The Progressive Club Health Committee has taken the position that health care is a basic right. With "Repeal & Replace" of the ACA gone, the focus of the Health Committee will be: where do we go from here? Do we focus on needed changes to the ACA, and on the other end of the spectrum, promote "Medicare for All? The Purpose of the Health Committee is:
1. Define and provide simple understanding of the ACA issues that need to be addressed.
2. Show the positive impact of the ACA on individuals, families and friends.
3. Provide and organize a voice for the ACA and proposed changes.
4. Provide input to the public, media and elected officials.
5. Coordinate with other organizations in Lee and Collier counties with similar interests.
If you are interested in working with the Health Committee, please email me at this address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Group members participated in a rally in N. Ft. Myers to save health care. More than 300 people participated and the enthusiasm was contagious. Press coverage included interviews with our members on local TV newscasts.
Our last Progressive Club membership meeting featured Jim Roach who is a local expert on the ACA. His talk was very informative.
Members completed postcard messages on health insurance reform for our representatives and senators and mailed them after the meeting
Many group members attended the Rep. Francis Rooney Town Hall meeting and were prepared with questions and quite vocal participants.
We have requested a meeting with Representative Rooney during his legislative break, but got no response.
July 8 , 2017
“Mean” Senate Trumpcare
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the 142 page “discussion draft,” Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. It was a heartless bill that ended the mandate that everyone buy health insurance, repeal taxes on wealthy Americans and insurance companies, recklessly ends Medicaid as we know it, and rolls back Medicaid expansion.
The bill was designed to strip away and minimize benefits in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy that don’t need them, while families are devastated.
With the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis showing 22 million losing their health insurance, and McConnell not able to lose more than two votes, he decided to wait until after the July recess while he negotiated with his colleagues. The initial bill sent to the CBO was not what was actually intended for passage, the intention was to have amendments that would give the GOP leadership the bill they really wanted.
McConnell has since sent several bill modifications to the CBO seeking what would appear to be a less heartless bill. The true impact is pushed beyond the 2018 elections, and in the case of Medicaid out to 2026 when cuts would be $772 billion. The states that adopted Medicaid expansion would be the hardest hit.
This bill will divide the insurance market, sending the healthy to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance, and the sick to plans that comply with all the Affordable Care Act (ACA) federal mandates. That would make these comprehensive plans prohibitively expense, and raise the issue of preserving protection for people with preexisting conditions.
Your hard work of writing, calling, and participating in marches and rallies, have won a temporary delay. Some Republicans are expressing publicly their reservations, so negotiations are continuing among Republicans behind closed doors. This bill would strip coverage from too many people, damage our ability to fight opioid addiction, lessen care for people in nursing homes, and limit care for those with pre-existing conditions. As President Obama said,”If there is a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family- this bill will do you harm.”
This week we need to call, email, tweet, talk, rally, and get people’s attention about health care issues. You need to thank our Democrat senators for sticking together and fighting, and thank Republican Senators Collins (Maine), and Heller (Nevada) for committing to vote against the bill. While the Senate bill seems to be in trouble, you saw what happened with the House bill. The fight is far from over, don’t let up.
Ralph Pollock. Health Chair
Lee County Progressive Club