The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) right now is scoring a new amendment to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA, a.k.a. TrumpCare) known as the Cruz Amendment. And, as most things associated with Ted Cruz, it's bad for the American people.
The Cruz Amendment would allow insurers to sell barebones plans, so long as they sell at least one ACA-compliant policy in a state. Inevitably, this will split the individual market into two, with healthier people choosing the cheaper, non-ACA plan and sicker/older people choosing more expensive, ACA-compliant plans – essentially establishing a defacto high risk pool with high premiums.
Cruz acknowledges that the point of his amendment is to split the market, but he claims that federal subsidies would help people who opt for ACA-compliant plans. However, these subsidies only apply to people earning less than $42,000 a year – and the subsidized plans would have astronomical deductibles.
Bottom line: People with pre-existing conditions in the individual market will be stuck in a high risk pool with skyrocketing premiums. And that doesn't pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.
Keep up the calling! We're in the home stretch. Mitch McConnell is already starting to talk about his Plan B if this fails (to actually WORK with the Democrats on a bipartisan ACA fix), which means TrumpCare is on shaky ground indeed. So keep calling!!!
WHO TO CALL:
Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489
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 (adapted from The Indivisible Guide):
Hi, my name is [Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from]. I don't need a response.
I’m calling today to tell the Senator that I oppose the Cruz Amendment to the BCRA. This amendment would be devastating to people with pre-existing conditions in the individual market, because they'll be stuck in high risk pools with skyrocketing premiums. I also do not support allowing insurance companies to offer skimpy plans that don't provide basic healthcare services, like hospitalization, prescription drugs, and so on; or that would allow patients to be denied based on pre-existing conditions. That doesn't pass the Jimmy Kimmel Test.
Thank you for your time, and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.