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Daily Action: Here We Go Again on Healthcare

Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976 
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Steve Knight:
DC: (202) 225-1956
Simi Valley: (805) 581-7130

Short Script:

Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Representative _________’s in ____________, California. I'm calling to ask that he/she reject Trump and the Republicans' latest effort to replace the Affordable Care Act and deprive 25 million people of access to healthcare. The new plan is even worse than the old one, and even Republicans must agree -- they've exempted themselves from its provisions! The essential health benefits covered under the ACA must continue to be the right of Americans in ALL our states, not subject to the partisan whims of Republican state legislatures. We cannot allow a "race to the bottom" on individuals' health coverage. Please oppose this new bill, and tell House Republicans to listen to the strong majority of us who want to see the ACA protected and improved, not destroyed. Thank you!

Three weeks ago, Republicans were unable to reach agreement on the "American Health Care Act" and were forced to pull their effort to repeal and replace the ACA off the House floor without a vote. At that time, President Trump seemed content to move on from healthcare reform -- but soon enough, during the recent congressional recess, he re-committed his party to reaching a deal between moderates and the far-right "Freedom Caucus."

In recent days those two groups have agreed on a plan that would address the right wing's concerns by offering waivers to individual states, allowing them to opt out of covering the "essential health benefits" that remained even under the GOP's earlier plan. (Those benefits include emergency care, hospitalization, outpatient care, maternity and childbirth care, mental health coverage, prescription drugs, etc.) They also agreed to allow states to charge more in premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions, as long as they claim the higher rates will help them save money or cover more people.

As the text of the revised bill became public Tuesday night, one of its features offered an ironic glimpse into Republicans self-awareness of the havoc they're purposely wreaking in America's healthcare system. The bill guarantees that members of Congress and their staffs, who have been required for years to purchase coverage through the ACA exchanges, will continue to enjoy that law's essential benefits whether or not the members' constituents lose those benefits back home.

It is unclear whether the new bill, with these changes, will gain enough support among Senate Republicans to overcome the expected unanimous opposition among Democrats. Republicans still hope that the savings they gain by decimating the Affordable Care Act will enable them to make a down payment on a massive tax break for the wealthiest Americans, as part of the tax-reform package Trump is expected to introduce this week.