Losing our healthcare: It’s not over

On Sunday we got the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the Senate “Take Away Our Healthcare” bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and it shows how cruel and immoral the bill is (details below). There is nothing in the bill that gives better care.

The Senate then delayed its vote. Our pressure is working. But it’s not over til it’s over. We saw the House bill die only to be resurrected and pass. So we’ve seen this movie before.

Quotes from Senator Feinstein on Senate Health Care Bill: 'the most indefensible bill I've actually seen in 24 years in the Senate...No amount of tinkering will change the fact that this bill would devastate health care in America, and we can't let that happen.'

On Tuesday, 10 members of Stand Up SF discussed what can be done to block the Senate bill with Sean Elsbernd, Senator Feinstein’s State Director. Some of the suggestions below come from this meeting. Read the Action Report to learn all that was discussed.

While the Republican Senators are facing their constituents back home next week, what else can we do to ensure this bill dies a full death?

#1. Keep telling your ACA stories. How did the ACA help you? How will the current Senate bill hurt you or those you love?

Email your personal stories to Congresswoman Pelosi’s senior congressional aide: Alex.Lazar@mail.house.gov.

Submit your story to Senator Feinstein.

Submit your story to Senator Harris.

Keep submitting your personal stories to be read and voted on as bill amendments on the Senate floor.

Search Twitter for #HowTheACASavedMyLife to see how it helped others. Tweet your own 140-character story using the hashtag.

#2. Make sure your friends, family and colleagues know how the bill will affect them.

#3. Educate connections in other states, not only on the bill but on the need to call their Senators. Remember that polls showed a high % of the people with negative views of Obamacare had positive views of the Affordable Care Act. Eight years of misinformation campaigns have left people confused. Let’s educate them wherever we can. (hint: call it The Affordable Care Act)

#4. If you know any hospital representatives, encourage them to speak out on behalf of their hospital. Hospitals would face billions more in uncompensated care next year alone. Some would not survive.

#5. Consider phone banking into a red district, educating residents and encouraging them to take action (with Democracy Action).

#6. Consider a quick donation to one of the organizations running ads against the Senate bill in red states.

Here is how the Senate Health Care bill will affect all of us:

  • If you are nearing retirement, you will likely see your premiums and out-of-pocket costs shoot up. In 2026, a 64-yr-old making $56,800 would see their premiums TRIPLE.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, good luck. Your state can let insurers drop your pre-existing condition from the coverage they offer you.
  • If you get sick with an expensive condition, too bad. Annual and lifetime caps are back. Hit your lifetime cap and your insurance ends forever.
  • If you count on that out-of-pocket max, not so fast. It only applies to “essential health benefits,” which states can now let insurers define. Nearly half of all Americans could be affected by cutbacks in “essential benefits.”
  • Know someone with low income? They also get less insurance at a higher cost. Subsidies are substantially smaller. According to the CBO, in 2020 premiums and deductibles would be so onerous that “few low-income people would purchase any plan.”
  • The most vulnerable among us will be hurt by a $772M cut to Medicaid. 60% of long-stay nursing home residents are on Medicaid. 39% of US children are on Medicaid.
  • 15M more people would be uninsured next year, 22M more by 2026.

Local Stand Up SF action:

The State Assembly could vote on the future of climate action in California this week – and the vote is close. AB 378 would extend California’s landmark cap-and-trade law, which sets a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and requires companies to pay for their pollution. Call assemblymembers Phil Ting and David Chiu and tell them to vote YES on AB 378 to continue California’s climate leadership. (Background)

Actions with other groups:

A fun way to support a good cause:
July 4, 2pm Dolores Park (free): Come see SF Mime Troupe perform WALLS, which asks the question: How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration? The answer: FEAR!

Thanks for all you do.