All posts in Uncategorized

The GOP New Year’s Gift to Constituents: A Tax Bill that Guts Healthcare to Finance Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

Last night, House and Senate Republicans rushed through passage of a tax bill that’s a gift to the wealthy at the expense of working and middle-class Americans. It’s an unpopular gift that our families will pay for, for generations to come. The tax bill increases the deficit by over a trillion dollars and guts the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act by repealing the individual mandate, leaving 13 million more without health insurance, hiking premiums for millions more, and causing massive disruption in the healthcare marketplace. The damage doesn’t stop there. This bill places more than 55 million people who depend on Medicare for their health care at risk of losing access to critical health services through a potential trigger of an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare.

This isn’t the victory we hoped for, but we left it all on the field. Protect Our Care Illinois partners around the state were tireless – you held statewide actions to protest this reckless bill and made thousands of phone calls to urge opposition by members of Congress. You dragged this fight out to the end and made it as painful as possible for them to betray their constituents. You should be proud of everything you did to fight for justice over the last few weeks, but know this fight is FAR from over. We know that healthcare will continue to be at risk in 2018.

Speaker Ryan and other Republican congressional leaders have now publicly stated they plan to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts by going after Medicaid, Medicare and other critical social safety net programs that hardworking Americans count on. Such reckless cuts would put children, older adults, people with disabilities and working families across the country at risk of losing care they need, and further erode our nation’s historic commitment to the basic health and well-being of all Americans.

We call on ALL Members of Congress to pledge that they will not seek to cut Medicaid, Medicare, or other safety net programs to offset these irresponsible tax giveaways. Should they decide to follow through on their pledge to gut the health and support programs that our communities depend on, Protect Our Care Illinois and our allies across the state will rise up to challenge and defend healthcare at every turn.

Take Action! Demand Congress to extend CHIP funding

The clock has long run out on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Since funding expired on September 30th, Congress has yet to move forward on extending the funding for this critical program that supports the health care and coverage for 9 million children, with over a quarter of a million CHIP recipients residing in Illinois.

As we head into the holidays, Congress (including all seven Illinois House Republicans) has found time to slash taxes for the ultra-wealthy and corporations and cut health insurance for 13 million Americans, but continues to stall funding CHIP as well as other crucial health programs like Community Health Centers (CHCs), and the home visiting program, MIECHV, which keeps newborns and new families healthy. These indispensable programs allow children and their families to access the services they need. Yet, nothing has been done in Congress, making it clearer than ever that many of our elected officials have not prioritized the health and wellbeing of Illinois children.

Today, the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families released new analysis  which found that if Congress does not act soon to fund CHIP almost 2 million children could lose coverage in January. An additional 1 million children would also be at risk of losing coverage by the end of February. Several states have already sent letters to families and announced plans for ending kids’ coverage if funding is not renewed this month. Illinois will be close behind in 2018.

It is unconscionable for Congress to break for the holidays without funding the essential health programs CHIP, Community Health Centers, and home visiting through MIECHV. Call your member of Congress today (202) 224-3121 and demand that they put children’s health first and #FundCHIPNow!

POC-IL Statement: Senate Tax Scam Vote

Dear Partners,

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Senate voted to pass an incredibly reckless tax bill that strips health care from millions to fund tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Rather than developing a bipartisan plan that supports middle class families, small businesses and communities, Senate Republicans chose a rushed effort to benefit billionaires leaving 13 million Americans uninsured, driving up health care premiums and allowing for $5.8 trillion in future cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start and many other crucial services that benefit families in order to pay for the $1.5 trillion tax cut. This strikes a particularly cruel blow to the millions of children, older adults, people with disabilities and working families across the country who count on these vital programs to get the critical health care and long-term and nursing home care they need.

Middle class families who are dealing with serious health conditions would be particularly at risk of losing coverage or finding affordable coverage.The bill would also trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare, putting millions of seniors at risk of losing coverage for critical health services.Their priorities are CLEAR and they are far from the values of hard working American families.

Now the tax billheads back to the House so they can vote on the bill’s next steps. House members can turn this around and stand up against a bill that raises taxes on low and middle-income individuals and families while also ripping access to health care from them. The most recent report estimates the bill will blow up the deficit by $1 trillion even after accounting for economic growth. This bill is a disaster and continuing to support itis completely irresponsible. Too many families are working too hard to be kicked to the curb by Congress just so the wealthy and corporations can benefit from huge tax cuts. We must hold our House representatives accountable to the individuals and families who will lose BIG if this bill passes.

In Solidarity,

Protect Our Care IL

Congressional Tax Scam for the Rich Now Takes Aim at the Affordable Care Act

Protect Our Care Illinois urges our Congressional members to reject the proposed House and Senate Tax Reform bills. The House is expected to vote on its version of the bill on Thursday – we need you to call your Member of Congress today! Call your Member of Congress through our partner, Americans for Tax Fairness’ hotline at 877-795-7862 and urge that they oppose these bills!

Just like the failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Republican tax proposals would hurt people living in poverty and middle income working families to pay for massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. To make this situation even worse, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that the Senate version of the bill will now include language to repeal the Affordable Care Act individual mandate. As the nonpartisan CBO reported last week, repealing the individual mandate would increase premiums, spike the number of uninsured by 13 million and ultimately decimate the private insurance market.

Who are some of the biggest losers under the tax bills? People with high medical expenses (e.g., seniors, people with disabilities, people with catastrophic illnesses), individuals with outstanding student loans, and the bottom 35% of taxpayers. In all, the tax bill would harm 36 million families and increase the deficit by 1.5 trillion dollars.

The biggest winners? Wealthy individuals and corporations. All we need to do is listen to the White House Economic Adviser, Gary Cohn, who said that “the most excited group out there about the tax plan are big CEOs.” He’s right. The House and Senate tax bills are part of a two-step fiscal agenda. Under both plans, Congress would first cut taxes for the rich and corporations, to then justify deep cuts in critical programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Food Assistance and Education next year and for years to come. Make no mistake—the Republican tax proposals are a thinly veiled attempt at Robin-Hood-in-Reverse.

The House may vote on the tax bill as soon as today!! Please call your Representative TODAY (877-795-7862) and urge them to vote NO on this unfair tax deal!

Tell your Representative you strongly oppose the House and Senate tax bills and any tax proposals that blow up the deficit, gives massive tax cuts to the wealthy, or repeals parts of the ACA.

Watch the webinar: The fight’s not over! Protecting our health care now and into future

Download the Slides!

This webinar focuses on the latest developments from Washington, D.C. and Illinois in health care policy and how together we can fight back against the Trump administration’s ACA sabotage efforts.

Watch the webinar to hear experts share insights on Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act, everything to know about cost-sharing reductions, and essential tips on how advocates can support open enrollment efforts.

Speakers include:

– Alaina Kennedy, Manager of Health Equity, AIDS Foundation of Chicago
– Daniel Rabbitt, Project Manager of Health Policy, Heartland Alliance
– Graciela Guzman, Enrollment CoordinatorPatient Innovation Center
– Katie Jones, Volunteer, Peoria Healthcare Coalition

Click here to download the slides!

Watch the webinar!

POC-IL Statement: Bipartisan Alexander-Murray Plan improves and protects the American health care system

Protect Our Care Illinois (POC-IL) lauds Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for working together to craft a bipartisan health care bill.  Their approach, unlike Republican led bills, while not perfect, takes steps toward stabilizing American’s access to health insurance by providing two years of funding for the Marketplace cost-sharing reductions; and supporting critical outreach and education activities.

This deal was the result of months of bipartisan discussions between Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions committee including open hearings, where stakeholders, including governors, state insurance directors and advocates testified to the importance of stabilizing the Marketplace and ensuring plan affordability. This is the open fair process that the American people want Congress to engage in in order to find solutions to support and bolster the health care system.

POC-IL, like the vast majority of Americans, believes this is the way forward, where elected officials cross the aisle and work together to improve the ACA, not repeal it. Senators Alexander and Murray are demonstrating bipartisanship in action — the best path toward improving the American health care system.

Join Protect Our Care Illinois for a webinar on Oct. 25

The fight’s not over: Protecting our health care now and into the future
Wednesday, Oct. 25
3 p.m. CST

Register today!

Together, we defeated Congressional Republicans’ most recent attack on health care. However, it’s clear our fight to defend the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid must continue.

Join Protect Our Care Illinois on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. CST to learn the latest developments from Washington, D.C. and Illinois in health care policy and how together we can fight back against the Trump administration’s ACA sabotage efforts. Protect Our Care Illinois partners will share expert insights on CHIP, ACA stabilization, and cost-sharing reductions as well as discuss how advocates can support open enrollment efforts.

Register today to learn about the impact of the FY18 federal budget negotiations and how together we can mobilize our communities to #ProtectOurCare.

Take action – Oppose cuts to Medicaid and Medicare!

Last week, Illinoisans across the state rose up to once again defeat ACA repeal and protect the vital programs our communities depend on. The victory over Graham-Cassidy is something to be proud of, but we must keep up the pressure as Congress moves onto the next phase of its agenda: tax reform.

The tax reform debate will imperil many of the programs we sought to protect over the last year. The House of Representatives plans to take the first step in that process this week by voting on a Budget Resolution that calls for trillions of dollars of tax cuts for the rich financed by gutting Medicaid and Medicare. We must demand that our Representatives stand up to this kind of reverse Robin Hood and oppose this dangerous budget plan.

Call your Representative TODAY at (866) 877-3303 and demand that they oppose the House Budget Resolution and any legislation that cuts Medicaid and Medicare. 

The House Budget Resolution is a radical document calling for the end Medicaid and Medicare as we know it. It slashes Medicaid by over $1 trillion through a per capita cap and the end of Medicaid expansion. And for Medicare, it proposes to cut half a trillion dollars by turning the program into a voucher system. It does all this to provide a $5 trillion windfall of tax cuts for the wealthy.

While the Budget Resolution does not hold the force of law, it is the first step towards unlocking the Budget Reconciliation process that allows the Senate to pass major legislation with only 51 votes, just like the process for the ACA repeal fight. The Reconciliation process could allow Congress to enact many of the extreme measures included in the Budget Resolution and must be opposed at every turn.

Act NOW and call your Representative at (866) 877-3303 to urge their opposition to this drastic proposal! Vote NO on the House Budget Resolution and protect Medicaid and Medicare!

Please check out these resources from our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for more information on the House Budget Resolution and the Federal Budget Process.

Protect Our Care Illinois statement on single payer/public option

Protect Our Care Illinois supports the availability of affordable, comprehensive and accessible health care coverage for all Illinois residents regardless of income or immigration status. We are heartened that new health coverage options, including a public option, are now being discussed by the candidates for governor. This is an important public discussion and we are interested in the proposed policies that emerge. We look forward to joining the discussion and supporting policies that will meet our mission and goals moving forward to make Illinois a healthy place to live for all of us.

Join these emergency health care rallies all over the state @ 5 p.m.

Today, Senate Republicans will vote on a motion to proceed on a health care bill. 

With just a few hours until the vote, we still do not know exactly what they will vote on. One thing is certain—they will strip health insurance from 22 to 32 million people, destroy insurance markets, gut Medicaid, and give massive tax cuts to the wealthy. 

Protect Our Care Illinois stands with the citizens and activists across the state who refuse to accept this deadly proposal. If the motion to proceed succeeds today people will take to the streets across Illinois at 5pm to protest repealing the ACA and cutting Medicaid. The fight is not over and we will not let this go quietly. JOIN US!

If you can’t get to one of these rallies, grab a few allies, go where you can and share pictures using #ilsaveaca on Facebook and Twitter!

You can also join this Indivisible Phone Bank to call voters in crucial swing states (West Virginia-Capito & Ohio-Portman) and urge them to call on their Senators to kill the bill.