Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Representative _________’s in ____________, California. I'm calling to urge the congressperson to oppose H.R. 2581, the so-called "Verify First Act." This bill is intended to destabilize the Affordable Care Act by creating confusion among people the act was intended to serve -- and it's blatantly discriminatory against Latino Americans at the same time. It would intimidate immigrant families, including legal residents and citizens as well as undocumented immigrants with children who are citizens. It's time for Republicans to stop sabotaging the ACA and trying to keep eligible Americans from seeing a doctor when they get sick. Thank you!
The "Verify First Act" is headed for a vote in the House as early as Tuesday. It is part of what has been labeled the "third bucket" of the Republicans' strategy for repealing the Affordable Care Act — bills that dismantle aspects of Obamacare but aren't eligible for the fast-track budget reconciliation process in the Senate.
The Act seems relatively innocuous on its face -- supporters say it is designed to reduce fraud and abuse by requiring the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security to verify a person's eligibility as a legal resident before a person can obtain subsidies to purchase insurance through the ACA's exchanges. But while relatively few cases of fraud have been reported, the act's net of restrictions would capture millions of legal immigrants and children of undocumented immigrants who are eligible for coverage.
In the same way that voter-ID laws create confusion and intimidate members of targeted demographics so that they're less likely to vote, the "Verify First Act" would leave millions uncertain whether they're eligible for ACA subsidies. Young and healthy immigrants and family members of immigrants, in particular, would be intimidated away from seeking coverage -- creating a snowball effect of instability for the entire ACA marketplace.