*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - 3/24, MORNING EDITION ***
By now we all know that the House of Representatives did not vote upon the American Healthcare Act (aka AHCA, Trumpcare, and The First Horseman of the Apocalypse) as they were scheduled to do. (That was me laughing from the eastside.) There can be no doubt that the vote was postponed because it would have failed. No Democrat is planning to vote for the bill, and scores of Republicans are opposed to it – some because they feel the bill isn’t conservative enough, and some who worry it goes too far. Either way, the bill was DOA yesterday, and Trump knew it, no matter what he said. Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. Trump has demanded a vote on the bill take place today, or he’s willing to just forget about repealing and replacing Obamacare. Conventional wisdom is to ignore a toddler throwing a tantrum, but I don’t have faith in Paul Ryan’s fortitude these days, so there’s a decent chance that GOP Reps will give in to the president’s fit.
That is why we need – NEED – to make our voices heard today. Even if the House doesn’t vote on the AHCA today, they will vote on it eventually, and we must do all we can to ensure that it doesn’t pass, or that, barring a total fail, that the bill is rewritten to be less awful. Make no mistake – a lot of Republicans knew that this is a bad bill and they know that their constituents will be hurt by it.
Here is a non-comprehensive list of worst of the bill, as stated by the CBO:
*Within one year, 14 million fewer people will have health insurance (an additional 7 million will lose coverage by 2020, and another 3 million by 2026).
*Insurance premiums would see a modest decline, in part because insurers would not longer be required to cover certain percentages of the cost of various benefits.
*Older citizens would see their premiums rise by as much as 5x their current costs.
*Individuals who experience a coverage gap (63 days or more) will pay a 30% surcharge when they get insurance again (rates will return to standard after one year).
*The states that accepted the Medicaid expansion could continue to enroll eligible persons, but only until 2020. This means that the 11 million people who gained access to Medicaid in the 31 states that expanded the program will find themselves uninsured again, and without the means to pay for both preventative care and emergency services.
*Income-based subsidies will be replaced by age-based tax credits ($2,000 to $4,000 for individuals and up to $14,000 for families) none of which are high enough to pay for a private insurance policy.
*Natives, who have enjoyed special provisions under the ACA, including the right to enroll in Marketplace policies outside of open enrollment and the ability to enroll in CHIP and Medicaid at higher incomes, will no longer have access to these critical health care options.
Now a quick reminder of what Trump promised during the campaign: Universal coverage. Lower premiums for everyone. No cuts to Medicaid. Consumers will be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines. The AHCA bears so little resemblance to Trump’s lofty promises that it might as well not even exist in the same universe.
It’s time to make phone calls. Normally I’d encourage postcards and letters as well, but there’s no time. You can consult this excellent New York Times infographic as you plan your calls. https://www.nytimes.com/…/poli…/health-care-whip-count.html…
Here in Washington, Republicans Dan Newhouse (4th LD) and Cathy McMorris Rogers (5th LD) are considered strong “yes” votes, while Dave Reichert (8th LD) is considered undecided, and Jaime Herrera Butler (3rd LD) is considered a “no” vote.
Please call them. Encourage Newhouse and McMorris Rogers to reconsider their votes. I recommend a little flattery; feel free to refer to them as “principled” or “people of conscience.” Encourage Reichert to stand for his principles, and thank Herrera Butler for standing by her conscience. If you have time and the inclination, consider calling other undecided Republicans on the list and letting them know that you support their willingness to go against what’s popular and stand for what is right.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan was “Stronger Together,” and she was right. We are already making a difference. Thank you for all that you do.
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer