Call Of The Day: Support Bipartisan Efforts To Fund CSR Payments

Last week, Trump announced plans to stop cost sharing reduction payments (CSRs) to insurance companies offering plans on the ACA health care exchanges.  These CSRs reimburse insurers for lowering deductibles and copayments for low-income citizens.

The Congressional Budget Office has released an analysis concluding that the termination of CSR payments would increase premiums for the most popular individual market plans by 20% next year, and 25% by 2020.  It would leave roughly 5% of the population without access to any individual plans at all.

In contrast, if the CSRs were left intact, then less than 0.5% of the population would live in a region without access to individual market plans. (Source: 5calls.org)

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have introduced bipartisan plans to fund CSRs for two years, in order to provide short term stability to the ACA's individual marketplace.  Several patient groups and a bipartisan group of state governors – including Governor John Bel Edwards – support this plan.

Where do our Senators stand?  The good news is Senator Cassidy expressed support for the bipartisan plan on Wednesday in The Washington Post (though, of course, he's still pushing Graham-Cassidy in interviews).  Senator Kennedy, however, stated, "Well, I don't want to just vote to put paint on rotten wood.  I just want to understand what the benefits are.  I understand the money going out the door."

Call your senators today to tell them that you support this BIPARTISAN plan to provide stability to the individual insurance marketplace.  (BONUS: Tell your senators that CHIP needs to be reauthorized – it's been 19 days since CHIP expired!)

WHO TO CALL:

Senators Kennedy and Cassidy

Senator Bill Cassidy - DC Office:  (202) 224-5824; Metairie office:  (504) 838-0130; Monroe Office:  (318) 324-2111; Lake Charles Office:  (337) 493-5398; Alexandria Office:  (318) 448-7176

Senator John Kennedy - DC office:  (202) 224-4623; New Orleans Office:  (504) 581-6190; Lafayette Office:  (337) 269-5980; Monroe Office:  (318) 361-1489; Alexandria Office:  (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge Office:  (225) 926-8033; Shreveport Office:  (318) 670-5192

Reminders:  Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise – the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer – they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal – call back later!

Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I'm calling to urge the Senator to support Senators Alexander and Murray's bipartisan plan to stabilize the insurance market and ensure the ACA's cost-sharing subsidies are fully funded.  The American people want a bipartisan fix to the ACA, not a political sabotage of the law.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.  Stay safe out there.

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.