Fight Synthetic Repeal, the latest attempt by the GOP to kill the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.
Note: Because Synthetic Repeal is basically Trojan Horse Trumpcare, we at OTYCD will be devoting posts to it every weekday until it is derailed. Subscribers will receive these as new posts though the text will mostly repeat earlier posts. Apologies in advance for this.
Also note: Before word of Synthetic Repeal broke, we had prepped several posts on candidates who are running for various special elections that take place on November 7, 2017. These posts will go forward as scheduled because these elections are so near in time. Once the candidate posts all go up, Synthetic Repeal will likely dominate the new posts, assuming it’s still a threat (let’s hope it’ll wither soon).
Having failed flagrantly and publicly to kill the ACA via legislation, the GOP and the Trump administration are–big surprise–turning to broader but sneakier tactics.
One gambit is to tuck Medicaid cuts in the tax bill now under discussion. We at OTYCD have devoted separate posts to this topic.
Andy Slavitt, who ran that program as well as Medicare and ACA under Obama, first picked up on the Synthetic Repeal effort. He’s been describing it and providing ideas for fighting back.
If you’re not following Slavitt on Twitter already, please do:
Also start checking the #SyntheticRepeal hashtag on Twitter for updates.
Synthetic Repeal is a multi-pronged effort that requires fighting on several fronts.
One big part is the Trump administration actively sabotaging the ACA by denying state waivers, dragging its feet on delivering promised cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, cutting the annual enrollment period for the ACA, scheduling system maintenance during that already short enrollment period, slashing the marketing budget for ads that tell people when the enrollment period happens, understaffing ACA call centers, and so on.
Slavitt has several suggestions for how we can fight back.
One is to help out a new org called Get America Covered. It intends to pick up the slack that the government has ostentatiously dropped with regard to enrolling people in ACA plans for 2018. It intends to spread the word about the enrollment period and help as many people gain coverage as possible.
See the Get America Covered website:
Like it on Facebook:
Follow it on Twitter:
Follow its cofounders, Lori Lodes and Joshua Peck, on Twitter:
Donate to Get America Covered:
Another thing that should help is calling your MoCs and expressing support for Democratic efforts, led by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, to work with Trump on stabilizing the ACA along the lines that Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray have been pursuing.
Read this Vox piece for more:
Sample script for this:
“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I am calling to express support for ongoing efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act. Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray have been leading a bipartisan attempt to do just that. I also want to say that I am OK with the Democrats working with the Trump administration to stabilize the ACA in the way that Alexander and Murray hope to accomplish. I oppose much of what Trump does but if he is truly serious about fixing the ACA instead of destroying it, I will support that. Thank you.”
Lastly, here is a series of October 6 tweets from Slavitt that give background on Synthetic Repeal in the context of fighting it:
There of course is no perfect antidote to
#SyntheticRepeal it that doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we can. #SyntheticRepeal is stuff we no about: -CSR pmt -Not enforcing law -Mktg & in person help cut -Now allowing state waivers -Much more…
But then there’s all that we don’t know about or aren’t public. Call centers, website outages– anything to depress enrollment.
The number one thing is to help
#GetUSCovered. All the resources donate, volunteer, help if you can.
What about the Executive Order for Assoc health plans which would end pre-ex? This EO is unlikely to be supportable by law.
I connected to some lawyers, states & AG offices. They should protect consumers with vigor. Many will & we need to insist.
Your doctor & hospital shouldn’t do business with “insurers” that don’t protect their patients– with pre-ex, caps & essential benefits.
Let me repeat: The hcare community can play many roles in stopping what the law can’t. If it’s destructive 2 public health, they should.
That’s just a start. Will keep working. End