Trump and congressional Republicans are relentlessly undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In October, Trump decided to stop payment of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies to insurers selling Healthcare.gov marketplace plans. These payments help insurers provide lower-cost health insurance plans on the exchanges, and stopping these payments has prompted insurers to increase premium prices dramatically. Additionally, Republicans repealed the ACA’s individual insurance mandate through their recent tax bill, a move that will further increase exchange premiums by encouraging younger and healthier consumers to stop buying insurance.
Months before the tax bill passed, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 to attempt to stabilize the ACA's individual markets by reinstating CSRs for insurers for two more years. The bill would also create a low-cost catastrophic coverage exchange plan and reinstate $106 million in funding for ACA enrollment outreach, funding which the Trump administration has slashed in yet another attempt to undermine the ACA. In exchange, the bill would give states more flexibility to let insurers offer new types of insurance plans that are comparably affordable to existing ACA plans. Most importantly, the bill would preserve ACA standards for what exchange plans must cover preventing the erosion of protection for those with pre-existing conditions. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a score of this bill and concluded that it would not negatively affect insurance access and would, in fact, reduce the federal deficit by about $3.8 billion over the next decade.
As Sen. Alexander himself stated of the bill, "This agreement avoids chaos. I don’t know a Republican or Democrat who benefits from chaos." Congress must quickly support this bipartisan push to undo Trump's blatant sabotage of the ACA's individual market and prevent the loss of affordable healthcare for millions of Americans. The bill’s passage is even more important now that Republicans have repealed the ACA’s individual mandate.
Who To Call: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, Representative Richmond or Scalise.
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
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to support the Alexander-Murray bill to stabilize the individual insurance market. Now that Republicans have repealed the ACA's individual mandate, this bill is more critical than ever to keep exchange premium prices affordable.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
This call is adapted from 5calls.org.