Call Of The Day: Keep ACA Insurance Mandate Repeal Out Of The Tax Plan

Republicans' Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal efforts have failed, but they continue to work to actively undermine one of the key components of the law: the mandate that individuals purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty.  Republicans in both the House and Senate are considering repealing this mandate as part of their tax plan to help pay for the plan's massive tax cuts for corporations and the ultra-wealthy.  The Senate Finance Committee has already voted to include the individual mandate repeal in their draft tax plan.  Trump has also threatened to undo the mandate via executive order if Congress does not include mandate repeal in their final tax bill.

The ACA's insurance mandate requires that healthy people purchase insurance, thus ensuring that costs for sicker people and people with preexisting conditions are defrayed, lowering premiums for everyone.  In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that repealing this essential mandate would likely drive up premiums in the individual market by 10% annually for the next decade, driving about 14 million people out of the insurance market within the next decade. Insurers have already used uncertainty about the mandate's enforcement to justify premium rate increases in 2018.

Republicans must not be allowed to sabotage the ACA. The individual mandate is a critical component of the ACA and in fact promotes lower costs by ensuring a healthy pool of insured Americans.

WHO TO CALL: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy

Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
 
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (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] and I'm a constituent from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I'm calling to urge the senator to reject any amendments to the tax bill to end enforcement for the individual insurance mandate.  The mandate helps ensure healthy people purchase insurance, defraying sicker people's healthcare costs and keeping premiums down for everyone.

Thank you for your time and attention.

This call is courtesy of 5calls.org.