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03/06/2017 Action Alert: Urge Congress Not to Dismantle Health Insurance For Low-income and Working Americans

Submitted by Sean Hennigan on Mon, 03/06/2017 - 8:00am

ACTION ALERT: This week, we expect the U.S. House to begin moving a bill that would repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act and dramatically alter and reduce federal financing for Medicaid.

Several Texas congressional representatives are on the two committees working on the legislation—if you live in one of the following districts, it is especially important that you contact your congressional representative:

Energy and Commerce

  • Joe Barton (Vice Chair), 877-251-2865
  • Michael Burgess, 877-255-4218
  • Pete Olson, 877-588-3216
  • Bill Flores, 877-515-7279
  • Gene Green, 877-687-4968

Ways and Means Committee

  • Kevin Brady (Chair), 877-218-1338
  • Sam Johnson, 877-427-4164
  • Kenny Marchant, 877-444-9237
  • Lloyd Doggett, 877-430-6625

The changes Congress is considering would result in massive federal funding cuts for Texas and loss of health insurance for nearly a million Texans. The impacts would not be limited to low-income Texans. The combination of funding cuts and spike in uninsured population would almost certainly result in a combination of increased property taxes and diminished access to hospital care, especially in rural areas.

No matter what congressional district you live in, please take a minute this week to call your STATE senator and representative, your mayor, and your county commissioners. Urge them to tell Texas’ congressional delegation that cutting health insurance for Texans and cutting health care funding for Texas is bad medicine.

  • Early this week, perhaps on Monday evening, we expect to see draft legislation. Later in the week, possibly Wednesday, the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees will begin to “markup” the bill (meaning they will debate and possibly amend the bill). They will then vote on the bill and we expect it will pass out of committee.
  • The week of March 13th, Republicans hope to send the language from Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce to the Budget Committee to combine the language into one bill. The combined language will be voted on by the Budget Committee and then sent to the Rules Committee.
  • The week of March 20th, Republicans hope to send the agreed upon language from the Rules committee to the floor of the House.

Weekly Witness Action Steps

Click here for a list of toll free numbers for House and Senate members. Using the toll free numbers allow Texas Impact staff to track how many calls are going in to each office.

Sample Script for Congressional Calls

Hello, my name is     and I live in ___________. I am calling to thank Representative     __  for his/her service and to let you know that I and members of my congregation are praying for the Representative and his/her staff.

As a person of faith (or clergy) I want to urge Representative _______________ to vote against Affordable Care Act repeal or Medicaid reform bills that are bad for Texas.

I hear that the ACA repeal legislation Congress is considering would cut crucial financial assistance that has helped working Texans afford health insurance. Texas already has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, and many of our hospitals are already struggling to keep providing services. Dumping a million new uninsured folks into the system will hurt Texas taxpayers and hospitals—besides being cruel to those individuals.

Please step back and consider the impact your choices this week and this month will have on Texas. 

Sample Script for Legislative Calls

Hello, my name is     and I live in ___________. I am calling to thank Representative/Senator     __  for his/her service and to let you know that I and members of my congregation are praying for the Representative/Senator and his/her staff.

As a person of faith (or clergy) I want to ask Representative/Senator _______________ to urge Congress not to pass Affordable Care Act repeal or Medicaid reform bills that are bad for Texas.

It’s my understanding that Congress is considering making Medicaid into a capped program. This change would make it very hard for Texas to respond to changing circumstances like disasters.

It’s my understanding that the ACA repeal legislation Congress is considering would cut crucial financial assistance that has helped working Texans afford health insurance. Texas already has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, and many of our hospitals are already struggling to keep providing services. Dumping a million new uninsured folks into the system will hurt Texas taxpayers and hospitals—besides being cruel to those individuals.

Please advocate for our state with our congressional delegation. They need to understand the costs they will shift onto state and local governments if they move forward with their proposed plan.


Don’t forget to thank the staff member you are talking to at the end of the call, even if you disagree with their boss on the issue or bill—they are working hard and appreciate being appreciated!

In the past members have occasionally blocked our toll free number because of high call volume from people of faith. We want them to hear your voice, so if you call twice and received busy signals, email engagement@texasimpact.org and we will update the number.

Weekly Witness Sponsors

Congregations, organizations, businesses or individuals can sponsor up to 19 weeks of legislative briefings to ensure that the 85th Legislature hears from Texans of all faith and cultural backgrounds in order to advocate for the common good at a time when Texas needs it!

Platinum Sponsors:

  • Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston

  • Members of Friends Congregational Church, College Station

  • Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith and Rev. Sandra W. Smith

Silver Sponsors:

  • Friends of the Environment