ACTION ALERT: This week, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are back home for “district work weeks.” Many are holding listening events like town hall meetings to hear from constituents…but even if your representative is not holding a special event, it’s still a really important time to let them know where you stand on important issues.
One of the issues Congress is most intent on addressing this spring is health care. House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week that legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be introduced as soon as Congress returns from break. Congressional leaders also have indicated they intend to consider major reductions in funding and benefits for Medicaid and Medicare.
Please take time this week to let your congressional representative know you oppose any legislation that would take the U.S. and Texas backward on health care. Ask them to tell you where they stand on key provisions of proposed health care reforms, and inquire if they know how those reforms are expected to impact Texas.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacing it with comparable benefits would jeopardize health insurance for millions of Texans. Texas still leads the nation in both number and percent of uninsured residents, but we have made significant gains now that Texans can sign up for subsidized plans through the Marketplace. Nearly one million Texans receive subsidies through the Marketplace, making insurance affordable to workers without access to employer-sponsored plans.
Texas depends on Medicare and Medicaid to support our state’s health care infrastructure—cutting federal funding for these programs would diminish access to care for whole communities in our state, as well as hurting millions of poor children, seniors, and Texans with disabilities.
Take Action: Ask your congressional representative to answer the attached key questions—at a town hall meeting, in a phone call, or when you drop by the district office for a visit.
Key Questions for Congress: Health Care
- Will the repeal-and-replace bill maintain the same protections for people with pre-existing conditions, or will it include loopholes that allow insurers to charge more to folks with pre-existing conditions?
- I’ve heard that Speaker Ryan is planning to include Medicare changes— including premium support, which will end Medicare’s guaranteed benefits—in the ACA repeal and replace bill. Is this true and where do you stand on guaranteed benefits?
- Millions of seniors rely on Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. Do you support cutting Medicaid funding to states? What will happen to older Americans who need long-term care at home or in a nursing home?
- I’ve heard that Congress is considering turning Medicaid into a grant program, where Texas would get a fixed amount of federal funds no matter how high our health costs are. Do you support this approach? Would Texas get more funding if we experience a huge increase in need, like from a big natural disaster?
Find your congressional representative here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx