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Action-A-Day 5/3: Preserve insurance coverage for pre-existing health conditions

ACTION: Urge the House to vote NO on the American Health Care Act & preserve health care coverage for millions of Americans.

House Republicans have introduced a revised bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and the new version is even worse than before. A new amendment allows states to effectively eliminate coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions. States could opt to permit insurers to charge higher ratesbased on medical history, which could mean people who have (or have had) life-threatening illnesses or chronic medical conditions could face unaffordable premiums. The bill would also take health coverage away from at least 24 million Americans & would drastically cut Medicaid.

Grassroots activism blocked the first repeal vote in March, and now Republicans are trying to rush through this new bill before the May recess — and before hearing from experts about the proposed legislation and from the Congressional Budget Office about its budgetary impact.

1. In Andy Harris’ District?

We need to flood Andy Harris’ offices with calls. Calls helped stop the first Trumpcare bill. We can do it again.

D.C. Office: 202-225-5311

If you can't get through, keep trying, or call the district office numbers:

Bel Air Office: 410-588-5670

Kent Island Office: 410-643-5425

Salisbury Office: 443-944-8624

SUGGESTED SCRIPT:

"I'm a constituent and a voter in Rep. Harris's district, and I'm calling to urge Rep. Harris to vote NO on the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away health insurance from 24 million Americans."

If you leave a message, be sure to include your name and full mailing address, so that they know that you are a constituent. And if you have a health care story of your own, please share it—personal stories can impact lawmakers' decisions.

2. You can make a difference, whatever district you're in:

  • Alert your Rapid Response team
  •  Personally ask friends & family around the country to call their Republican reps immediately.
  • See the backgrounders and call script under Resources below for talking points. In particular, learn more about the misleading statements from the White House & Congressional Republicans about the bill.

3. Talk with others about how everyone -- even those who are healthy today -- benefits from protections for pre-existing conditions. Good health today is no guarantee for the future. A heart attack, cancer diagnosis, or birth of a child with a congenital disease can change a family's fortunes abruptly.       

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel underscored this point in his 5/1 monologue with a moving account about how his newborn son needed open-heart surgery just hours after his birth. Kimmel expressed concern for other parents facing a child's medical crisis, but without health insurance:  "If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

Kimmel's story has been a trending topic on social media & could be a jumping off point for conversations across political lines.

4. Follow the progress of the bill & the latest GOP vote count:

Indivisible Guide has frequent updates on Twitter (@IndivisibleTeam)  

Whip Count: Republicans Who Are Against the Revised Health Care Bill (The New York Times)

5. Attend a free screening on Sunday 5/7/17 of "Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point" at the Westminster library. Film from 2-3:15; discussion from 3:15-4.

"Fix It" documentary flyer

RESOURCES

Center on Budget & Policy Priorities -- Fact Checking Claims About the MacArthur Amendment

Families USA --  American Health Care Act/MacArthur Amendment Call Script

Indivisible -- Stop Trumpcare Once and For All

Indivisible Blog Post:  The On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again GOP Health Bill