Republican Health Care Amendment Exempts Congress
We’ve all heard about the Republican health care plan and how it would slash coverage and raise insurance premiums for millions of people. But as Republicans change their bill to try to win more support and get it through the Senate, it looks like they snuck in a new element – allowing plans that don’t provide coverage for essential health benefits while ensuring that members of Congress still get those benefits. Vox reports:
The revised Senate health bill draft released Thursday lets health insurers offer plans that do not cover the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, which requires insurers to include a wide array of benefits such as maternity care and mental health services.
Insurers can offer plans without these benefits — unless they’re selling coverage to members of Congress and their staff, who are required to buy coverage on the health law marketplaces. The exemption says this part of the law still applies to any plans sold to Congress.
Republicans know how bad this bill is – that’s why they’re exempting themselves from the worst of it.
Senators Susan Collins and Rand Paul are two Republicans who have said they’ll oppose the bill – with a 52-48 Republican majority, that means we only need to flip one more vote to kill the bill! Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada had previously said he’s against it, but now he’s somehow back to undecided – so we need to get to work.
The Trumpcare Toolkit has contact information for the offices of key swing Senators – make sure that you (and especially any friends and family you have who live in GOP states) are contacting their Senators! The Toolkit’s information gives you everything you need to make phone calls and put on pressure to stop this bill.
Even with the changes made by Republicans, this bill still:
o Slashes hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid and ends ACA’s expansion
o Hurts efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and could makes it even worse
o Kicks millions of people off their health care plan
o Lets insurers charge older Americans 5 times more than younger Americans
o Increases out-of-pocket costs and makes people pay more for less
o Defunds Planned Parenthood and lets insurers offer plans that don’t cover maternity care
o Allows insurers to offer plans that don’t cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment and pediatric care
o Looks out for the wealthy over lower and middle-income Americans
o Provides handouts to insurance companies
o Ends the ACA’s guaranteed protections for those with pre-existing conditions
The Republicans are working hard to pass this and we need to keep up the pressure too. Your help is critical.
Tina on KUOW
Our chair, Tina Podlodowski, was on KUOW radio’s Week In Review radio program (we swear the name is just a coincidence) this Friday, discussing tax fairness, the latest trouble the Trump family is in, and more. You can listen to the program here!
Originally Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison was scheduled to be on the radio with Tina so they could have a debate, but wouldn’t you know it – something came up on Susan’s schedule and she wasn’t able to make it! That’s too bad, but we would like to offer a standing invitation to Susan – Tina’s happy to sit down for a public debate any time you like.
Trump Junior In Trouble
It’s now been confirmed that Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., met with several people explicitly associated with the Russian government, including a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer turned lobbyist.
Trump Jr. was told explicitly that the Russian government wanted to help his father win the election, and he knew the information was coming from a family with close ties to Putin. Instead of reporting this to the FBI, Trump Jr. said, ‘I love it’ and invited the Trump campaign’s most senior aides to participate.
The Trump campaign then stood by as the Russian interference effort unfolded and they did nothing but celebrate and encourage the Kremlin to continue – even through this last weekend, when the President appeared to give Putin a pass for the whole thing.
It’s now clear (as if it wasn’t when Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Jared Kushner all got caught lying about having met with Russians during the campaign) that the Trump campaign was actively working with Russians to steal the election. We need Congress to step in and investigate this fully – something the Republicans are completely unwilling to do. This just shows the importance of retaking Congress in 2018 so we can get to the truth and win back our country in 2020!
Primary Election Ballots Out This Week!
With ballots mailing out to voters across the state this week, it’s more important than ever that we’re out talking to people about our Democratic values and building our party in every corner of the state.
We’ve already had hundreds of people step up to get involved in our Summer of Canvass program, but with ballots in mailboxes this week, this is the crucial time to sign up and get out on the doors.
If you can’t make it out on the doors, you can help fund our field organizing efforts by joining the Resistance – our monthly fundraising program that goes directly into field organizing and other party building efforts like the Summer of Canvass.
Click here to find out more and help fund our grassroots efforts at $3, $7 or $14 dollars a month – even $27 – makes a huge difference! Thanks for considering and again, here is the link.