The Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) is under serious attack by the Trump Administration. If the Trump Administration’s efforts succeed, most of us will be harmed – whether we have an ACA Marketplace plan, Medicaid, or Employer-Sponsored health insurance.
Champaign County Health Care Consumers is leading our community’s efforts in the fight to protect our care, and to help enroll community members in affordable healthcare – but we can’t do it without your support! Please read on to learn what’s at stake and how you can help.
The ACA is working, and we must fight to protect it!
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land, despite many legislative attempts to repeal it, and to undermine it by rule-making and through lawsuits. As a result of the ACA, 36 states and Washington, DC still have expanded Medicaid, and people can still get subsidized coverage through the Marketplace. And, thanks to the ACA, those of us with Employer-Sponsored health insurance are still guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventive services without co-pays, and waiting periods for coverage of pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on coverage have been outlawed.
From a health policy perspective, the ACA works! The ACA has reduced the coverage gap between rich and poor, and between racial groups. And the ACA – especially as a result of Medicaid expansion – has led to greater use of the health care system, resulting in more early diagnoses of cancer and heart disease and better health outcomes. The ACA has also outlawed some of the most abhorrent insurance industry practices. The ACA is saving lives!
The ACA is under unrelenting attack by the Trump Administration and its allies in Congress.
Despite the successes of the ACA, the Trump Administration continues its irrational and politically-motivated attacks on the almost 10-year-old law.
After legislative efforts to repeal the ACA failed in 2017 and 2018, the Trump Administration has mounted multiple attacks on the ACA using administrative and rule-making means, and now the courts. The attacks from the Trump Administration have come in the form of repealing the individual mandate, cutting cost-sharing subsidies, slashing funding for outreach and enrollment, and allowing the sale of short-term “junk” health insurance plans. In addition, the Trump Administration’s attack on the ACA is now also taking place in court, in the Texas vs. U.S. case, in which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided not just to not fight to defend the law, but to actually argue that the law should be struck down in its entirety! The lawsuit was brought by Republican Attorneys General of 18 states, and is now joined by the DOJ. The ACA is being defended by the Democratic Attorneys General of 21 states, including Illinois. In addition to all these attacks, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has promised to introduce legislation to repeal the ACA if Republicans win in 2020. This is a stark reminder that elections matter – both at the federal and state levels!
This is not normal, but here are the important lessons we have learned.
This state of affairs – unrelenting, politically-motivated attacks on a now almost 10-year-old health policy that works – is unprecedented and constitutes a real threat to the nation’s health.
So, what have we learned? We have learned that what happens in Washington, DC has a direct impact in our lives. Policies created (or undermined) in Washington, DC by the President and/or Congress have far-reaching consequences, affecting every aspect of our lives. Therefore, voting matters. It matters a great deal. We have to get registered to vote, and we have to exercise our right to vote and be informed voters – we have to understand what candidates really stand for and what they will fight for, and whose interests they will serve. Unless we get out and vote, as health care voters, these attacks on our health care will continue, and all the gains we have made will evaporate, and people will suffer.
How we fight back – and how you can help!
CCHCC will continue to fight to protect our care. We will continue our efforts to mobilize our community to protect the ACA and Medicaid. And even as we undertake this fight, we will continue to provide free direct services to community members so that they can get enrolled in affordable health insurance. Open Enrollment for ACA Marketplace plans is right around the corner, and we have to mount a large-scale outreach and education campaign so that people can get covered. CCHCC needs your ongoing involvement and support!
You can help by making a financial contribution to support our ongoing work. You can also help by responding to, and sharing our emails and Facebook posts to help our outreach and advocacy efforts. And, you can also help by being an informed voter! The 2020 elections will determine the future of our healthcare. If you need help getting registered to vote, or checking on your registration, please call us at 217-352-6533, or go to iwillvote.com!
We thank you for your commitment, and for your ongoing support and involvement!