action opportunities

Thursday 7/6 Action Opportunities

1. (From 5calls.org) The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the Senate’s ACA-repeal bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), shows devastating effects on Medicaid, the massive health insurance program that covers 69 million people, pays for nearly half of all births, and covers the costs of 62% of all nursing home residents. The BCRA would drastically cut Medicaid funding over the next 20 years, reducing the program’s budget by 26% by 2026 and by 35% by 2036. It also reduces Medicaid funding in two ways: by establishing a per capita funding structure for Medicaid in 2020. The BCRA establishes a per capita funding structure for Medicaid in 2020, which would change Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement program to a program where states get a set amount of federal dollars for each Medicaid beneficiary they cover. It also establishes a growth rate for spending caps that will increase more slowly than actual Medicaid spending. Thus, implementing a per capita payment structure will cause funding shortfalls that will force states to tighten eligibility criteria and eliminate critical programs like home-based nursing services. The BCRA also rolls back federal funding for expanded Medicaid coverage starting in 2021, which will further hurt Medicaid beneficiaries. By 2024, the federal government will no longer provide extra funding for the 11 million Americans covered under Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion states will have to find the money to cover these new costs under their own state budgets or simply stop offering expanded Medicaid. As the CBO notes, many states will likely begin winding down Medicaid expansion as soon as federal funding starts to decrease or possibly even sooner. Many vulnerable groups, including older adults, adults and children with disabilities, and people with substance use disorders rely on Medicaid to stay healthy and live as independently as possible. While reducing healthcare costs is an important policy goal, it should not be achieved at the expense of millions of people’s healthcare coverage to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Contact our senators to vote against the restrictions of Medicaid expansions.

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting Senator __________ to ask him to vote against any healthcare bill that ends Medicaid expansion or institutes a per capita federal funding structure. Medicaid is a cost effective program that provides critical services to people of all ages, especially children and people with disabilities, and it’s unacceptable to cut Medicaid’s budget to fund tax cuts for the rich. Thank you.”

2. The White House has established a special hotline for people to call to report any encounters with illegal aliens. Please call and leave a nice, long message. The number is 1-855-48-VOICE. Something from 1984 or War of the Worlds seems thematically appropriate, but whatever moves you should do just fine

3. (From Rogan’s List) Trump’s nominee for the top Dept. of Justice civil rights’ position is Eric Dreiband [PN729], whose civil rights record is questionable. This is one they are hoping will not be on our radar. [Politico article] “Whoever leads the ‘crown jewel’ of the Justice Department must have deep relationships with stakeholders and marginalized communities, and have a deep, abiding faith in our nation’s civil rights laws,” Gupta said. “They must respect the laws that touch everyone, rights that people have literally died for. They must respect the role of what has been called the conscience of the federal government. In all those regards, Eric Dreiband is woefully unqualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.” Let’s tell our senators that we oppose Dreiband for this important position.

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is ______ and my zip code is ______. I’m contacting the Senator to express my opposition to Eric Dreiband’s nomination to run the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. As the NAACP’s statement on the nomination says, “Dreiband has devoted most of his career to defending corporations in employment discrimination cases and advocating for weaker anti-discrimination protections in the workplace. He also has a troubling lack of experience, having done no significant work in other issue areas central to the Division’s mission, including urgent priorities like voting rights and policing reform.” You have rubber stamped other nominees which have contributed to the problems we now face. Please stand up for the vulnerable citizens those who would be impacted by the appointment and vote no on this nomination. Thank you.”

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