The climate crisis has already arrived in Native lands and communities or color. We oppose the polluting and desecration of our communities by corporate greed.
The photo at left shows the Dakota Access Pipeline running between farms near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
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Rise Up - Van Jones calls for a 'moral movement' at People's Action, April 2017.
DEBT AND WALL STREET
We’re fighting for a new set of rules for Wall Street. We need a financial system that works for people and communities, not the other way around.
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HOW HEALTHCARE POLICY AFFECTS THE ELDERLY, THE POOR, AND THE DISABLED
For now, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains the law of the land. This is despite a hasty and (narrow 217-213) vote May 4 in the House of Representatives to repeal of the law and partially replace it with a hodgepodge that could push as many as 24 million people off health care and make health care more expensive, if not out of reach, for many millions more, notably the elderly, the working poor, and people with preexisting medical conditions.
The Senate, led by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, is charged with creating its own replacement of the program enacted in 2009, aimed at making health insurance available to all, with no clear sense of what to put in its place. Given the turmoil in Washington surrounding the Donald Trump administration and a groundswell of public opposition, that process is expected to take considerably longer than the House action. There is even talk of a stopgap measure being adopted while work continues on a more comprehensive bill.
So, as The New York Times put it, “the Senate majority leader’s decision to create a 13-man working group on health care, including staunch conservatives and ardent foes of the Affordable Care Act — but no women — has been widely seen on Capitol Hill as a move to placate the right as Congress decides the fate of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
The Times also notes that McConnell, with only two votes to spare, could find that the Senate’s more moderate voices will not be as easily assuaged as the House’s when a repeal bill finally reaches a vote. Republican senators like Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana may prove less amenable to appeals for party unity and legislative success when the lives and health of their constituents are on the line.
Previous attempts to undo affordable access to health care in America have failed, and, with our continued effort, will fail again if we keep our firestorm going by talking with family, friends, and neighbors about how health care repeal will hurt us and our hometowns, and pressing members of Congress to do the right thing.
Most of us believe the only “right thing” is for everyone to get the health care they need. We believe our government should make sure we all can get health care – not take health care away. We don’t accept the cynical view that people should die or suffer because they don’t have a lot of money.
But members of Congress who voted for this health repeal don’t share these values. If they’re cynical regressives like Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, they say we’re to blame for our illnesses. Some, like Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, refuse to understand that people do, indeed, die if they don’t have health insurance. These politicians really don’t think our government should protect and promote access to health care. We do.
Here are the challenges we face going into the Senate healthcare deliberations.
The Fundamental Facts
Some members of Congress are simply lying about what their health care repeal bill does. So, let’s make sure all our friends and neighbors know and understand these fundamentals:
The House repeal of the Affordable Care Act guts and ends the expansion of Medicaid, slashing more than $839 billion in funding.
Raises price of ACA care (premiums, deductibles, etc.) by an average of $3,600, with people who are older, poorer, and living in small/rural communities hit hardest.
Lets insurance companies charge older people five times as much as younger people for comparable coverage.
Replaces nationwide protections for people with preexisting conditions, with state options that would let insurers charge higher premiums, cover less, and reintroduce dollar caps on the total they will pay for care.
Gives a tax break of $600 billion benefiting corporations and the super-rich.
Repeal of the ACA Is Bad for Everyone
No matter where we live, people will be kicked off coverage – here are estimates by congressional district. Some people may see premiums go up because of health conditions: here are estimates of preexisting condition surcharges and the number of people affected, also by congressional district.
This means more people cutting treatment short or not getting it at all, skipping medications, going without exams that catch cancer early, or being sent to collections. It means families having to take care of aging relatives instead of getting professional care (most people currently receiving long-term care are covered by Medicaid). It means stress and worry.
And lots of people will die.
Some people – mainly those who are younger and have higher incomes – may get more money for premiums. But their deductibles will spike, going up by about $1,550. And we all may be hit with those dollar caps on care – including people with employer plans.
But the bigger point is this: you just can’t take health care away from this many people without dire consequences for entire communities. Hospitals and clinics may shutter, especially in rural areas. People will lose jobs in health care and related industries.
And small businesses – part of the fabric of our communities – will be hit by a double-whammy: no coverage for their employees (or themselves), and a customer base that’s struggling under the weight of higher health care prices.
Say What You’ll Do; Invite Others to Help
Tell friends and family you’re not going to let your member of Congress off the hook for their disastrous, reprehensible vote. You’re going to call your congressional representatives and make sure they know how outraged you are and how you intend to hold them responsible. Urge those friends and relatives to do the same.
Invite people to events in your hometown – rallies, town hall meetings, and other events where people are gathering to call for health care for everyone.
Now more than ever, we need to take democracy into our own hands. That means spreading the word and letting politicians know we’re organized and committed – and we’re not going away!
The subject of health care, and more specifically the need to make quality health care available to all Americans at a reasonable price, has been under discussion since the end of World War II, and the conversation has become increasingly heated, and increasingly divided on ideological – although not necessarily partisan -- lines, since the turn of the century.
On one side of the issue is the view that health care is a right, and that the central government has an obligation to make it available, in the same way that public safety, education and economic stability are national responsibilities. This view has as its ultimate goal the same kind of single-payer universal, comprehensive national health insurance program available in every other industrialized nation, paid for through some form of taxation, such as Social Security. Some have described this objective as a form of “Medicare for all.”
On the other side of the issue is an extreme that health care is not a “right,” and that people with serious medical or health issues should expect to pay more for care than healthy people. While that perception may have been rational in the immediate post-World War II years of growth of the middle class in America, economic realities since then have resulted in income inequality that has worsened steadily since the 1970s, to reach levels not seen since 1928.The first positive steps toward the single-payer approach, called the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was grudgingly enacted by Congress in October 2009, Subsequently, while the administration of President Barack Obama made several significant adjustments to the regulation, administration, and enforcement of the law, Republicans in the House of Representatives led more than 50 specific attempts to undo, update, or replace the legislation, before succeeding by a narrow 217-213 margin on May 4.
A few years before his death in 2006, Dr. Milton Friedman, who received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1976 for his research on consumption analysiss, monetary history, and theory, and the
Now more than ever, we need to take democracy into our own hands. That means spreading the word and letting politicians, and especially our elected representatives, know we’re organized and committed – and we’re not going away!
We invite you to be part of the United Vision for Idaho coalition as we work with the People's Action grassroots mobilization effort to make change.
While conservative forces take a wrecking ball to our progress toward making quality, affordable healthcare available to everyone, we advance a vision of healthcare as a public good.
We face a new challenge as the Senate takes up its own proposals for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
Learn more here.
complexity of stabilization policy, outlined the changes in society that gradually moved the nation away from a two-party approach to health care (meaning patient-doctor), to the present inefficient three-party approach (patient-doctor-insurer), which is by far the most expensive, while having the lowest performance in the world.Friedman wrote that three key factors contributed to the changing attitudes, in the United States and in other industrialized nations. First, he said, were “rapid advances in the science of medicine; second, large increases in spending, both in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars per person and the fraction of national income spent on medical care; and third, rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of medical care."
FAMILY ECONOMIC SECURITY
All families should have what they need to thrive. We advocate for policies that enable us to do better for all our families.
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The House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act most seriously affects the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.
Our economy is about more than numbers. It’s about people. We’re fighting for new rules for our economy to ensure we’re cared for when we provide care for each other.
Learn more here.
We work to change a criminal justice system that subjects communities of color to abusive policing, encourages profiteering by prison corporations and divides our country.
Learn more here.