The Senate thought that this was the week they could repeal the Affordable Care Act and destroy Medicaid, but your persistence made them think twice. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that they didn’t have the votes–but there’s a catch. Now, in a last desperate attempt to take your health care away, the Senate is moving to vote on full repeal – a bill which would strip away the protections of the ACA without any kind of replacement. We can still make them back down and give up this disastrous fight for good–but they won’t do that without hearing from you.
Here’s what’s at stake:
- Health insurance for 32 million Americans
- Access to the care we need, regardless of disability or pre-existing condition
- Coverage for mental health, maternity care, occupational and speech therapy, prescription medications, and more
- Protection from discriminatory insurance practices such as annual and lifetime caps on coverage
Here’s what you can do:
Attend local actions and events. Today is a day of action for hundreds of community groups across the country, with more coming in the days ahead. Families USA has a list of upcoming rallies and events in many states. If you don’t see a local action on the list, try searching online for “upcoming healthcare rallies [name of your state]” to find other organizations near you that may have upcoming events. Check out the Center for Public Representation’s Action Center for more ways to get involved.
Go to your Senators’ local offices and tell their staff what you think. To find your Senators’ local offices, visit contactingcongress.org. Under the contact information for each Senator, there is a list of their local offices. You can contact or visit these offices to set up a constituent meeting – this is one of the most effective ways to get your point across to an elected official.
Keep calling. You can find your Senators’ contact information by entering your ZIP code at contactingcongress.org. If you find it easier to leave an answering machine message than to talk to a staffer on the phone, you can call after work hours, and your message will still be counted. If you don’t speak, you can call using your AAC device, or get a friend to call in and read your message. Here’s a script you can use:
Share your story by participating in the Arc’s emergency Medicaid Matters to Me Letter Writing Campaign. If you or a loved one rely on Medicaid or a waiver for health insurance or other disability services, take a moment to write a letter to your Senators explaining why Medicaid matters to you, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include your state in the subject line, and send the email by midnight on Wednesday. The Arc will print your letters and hand deliver to them to your Senators!
Senate leadership says they will replace the ACA later. But after everything they’ve tried this year, we know better than to hand them a blank check. It’s time for Congress to start over and work together on a meaningful, bipartisan basis to improve the Affordable Care Act and make health care better for all of us. Your voices and your advocacy have already made an incredible impact. Let’s make this week the final push to win this fight, once and for all.
Autistic Self Advocacy Network