July 24, 2017 Advocacy Alert
Despite several major recent breakdowns in the legislative progress on proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to restructure Medicaid, Senate Republican leadership is still planning a vote tomorrow, Tuesday, July 25, to advance one of two harmful health care proposals.
It is unclear whether tomorrow’s Senate vote would advance a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act or a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which would repeal and replace the ACA and gut Medicaid. Either way, urgent advocacy action is needed to demand that lawmakers reject any health care reform effort that would increase costs, decrease coverage and weaken Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults.
Advancing either legislative strategy would lead to health care coverage loss and increased costs for tens of millions of Americans according to updated analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, and those coverage and cost implications would be felt most harshly by older adults. Despite these devastating implications, it is possible that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could sway enough moderate and conservative Republicans to move this process forward.
Advocacy Still Needed!
Local advocacy is key to stopping these devastating proposals from moving forward. Senators—especially from key states AK, AZ, CO, KS, LA, MT, ME, OH and WV—must KEEP hearing about how harmful these measures could be to their older constituents. Aging advocates must weigh in now to tell your Senators to reject ANY attempt to move either a straight ACA repeal or the Senate’s repeal and replace proposal that also caps and cuts Medicaid.
Please make a quick call, send an email or fax, and encourage your agency’s stakeholders to do the same to keep up the drumbeat about the health care reform proposals that are being considered. You can find contact information for your Senators’ state and Washington, DC offices at www.senate.gov.
The message now to Senators is simple:
I urge you to stop any attempt to either repeal ACA without a replacement or to gut funding for Medicaid. Please reject any motion to proceed to floor debate on either proposal, as neither is worthy of approval nor easily fixable via amendment
Instead, any changes to health care must be done through an open, bipartisan and transparent process that protects older adults and preserves critical Medicaid funding.
We urge you to continue using n4a #SaveMedicaid (www.n4a.org/savemedicaid) campaign page, for advocacy tools and resources to engage your grassroots and local partners! We also encourage you to share n4a’s Policy Brief, “What Would ACA Repeal Mean for Older Adults, Caregivers and the Aging Network?” This Policy Brief includes key questions and considerations that lawmakers must address in any future attempts to improve the ACA.
Again, advocacy TODAY is critical. The Senate is voting tomorrow, and time is short to STOP devastating cuts to health care and long-term care services for older adults.