country, the individual markets would probably collapse.

The House leadership seems to realize all of this; that’s why it reportedly plans to rush the bill through committee before CBO even gets a chance to score it.

It’s an amazing spectacle. Obviously, Republicans backed themselves into a corner: after all those years denouncing Obamacare, they felt they had to do something, but in fact had no good ideas about what to offer as a replacement. So they went with really bad ideas instead.

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