Call your members of Congress (MoCs) to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) again, this time from a fresh 2018 onslaught.
This is one of those things that needs constant action, aka repeated calls. Hence OTYCD scrambling our schedule. Right now we’re alternating between fighting the family separation policy and its effects, and staying on this. That might change, of course. As always, keep watching, and follow the Twitter accounts recommended in the text below for breaking news.
Update, June 22, 2018: Last night, the House Budget Dems Twitter account (@HouseBudgetDems) tweeted:
The Republican majority just voted to pass the House Republican 2019 budget and rejected every amendment offered by Democrats. Ranking Member ’s statement:
Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) retweeted it with this comment:
BREAKING: The House GOP just voted a budget bill out of committee that fast tracks ACA repeal and $2 TRILLION in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. We need to flood them with calls to prevent a floor vote.
So, you heard him. Please call your House Rep again today and oppose the GOP-written 2019 budget bill.
If you’re game to add a second thing to your plate, you should voice concern to all three of your MoCs about Trump’s executive order on his family separation policy.
It does not address the question of how to reunite more than 2,000 children who have been parted from their parents.
It also contravenes a standing policy that requires the government to release families after holding them for 20 days if the detention center is not also a licensed child care facility. Team Trump, in essence, wants the leeway to detain families indefinitely.
Read an NPR story about what the executive order does and does not do:
And even though releasing migrants with GPS ankle bracelets is significantly cheaper than detaining them and has an extremely high compliance rate, too, Team Trump killed that program as of June 20, 2018.
Read a Christian Science Monitor piece on the just-ended GPS ankle bracelet program:
Regardless of what Trump signed or didn’t sign, there are ominous reports that military bases are preparing to receive as many as 20,000 migrant children:
So, again, if you’re up for multi-tasking: Ask your House Rep to vote no on the 2019 budget bill, and ask all three MoCs to demand that Team Trump make reuniting parted migrant families its first priority, and ask the government to resurrect the GPS ankle bracelet program.
Original text of yesterday’s Defend the ACA post follows.
Followers of this blog will remember how we cleared our (weekday) decks and posted only about ways to fight GOP attacks on the ACA.
We did this for weeks on end, at least two distinct, separate times. Both times, the GOP failed. (Thank you.)
But they’re not done. Despite the fierce, loud, and sustained resistance they got last year (and thank you all again for that), they’re trying again.
As of June 19, 2018, the House GOP put out a 2019 budget proposal that’s a toxic stew of still more tax cuts, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and yet another attempt to repeal the ACA.
Read this June 19, 2018 Bloomberg article on the 2019 House budget bill:
Here also is a string of tweets by Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) raising the alarm and reacting to the bill:
BREAKING: The House GOP just released a budget bill that fast tracks ACA repeal, massive Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and tax cuts. Possible vote next week. FLOOD THE HOUSE WITH CALLS.
Here is why it’s incredibly important to kill this right here and now. Once they obtain reconciliation authority, they can use it after the election but before new members are sworn in.
<He then quotes this paragraph from the Bloomberg story:>
While the Senate is unlikely to adopt its own budget to take up these initiatives before the November congressional election, the budget process could be used by lame-duck lawmakers after the election to ram through Republican-only legislation.
Here are the reconciliation instructions for fast-track authority for ACA repeal, Medicaid cuts, and Medicare privatization. The numbers are *floors* – minimum funding cuts with authority for unlimited cuts.
<He then links to the bill itself: https://budget.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/BUDGET_RESOLUTION_FY2019_xml.pdf>
This budget bill slashes Medicare by $537 billion and Medicaid by $1.54 TRILLION
He ends by retweeting Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis):
A successful reconciliation effort is *very* unlikely but not impossible, especially if McCain were to resign and be replaced before November, which would allow Rs to lose 1 senator among Rand, Corker, Murkowski, Collins.
…and Spiro comments: This is correct. The threat is real. We must nip it in the bud now.
We at OTYCD suspect that Republicans are looking at the poll numbers, seeing the blue tsunami heading for them, and trying to wreck and warp and break as much of the government as possible before they’re swept out of office for what could be a damn long time.
Alternately, they may feel like the increasing chaos of Trump and his swirling universe of scandals–with Manafort off to jail for violating the terms of his bail, and his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen on the verge of turning state’s evidence against him, and the entirely different strain of fuckery represented by his sick and immoral policy of separating immigrant parents and children at America’s borders–gives the GOP cover to try this bullshit again.
We have to push back. Hard, loud, forcefully, and NOW by calling our House Reps and telling them to vote against the 2019 budget bill their GOP colleagues are pushing.
Also, a recap: You already know about the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s abdication of duty on a goofy lawsuit against the ACA brought by 20 state attorneys general who want to kill it. Legal scholars across the spectrum agree that the lawsuit is crap, but the DOJ responded by refusing to enforce the ACA on the assumption that it’s unconstitutional and it won’t be law much longer.
If the DOJ stance prevails and the ACA dies, that means the protections for folks who have pre-existing conditions goes with it.
That would be Very Bad Indeed. A total of 52 million Americans under age 65 have pre-existing conditions that make it crushingly expensive or flat-out impossible for them to obtain health insurance in a pre-ACA world.
If you don’t have a pre-existing condition, you know someone who does. We can’t go back to the way things used to be. We just can’t.
(Side note: More than 30 state attorneys general are up for re-election in 2018. Did yours join the anti-ACA lawsuit? Did yours join the counter-suit to defend the ACA? Did yours do neither? Find out and act accordingly.)
We already asked you to call and make it clear you oppose the DOJ’s shenanigans. Now we’re asking you to assume a defensive crouch, call your House Reps today to say NO to this bill, and be ready to start calling daily to fight this latest GOP legislative attempt to kill the ACA.
First, if you’re not already following these folks on Twitter:
Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt)
Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro)
Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter)
Ben Wikler (@benwikler)
…Start following them and checking their feeds a couple of times a day. Slavitt and Spiro are strong on health care news. Pewter is on top of everything to do with Congress and legislative stuff, health care included. Wikler’s feed is more general, but makes health care a focus.
The trick to manage, going forward, is staying on multiple Dumpster fires.
You need to keep supporting efforts to get Team Trump to rescind its fucked-up policy of separating families at the border.
You’ll also need to be ready to call your MoCs, probably more than once, maybe even daily, to defend the ACA. You might need to think about going to protests and marches in defense of the ACA.
We at OTYCD may need to post more than one thing you can do. That could happen. We’ll try to avoid it, but if we have to go back to doing a daily to support Obamacare, we will.
While we get comfortable in our defensive crouch, here are some relevant articles.
This June 14, 2018 Washington Post piece shows that damn near every big organization to do with doctors, hospitals, and health care have filed amicus briefs against the anti-ACA lawsuit:
This Paste Magazine story uses Andy Slavitt’s recent tweets as a jumping-off point to explain what would happen to people with pre-existing conditions if Congress or the courts kill the ACA, and the general fuckery that the lawsuit represents:
This USA Today Op-Ed makes the case that going after the ACA will prompt voters to get rid of Congressfolk who don’t defend it: