This week the Senate GOP has voted to advance debate on repealing, or replacing, or just repealing the Affordable Care Act and then demonstrated—not once but twice—that they still do not know what they want to replace it with. In an attempt to save face, GOP leaders are reportedly aiming for a final vote, likely on what is being called the “skinny” repeal bill Friday following a long ‘vote-a-rama’ session Thursday night despite the fact that a CBO analysis predicted that the lean, mean skinny repeal bill would boost the number of uninsured by a whopping 16 million.
When it comes down to it, after the theatrical showdowns and all the procedural smoke and mirrors, the Senate will likely vote on a bill that seeks to repeal one—if not all—of three things: the individual mandate, the employer mandate, and the medical devices tax. Don’t be fooled when partisan proponents profess that removing these components means nothing.
Here’s what such a bill would likely do:
- Throw between 15 and 16 million people off health care
- Raise health insurance premiums by 20% EACH YEAR for the foreseeable future
- Destabilize existing health insurance markets
- Lay a path for a conference bill that will include Medicaid cuts and caps
All of these outcomes will be bad for people with disabilities, especially those in rural areas and families making below the median household income.
What YOU Can Do
We need thousands -of phone calls, e-mails, visits, and social media posts before 8:00 pm EDT TODAY, THURSDAY, July 27 to Senate offices. Go to Contacting Congress to find out how to call, email, visit, or otherwise contact your elected officials using social media by searching with your zip code.
Here’s why: The disability community is harmed not only when individuals and families with disabilities are directly barred from public or private insurance—we would also be dangerously jeopardized by repeal of the individual mandate. Insurance markets enter a “death spiral” when people without disabilities leave a particular plan, or have no reason to buy an insurance product. This leaves people with disabilities and chronic conditions in segregated “higher risk” insurance pool thereby prompting the insurer to raise premiums for that plan. Higher premiums drive away “healthy” people causing the market to become unsustainable overall due to rising costs.
- NONE of the plans put forward in the Senate create more or better health care for Americans
- NONE of the plans protect people with disabilities
- The SKINNY bill denies health care coverage to over 15 million people
- The SKINNY plan is still a threat to Medicaid if the bill goes to conference
- The SKINNY doesn’t provide options for disabled workers who will be forced to forego currently available healthcare
- No matter how apologists try to spin it the so-called SKINNY bill will cause the same harm as other recent proposals but will do so slower. This would give the GOP more time to attempt political cover by blaming Obamacare for their own failures, and avoid working on more comprehensive, bi-partisan healthcare reforms.
- The Senate should not confuse showboating with policymaking and its collective responsibility to create a workable health care law
- It is time for bi-partisan efforts to truly improve health care
- Vote NO on the SKINNY bill and reach across the aisle to truly improve health care
REMEMBER: Go to Contacting Congress to locate the contact information for your elected officials using your zip code.