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It is not over yet! Keep up the pressure to #KillRepeal!

WOW—the last 36 hours have been quite the adventure in health care politics!

The Better Care Reconciliation Act no longer has the votes necessary to succeed. Repealing the ACA and working out a replacement later was floated for just a few hours before three Republican Senators announced that their opposition—enough to kill it! Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to bother Mitch McConnell! On Tuesday night, the Senate majority leader announced that he will call the so called “repeal and delay” for a vote early next week!

Repealing the ACA without any replacement is actually worse than any other proposal we’ve seen! According to a January CBO score and analysis from the Urban Institute, repealing the ACA without replacement will: strip 1 million Illinoisans and 32 million Americans of their health insurance, cause premiums to double, and cost Illinois $49B in lost Medicaid funding.

So what do we do now? Keep up the fight! The Republican efforts to repeal the ACA are growing more desperate and less likely to succeed—but only because you are standing firm!

CALL GOV. RAUNER!
Republican Governors are the most influential opponents to any effort to repeal the ACA or cut Medicaid, yet, time and again, Governor Rauner has been silent.

Call Governor Rauner today at 312-814-2121 and demand that he stand up for Illinois and speak out against any proposal which increases the uninsured rate; cuts funding for health care, including Medicaid; or increases health care costs.

JOIN US!
Protect Our Care Illinois is proud to stand with grassroots groups across the state who are continuing to host health care protests, rallies, and events! Join us!

We have an extra week to #KillTheBill- Join an event near you!

Old New BRCAWith the absence of Sen. John McCain, a key Republican, from the Senate this week due to an unscheduled surgery, the Senate is delaying its expected vote on the “Better Care (if you’re Healthy) Reconciliation Act” this week. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the bill has also been delayed.

We need to take advantage of this time join with advocates from across the country to continue to show the public and elected officials that TrumpCare is unacceptable!

Our message to the Illinois GOP Congressional Delegation is loud and clear:

  • Reject this bill and pursue a bipartisan approach that leaves Medicaid alone and addresses our real needs: stabilizing the marketplace and improving affordability.
  • Reject any bill that causes large coverage losses, ends Medicaid expansion, caps and cuts the Medicaid program, or guts critical protections for people with health conditions.

Anything less would be breaking their promises to the people of Illinois.

What can you do?

Call the Protect Our Care Illinois hotline to be connected to your member of Congress: 1 866-877-3303 and use these talking points. The phone lines of our GOP House members who voted for the bill should be lighting up.

Join us in several events across the state this week and next:

Protect Our Care Illinois’ Statement on the Passage of an Illinois State Budget

Protect Our Care Illinois is relieved to have a state budget for the first time since 2015. This action will hopefully begin to bring relief to workers, health and social service providers, community members and others around the state who have suffered under this long-standing budget crisis.

However, right around the corner, another storm is looming: if Congress passes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act – which it could do by the end of this month – our state will be dealt another financial blow. Both the Senate (the Better Care Reconciliation Act) and House (the American Health Care Act) versions of the repeal bill include devastating cuts to the state’s Medicaid program, hitting Illinois with tens of billions of dollars in lost federal funding that will knock out any gains we made by coming to a budget deal and more. Not only that, the bill cuts coverage for over 1 million Illinois residents, increases premiums and deductibles, forcing people to pay 74% more for the same coverage they have now, imposes an age tax – hurting older adults at moderate incomes, guts protections for everyone, and puts over 114,000 jobs in Illinois at risk.

We urge the Governor and our Republican Illinois Congressional Delegation members to say “no” to the cruel and unpopular bill. Illinois cannot afford another step backwards just as we are coming up for air.

The resistance is working: We must keep up the pressure!

You have probably heard that the Senate has delayed voting on their version of TrumpCare until after the July 4th recess, because they did not have the votes to pass it as written. Do not be fooled that the bill is dead. We saw this in the House: any re-write has only made the bill worse, not better, because there is simply no way to fix this bill!

Now more than ever, we need to stand up and be heard! We must demand that repealing the ACA and cutting Medicaid is taken off the table once and for all.

What can you do this week and next? 
Your calls make a difference!  In IL, we know our Senators are working hard to fight against this bill. However, if the bill passes the Senate it could be voted on in the House on the same day! Calling your member of congress is crucial to making sure TrumpCare never becomes law! Call the Protect Our Care Illinois Hotline NOW (866) 877-3303 to be connected to your U.S. Representative.

ALL WEEK: 
Sign the petition asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to stand up for the health care of Illinois families who stand to lose coverage under the Senate repeal bill.

Today, June 28:

  • Show up in Chicago at 12 p.m. today for an Emergency Rally. We will hug the Thompson center with a human chain as activists in DC do the same at the Capitol!
  • Are you in Rockford? If so, join Rockford area residents for a sit-in and human chain around Rep. Kinzinger’s office.

Thursday, June 29:

  • Flood the PHONE and tell your story.
  • Join the Springfield: Emergency TrumpCare Protests here and here.
  • Join the Wheaton: Emergency Healthcare Rallies here and here.

This fight is far from over! Saving health care for millions cannot happen without you!

Now hiring: Coalition Manager

Protect Our Care Illinois is now hiring a Coalition Manager.

The Coalition Manager is a key player in Heartland Alliance’s efforts to advance policy solutions and strategies to eliminate poverty, realize human rights, and support individuals and families in their efforts to improve their quality of life. He/she works to achieve policy and systems change that ensures quality health coverage is affordable and available to all people, regardless of their background, health status or life circumstance. The Coalition Manager achieves these aims through the staffing of the Protect Our Care Illinois (POCIL) coalition and execution of the coalition’s campaign strategy.

This position will focus primarily on defending and building upon the expansion of health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. The Coalition Manager will provide leadership and support to POCIL, a diverse statewide coalition invested in opposing the near-term threats to the ACA and Medicaid and in building a movement and a constituency who will champion these programs far into the future. Through the engagement of diverse stakeholders, policy research, public education, communications, and advocacy, POCIL will support the gains made in recent coverage expansions and promote the solutions needed to address continued inequity in health care. The Coalition Manager will be responsible for managing the collective work of the POCIL coalition and for developing substantive and strategic expertise on key policies and organizing tactics.

Click here for more information and to apply!

This is the week to Kill The Bill!

Kill the BillThe Senate released its version of TrumpCare last week, ironically called the “Better Care” bill, and it’s just as devastating as the House version. The Senate bill:

  • Ends the Medicaid expansion, which would be devastating for Illinois.
  • Drastically cuts and caps the entire Medicaid program – putting coverage at risk for millions of Illinoisans, largely people with disabilities, seniors, and families with children. In fact, because its cap is harsher, the Senate draft’s overall cuts to Medicaid are even deeper than the House bill.
  • Would raise premiums and deductibles for millions of Americans who buy coverage in the individual marketplace by slashing tax credits and eliminating cost-sharing assistance. Older people would see especially large increases in costs.
  • Will gut consumer protections, leaving people with pre-existing conditions without access to needed health care. Specifically, the Senate bill would let states drop requirements that plans cover basic services. In its estimates of the House bill, CBO predicted that could leave half of individual market consumers without access to coverage for maternity care, mental health, or substance use treatment.

In sum, the Senate bill would cause millions to lose coverage. While we don’t yet have a CBO score, we know enough about the Senate bill’s cuts to Medicaid and to marketplace financial assistance to know that it will cause many millions of Americans to lose health insurance.

We also know why the Senate bill makes these cuts: they will pay for tax cuts that ultimately exceed $50,000 per year for people with incomes over $1 million.

House Senate

This is the week that we need to Kill the Bill, once and for all! Here are FIVE things for you to do this week:

  1. Listen to our advocacy call with Sen. Durbin about what’s at stake in the Senate and what YOU can do.
  2. Call your Representative in Congress (using the Protect Our Care IL Hotline (1-866-877-3303), and tell them you expect them to vote NO on the AHCA/Better Care bill. Tell them a personal story about how the ACA or its repeal will affect you. Tell them you will hold them accountable for their vote.
  3. Sign this petition to urge Governor Rauner to take a stand on TrumpCare. While other Republican Governors have been brave enough to denounce the cuts in the House and Senate versions of the bill, Gov. Rauner continues his shameful silence on TrumpCare.
  4. Rally with us on Wednesday in Chicago at noon in front of the Governor’s office to deliver the petitions and demand that our voices be heard.
  5. Share this with 5 friends, family members or neighbors. The Senate Health Care bill affects us all – and could become law if it passes out of the Senate.

Protect Our Care Illinois coalition condemns cruel Senate ACA repeal bill

The Protect Our Care Illinois coalition strongly condemns the cruel Senate ACA repeal bill, which is even meaner than the House version and was crafted in unprecedented secrecy. Now we know why: this “Better Care” bill will drastically cut Medicaid, which covers half of all kids in Illinois, people with disabilities and seniors; defund Planned Parenthood and severely restrict insurance coverage for reproductive health care; gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions; and increase deductibles for low- and moderate-income Americans. All while giving huge tax cuts the wealthy and corporations.

This “parade of horribles” helps NO ONE obtain health care but rather strips it away from millions. The Medicaid cuts and caps alone will be devastating to the state of Illinois. Protect Our Care Illinois commends Sens. Durbin and Duckworth for standing in opposition of this draconian proposal. All of the Illinois GOP House members who voted for the House version of the bill should take a serious look at how this bill will decimate their communities, especially rural communities that depend on Medicaid the most for coverage. We urge Gov. Rauner to finally speak up and denounce this harmful and shameful bill.

Tomorrow, June 23 – Early childhood day of action

Tell members of Congress to OPPOSE cuts and caps on Medicaid which will harm children’s health and vital Illinois programs and services!

The Senate is set to move its version of health care reform in June, with a vote likely before the end of the month.  We already know that The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would be disastrous for Illinois children and families. Here’s why:

In addition to Medicaid insuring ½ of all Illinois children, Medicaid is integral to a wide range of programs that serve Illinois children and families. If Medicaid per capita caps go into effect, Illinois would have to make massive cuts to programs that are vital to children’s healthy development and ability to reach their full potential. This means:

  • Loss of funding that 1.47 million Medicaid-insured children rely on for mandated child health examinations, including immunizations, developmental screenings, lead screenings, and physical examinations (including vision and hearing), which are required for enrollment in school and early care and education programs– without which enrollment and services for children at risk will drop!
  • Pressure on the statewide Early Intervention (EI) program (therapies for children birth to 3 with developmental delays and disabilities) to restrict program eligibility requirements, cut provider rates or grow wait lists because of insufficient funds even though we know that children who have their developmental needs addressed in EI are much less likely to require special education services!
  • Massive cuts to statewide Special Education funding, which received approximately $160 million in Medicaid funds in 2016; using state funds to pay for more of our mandated special education services will mean cuts to other school programs and resources that benefit ALL children!
  • Defunding of optional vital programs like family case management, school-based health services and Home and Community Based Service waiver programs (3 waiver programs are currently available to all children regardless of income)!

Please take action today to join advocates across Illinois to help stop this attack on Illinois children! Here are some things you can do today!

  1. Call your member of Congress at 1-866-877-3303 and demand that they publicly oppose the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and stand up for the 1.47 million children across the state that are Medicaid-insured.
  2. Share this email and graphic on social media using #ILSaveACA and #SaveMedicaid. You can also share these Protect Our Care IL graphics and factsheets.

June 14 – Day of Action – Tell Gov. Rauner and Members of Congress to oppose cuts and caps on Medicaid!

Senate Republicans are working behind closed doors on their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Like the House bill, the “revamped” AHCA would throw millions off of health care and gut Medicaid, harming older Americans, kids and their families, people with disabilities, and those seeking treatment for substance use disorders.

Also, like the House, Senate leadership is doing all they can to rush this secret plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act onto the Senate floor. No committee hearings, no public debate and no expert testimony will take place before this extremely unpopular bill is likely to get a vote in the U.S. Senate in the next few weeks.

Illinois will be among those hit the hardest by the Medicaid cuts. Because of our state’s historically low spending on Medicaid enrollees, putting a cap on our federal funding is an especially bad deal for Illinois. If the Medicaid per capita cap went into effect, Illinois would have to find savings in our program to make up for the loss of funding. This means:

  • Rationing care for low-income people, including children with special health care needs and frail seniors;
  • Defunding efforts to address public health crises like the opioid epidemic;
  • Jeopardizing the health coverage of veterans – 1 out of 10 veterans depend on Medicaid for coverage; and
  • Harming communities of color who, because of a long history of oppression and discrimination, face persistent health disparities.

Please take time today, June 14, to join advocates across the country to help us stop this! Here are three things you can do!

  1. Call Gov. Rauner at 312-814-2121 and demand that he publicly oppose the AHCA, which will cost Illinois billions of dollars in Medicaid funding and thousands of jobs.
  2. Call your Member of Congress at 1-866-877-3303 and demand that they publicly oppose the AHCA. Sens. Durbin and Duckworth are outspoken opponents of the AHCA, but the Senate bill, if approved, will head to the House for a final vote. Calling your House member now is crucial for building a firewall against this bill.
  3. Share this email and graphic on social media using #ILSaveACA and #SaveMedicaid. You can also share these Families USA graphics. If you have friends/family in these 10 states, encourage them to call and tweet at their Senators to vote NO on #TrumpCarein2018.

Protect Our Care Illinois condemns the massive coverage losses demonstrated in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the GOP Health Plan

Today, weeks after voting on the American Health Care Act, House Republicans finally know how much it will cost and how it will affect access to health insurance. Today the CBO confirmed what we already knew–the AHCA is dangerous and will strip health coverage from 23 million people. The CBO also confirmed that premiums will still increase by 20% next year.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the AHCA completely guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to waive crucial parts of the ACA. The CBO estimates that one-sixth of the population in the U.S., or 51 million people, will lose these protections completely. In this scenario, the CBO reports that the individual market could collapse in these states, leaving health insurance too expensive for people with pre-existing conditions and resulting in the return of annual and lifetime limits.

Finally, the CBO reminds us that the American Health Care Act still enacts devastating and permanent cuts to Medicaid, reducing federal funding by $834 billion. This will result in millions of people losing coverage, most of them seniors, kids and people with disabilities. This is Robin Hood in reverse, transferring health care from low- and moderate-income people to give $664 Billion in tax cuts to wealthy individuals and massive corporations.

The CBO score confirms what we already knew: the Republican repeal bill doesn’t fix healthcare, it destroys access and protections under the ACA and makes things worse – particularly for families and for states, like Illinois, who will bear the burden of the shifting costs. Protect Our Care Illinois condemns the actions of our GOP members of Congress who voted for this bill on May 4 – and we look to Senators Durbin and Duckworth to reject the AHCA and instead develop proposals that improve, expand, and protect healthcare.

Here are three things you can do NOW to make your voice heard:

  1. Call Gov. Rauner at 312-814-2121 and demand that he publicly oppose the American Health Care Act, which will cost Illinois billions of dollars in Medicaid funding and thousands of jobs.
  2. Call your member of Congress at 1-866-877-3303 and demand that they publicly oppose the American Health Care Act.
  3. Forward this immediately to 10 friends and family members in Illinois, especially if they live outside of Chicago. You can also share these steps on social media using #ilsaveaca

You can learn more about the next steps for the American Health Care Act and what you can do by listening to the latest POCIL podcast here!