May 26, 2017

Tell your senators to oppose the House health care repeal and replace bill

As Congress prepares to recess next week for Memorial Day, the Senate is moving closer to formulating legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Sisters of Charity Health System has strongly opposed the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), and the most recent analysis of that bill has done nothing to lessen the harm it will do to millions of Americans who have gained coverage under the ACA and who rely on the Medicaid program. It is critical that all senators hear about our opposition to the House AHCA bill, that it is unfixable, and the need for the Senate to start over to fix the ACA. 

This Memorial Day recess period will likely determine how the Senate will proceed on repeal and replace legislation—once a bill begins to move on the Senate floor under reconciliation instructions, it will be extremely difficult to stop. Please contact your senators now to protect health coverage for 23 million individuals, especially those on the Medicaid program, which serves the most vulnerable low-income children, pregnant woman, families and elderly and disabled individuals. 

Protect Medicaid and Health Coverage
We stand with the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), who this week urged the Senate Finance Committee to reject the House-passed American Health Care Act, as well as harmful changes to the Medicaid program, and start over with solutions to protect and expand health coverage. CHA’s letter came as the Congressional Budget Office released its latest score of the AHCA. The analysis shows that little has changed since the last score in March, and the AHCA is projected to lead to 23 million Americans losing their health coverage over the next decade, while cutting over $830 billion from the Medicaid program and instituting structural changes that will lead to even further loss of coverage for the nation's poor, vulnerable and elderly. 

Budget Proposal Would Slash Safety Net Funding
The Trump Administration released its FY2018 budget proposal this week. The president's budget plan calls for billions of dollars in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries. This includes approximately $627 billion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years, on top of the cuts to the program already included in the American Health Care Act and assumed under this budget. The budget also proposes deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Social Security Disability Insurance. CHA has a summary of the budget proposal available for members, and we will provide further information as Congress moves to put together its own FY2018 budget resolution. 

Join Us in Support of CHIP
We stand with the CHA in continuing to urge advocates to join with us in support of a sign-on letter to congressional leaders asking Congress to act quickly to enact a long-term extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Funding is currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017, but most states are now finalizing their FY2018 budgets and need to know that CHIP will not run out of funding. Nearly nine million children and hundreds of thousands of pregnant women rely on CHIP for their coverage. If Congress fails to extend CHIP funding, millions of children who rely on it will face coverage disruptions and many will lose coverage altogether. See the sign-on letter here and add your organization's name in support.

We continue to stand ready to work with all members of Congress to improve the availability, affordability, coverage and quality of our health care system in ways that do not harm those who need our help and support.

 

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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