GOP Senate Announces "Better Care Reconciliantion Act" & What You Can Do About It!

Sun, Jun 25, 2017

The Senate GOP released the Better Care Reconciliation Act. As expected, the bill still devastates Medicaid and will likely put coverage into question for millions. You may have also seen how our fellow Americans with disabilities were treated in response to their peaceful protest.

Below are some resources to help us all wrap our arms around the bill as we continue to push back. To learn more in an interactive setting, join us for a webinar next Tuesday, June 27. In partnership with Young Invincibles, we will be discussing the latest updates on this new bill. The presentation will also feature an advocacy training including how to tell a compelling story of self. The webinar starts at 7 pm. Click here to RSVP.

Key Take Aways (from Community Catalyst)

  1. Make even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House version. It would effectively end Medicaid expansion by winding down its funding, shift significant costs to states and health care providers, and harm millions of seniors, people with disabilities and children.
  2. Benefit the wealthy and healthy at the expense of those who are low-income.
  3. Make coverage less affordable.  The bill requires individuals to pay substantially more for less coverage.
    • It would allow insurers to offer skimpier plans with higher out-of-pocket costs, and would not guarantee everyone will have access to services like maternity care or mental health treatment.
    • It would substantially reduce the amount of financial assistance individuals can receive to help pay for coverage, especially for older adults who would have to pay up to 16% of their income for premiums alone.
  4. Cause the individual insurance market to unravel. By putting affordable coverage out of reach and removing the incentive to purchase health coverage, this bill would make the individual insurance market dangerously unstable and cause premiums to skyrocket for everyone, especially people who need health insurance the most. 

Click here for more Florida specific topline messages.

More on the Bill (from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities):
CBPP has just updated their tracker of the harmful effects of the Senate health bill  - this is a good one stop shop for analysis on the Senate bill language as it stands now and how it compares to the House-passed bill language.

The lead: The House-passed health bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — would slash programs that help people get health coverage and use most of the savings to pay for tax cuts for high-income households and corporations. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the bill would increase the number of uninsured by 23 million people and make coverage worse or less affordable for millions more.

Senator Reaction

Statement from Bill Nelson:

“Now we know why they tried to keep this secret. This bill is just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid. If that weren’t enough, it also allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans. Fixing our nation’s health care system shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should be working together, not plotting behind closed doors to make it worse.”

Statement from Sen. Marco Rubio:

“Senator Rubio will decide how to vote on health care on the basis of how it impacts Florida. He has already spoken to Governor Scott, Senate President Negron and Speaker Corcoran about the first draft of this proposal. He has instructed his staff to share with state leaders the first draft and has asked them to run numbers and provide input on how this initial proposal would impact Florida’s Medicaid program and individual insurance marketplace. He has invited them to send staff to Washington next week to help us formulate changes and amendments to this proposal. He will continue to reach out for input and suggested changes from Florida providers, insurers and patient advocate groups.”

Take Actio

#1: Sign on and Share State Letters

#LetUsTestify Grassroots Letter (for individuals)

The Senate is planning to submit to the CBO a secret health care repeal bill with zero input from experts, or the people whose lives and care could jeopardized by the language of the bill. If you will be impacted by the Senate's repeal bill, read this letter, and sign to demand a voice in the future of our health care. Please share with your networks! We will be delivering the letter and signatures the week of June 26th.

Protect Our Care Sign-on Letter (for organizations)
Join the coalition in speaking out against the proposals in the AHCA. This letter is intended to let our lawmakers know that key community stakeholders are fearful of the policies being considered. Please sign-on on behalf of your organization. We will be delivering the letter and signatures the week of June 26th. 

#2 Rubio Constituent Visits

It is vital that we get in front Senator Rubio's staff over the next few weeks. If you're interested in being part of team of advocates taking meetings in Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Tallahassee, please send me an email at

Keep fighting the good fight! 

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