On November 6th, we saw a “Health Care Wave” sweep across the country altering the balance of power in Washington and across state capitols across the country. Exit polls revealed what we long suspected: health care was one of the most important issues on the minds of voters, and in particular people who voted for Democrats. Democrats, who needed 23 additional seats to retake the House of Representatives, have gained are on track to gain at least 35 seats.
While it may seem that Congress has moved on from its reckless quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid, many lawmakers are not giving up.
It’s important that we remind members of Congress that we’re watching them and will mobilize to defend health care.
Happy 2018! We took a break over the holidays to restore ourselves and connect with family and community and hope you did, too. Health care advocates deserved time to celebrate and reflect after achieving monumental success in preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and drastic cuts to Medicaid in 2017.
In the 2017 elections, Maine voters took control at the ballot box to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. The decisive win--with nearly 60 percent of the vote-- shows the popular support for Medicaid expansion in Maine, where the governor has vetoed the state legislature's repeated efforts to expand coverage.
The lesson of the campaign will be shared in the coming year with other states like Utah and Idaho, where ballot initiatives give voters a chance to move Medicaid expansion efforts ahead after years of stalling by conservative policymakers.
Mostly by granting huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations, the new tax bill would increase the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
If a tax bill that explodes the deficit becomes law, it will set the stage for massive cuts to health programs like Medicaid, marketplace financial assistance, and Medicare. Health care consumers and their advocates thus need to pay careful attention to the tax debate.
Today’s headlines were about Congress turning its attention to tax reform, but there’s still some critical health care business to take care of. Congress needs to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and do it ASAP, before both lapse on September 30th. The health and health care of millions depend on it.
Getting this done should not be hard. Both the CHIP program and community health centers have enjoyed strong bipartisan support, and with good reason. Both make our health system better.
Congress has left D.C. for the summer without passing legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or cut Medicaid. Leadership and rank-and-file representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle appear to be looking past the repeal fight that has embattled Congress for the past year and looking ahead toward efforts to stabilize the insurance market. Are these overtures of bipartisanship to be believed? Are the ACA and Medicaid finally safe? As always, it’s complicated.
We always believed in our hearts that it would not be possible for Congress to pass repeal—that we could stop these harmful efforts because too many people rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid for it to be so easy to rip coverage away through a sweeping piece of legislation.
The postponed vote is proof of the power and impact of people around the country raising their voices and contacting their lawmakers about the harm this bill would cause.Your calls, letters, demonstrations, and story-telling are working!
This fight is not over. When Congress returns on July 10 from the July 4 recess, the Senate could quickly take up and pass a revised bill.
After narrowly passing the House of Representatives, the Republican bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act is now moving to the Senate.
In these early stages of the Senate debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act, it is critical that senators understand that they should not put their constituents’ health care at risk. Now is the time to mobilize your networks and encourage them to reach out to their senators.