On Friday we shared details about the Senate health care bill, and in the last few days there have been new developments.
First, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the Senate health care proposal and unfortunately the news is still alarming.The CBO estimates that under the Senate’s version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) 22 million Americans would be uninsured by 2026.
Second, the Senate changed their proposal and added additional provisions that would make it harder for people to get insurance. For example, the proposal now includes a requirement that if someone has a gap in health insurance coverage of more than 63 days, they would have to wait six months before they could purchase insurance.
Since last Thursday, many Senators and Governors have expressed a concern that the vote on BCRA was being rushed and shared their concerns with Senate Leadership. The proposal is also opposed by health care groups, professional associations, and many in the cancer community. Because of these concerns and opposition, Senate Leadership have postponed the vote, which will no longer happen this week. However, a vote could be scheduled at any time so our work is not done.
It is vital to continue talking to your elected officials about how BCRA would impact you and your communities. This week, Senators and Members of Congress will head home to their local districts. You can call their offices and ask to have a meeting (although keep in mind that their schedules may already be full), but if you are out celebrating the 4th of July and you see your elected officials in your community, don’t be afraid to talk to them!
Here are a few easy ways to make your voice heard, even if you aren’t able to see your elected officials in-person:
- Contact your U.S. Senators and share your health care concerns, by calling (844) 257-6227. Even if you’ve called before, please call again. Even if you know how your Senators will vote, please call to share your thoughts. To find your elected officials or learn more about becoming an advocate, visit our Advocacy resource page.
- Use social media. Our friends at Justice in Aging have created this wonderful social media kit. You can also find the Facebook and Twitter handles for the current members of Congress here.
- Contact your state Governors and express your concerns. They have a powerful voice in this process as well.
As always, stay tuned. Will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available, about this issue that affects all of us.