Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Join a National Call In Day to Oppose the AHCA

Call 866-426-2631 to make your voice heard.

As introduced, the American Health Care Act would profoundly reduce coverage for millions of Americans—including many low-income and disabled individuals who rely on Medicaid—and increase out-of-pocket costs for the sickest and oldest among us. Recent changes to the AHCA are alarming; these changes include allowing states to waive the requirement for essential health benefits, which could deny patients the care and treatment they need to treat their conditions.

Another change allows states to waive protections against health status rating. Weakening these rules would enable insurers to charge higher prices to people with pre-existing conditions, possibly making insurance unaffordable for those who need it most.

States that waive health status rating protections would be required to set up a high risk sharing program, which may include a high-risk pool. Offering these risk sharing mechanisms as an alternative to affordable health insurance is not a viable option, particularly high-risk pools. Previous state high risk pools resulted in higher premiums, long waiting lists and inadequate coverage.

Weakening protections in favor of high-risk pools would also undermine the ban on discrimination based on health status. The individuals and families we represent cannot go back to a time when people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage or forced to choose between purchasing basic necessities and affording their health care coverage. Given these factors, we oppose the latest draft of the AHCA. We urge Members of Congress to reject this legislation.

For more than 60 years, Presbyterian General Assemblies have been calling for reform of the U.S. health system, urging the establishment of a national medical plan that will ensure universal health coverage for all persons residing in the United States. In 1988, the Assembly wrote, “Jesus’ command to love our neighbor requires persons with plentiful health resources both to comprehend the condition of those persons without basic health care and to share the means to health.” In other words, it is our collective responsibility as a community, and as a nation, to make sure that all people have access to the means to good health – that is, access to quality, affordable, comprehensive health coverage. 

Join our National Call-In Day: Call your representative at 866-426-2631 make your voice heard and oppose the cruel new health care bill.

Sample Script:

As a Presbyterian, I urge Representative _____ to vote NO on the American Health Care Act.

1)    The Presbyterian Church has long viewed healthcare as a moral issue

2)    I am are especially concerned with the 880 billion in cuts to Medicaid contained in this bill. If this bill is passed an estimated thousands of people in this district will lose lifesaving Medicaid coverage.

4)    Restructuring Medicaid, a program that covers over 70 million people, and ending the Medicaid expansion will end affordable coverage for millions of low-income Americans – making it even harder for them to put food on the table each day.

I forcefully oppose the AHCA and strongly urge Representative _____ to vote against it.