How many of us are discovering that there are people we know, seemingly sensible people, who are not following the healthcare debate as if their lives depended on it?
– Perhaps they are young and healthy and plan on staying that way forever. Good for them!
– Perhaps they think that their employer will shield them from any of the harsh changes that are coming.
– Perhaps they think the controlled chaos that is Congress will get this all resolved before it gets to their door.
– Perhaps, they’ve just been lucky enough never to receive a medical bill that their insurance company refused to pay.
– If you have any other good reasons why people don’t think this affects them, please add them in the comments section.
The ACA, forever branded as Obamacare, was not the Democrats’ first choice for a healthcare plan. Medicare-for-all remained the unattainable holy grail, and Democrats compromised to get a plan passed that would tangibly benefit their constituents and expand coverage. Direct and unapologetic GOP sabotage, such as defunding critical portions of insurance support (Thanks, Marco!), the refusal of red states to expand Medicaid and Trump’s threats to cost-sharing reductions helped to redirect medical costs back to us in higher premiums and deductibles.
Now the AHCA promises to make things worse for us, with even higher deductibles and copays, lower percentages of overall coverage, along with no longer providing coverage for the “Essential Health Benefits” of the ACA.
So where will that leave us, those lucky enough not to be counted among the millions who will straight-out lose all coverage due to unaffordability?
Well, possibly bankrupt.
On the front end, with premiums, or on the back end, with medical bills, someday we might not be able to pay anymore. Even now, as the costs for ACA insurance have risen due to hospital policies and GOP shenanigans, people are receiving life-altering bills for necessary medical treatment. If high risk pools remain in the final version of the AHCA, premiums could skyrocket. Technically, a person with pre-existing conditions would still have “access”. However, the key that unlocks “access” is money. And if one doesn’t maintain continuous coverage, insurance companies can charge whatever they please. Caps and other limits would also come back into play.
Just like in the bad ‘ol days.
So where is our power in all of this? Obviously not money. If we were gazillionaires, we wouldn’t be so concerned. What we do have is our votes. And we can multiply that power by standing indivisible with our neighbors and using our voice.
Call your elected officials!
Your senators. Your representatives.
Even if they’re on recess and hiding from you at private fundraisers, their staff is working, taking messages and keeping tallies of calls.
Here are a passel of scripts to use.
Your discussion can be as short as “Tell Senator Feinstein not to compromise with the GOP on any of the AHCA. It’s crap!” Or it could be a really long story of how having access to healthcare made a difference in your life. Your choice. It still counts as one call.
General healthcare calling scripts, how to make calls when you really hate calling, and definitions of terms here.
Medicaid script here.
Planned Parenthood defense scripts here.
Get your friends and family in states with senators that have important votes to call here.
Prevention and Public Health Fund script here.
Here’s the Phone #’s for California’s Senators.
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884