The Feminist Majority’s campaign to Save Affordable Health Care is activating feminists across the country to save access to affordable health care for millions of people through the Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded eligibility for Medicaid and provided critical assistance to allow millions of people to finally purchase health insurance in ACA marketplaces. As of 2014, over 9 million women became eligible for ACA premium tax credits to purchase quality, affordable health insurance. In addition, Medicaid continues to be a major source of coverage for women in the U.S. The majority of Medicaid beneficiaries, both before and after the Medicaid expansion, are women.
Right now, the U.S. Senate is considering a new Trumpcare Plan—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—a cruel and dangerous bill that would jeopardize health care access for millions of people in order to provide $541 billion in tax cuts and other giveaways to the super-rich, insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical industry.
To achieve these tax cuts, the BCRA would dramatically cut Medicaid funding, eliminate the Medicaid expansion, and end Medicaid as we know it by artificially capping federal Medicaid dollars. Those changes alone would throw millions of people off of Medicaid and restrict access to healthcare services, including lifesaving care. But that’s not all. The BCRA would also reduce and change eligibility for premium tax credits to purchase health insurance—taking them away all together for certain individuals—and eliminate cost sharing subsidies that helped millions of people afford coverage and care.
The result of the Senate’s “healthcare” plan would be 22 million fewer people with health insurance coverage, including 15 million fewer people enrolled in Medicaid. For those who could keep their insurance, they would have higher costs, fewer benefits, and/or less access to care.
The proposed Trumpcare cuts to Medicaid are particularly cruel. The BCRA would slash federal Medicaid funding by 26% over 10 years, a cut of $772 billion. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), however, found that the BCRA’s caps on Medicaid would continue to result in cuts to the program after 2026, resulting in a 35% cut to Medicaid by 2036 and forcing Medicaid enrollment to decline even further.
Medicaid currently provides each state a guaranteed match of the state’s actual Medicaid costs. Trumpcare would do away with this system, which funds Medicaid according to each state’s need, and instead cap federal Medicaid funding to the states, either as a per capita cap (per enrollee) or an insufficient-to-meet-need block grant. When the cap is reached, instead of meeting the medical needs of enrollees, it’s tough luck. States will be forced to raise taxes, cut other areas of their state budgets, pay providers less, cut benefits, and/or decrease the number of people covered under Medicaid.
Even access to birth control is threatened. Trumpcare would ban Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid payments, and drastically cut Medicaid funding for family planning. Even worse, if a state receives a Medicaid block grant, family planning services will no longer be mandatory.
Eliminating the Medicaid expansion will cut off coverage for millions of adults entirely, but cuts and caps will also mean that even those who continue to have Medicaid coverage—low-income pregnant women, children and their parents, people with disabilities, and the elderly—will be threatened.
A team of 13 all-white, all-male Republican Senators drafted the Senate Trumpcare plan in secrecy after the GOP-led House passed its version of Trumpcare, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the Senate plan after objections to the bill from both moderates and conservatives Republicans. McConnell has reportedly spent the July 4th recess making tweaks to the bill, but Medicaid remains on the chopping block.
The Senate is now expected to vote on some version of the BCRA before the August recess. For Trumpcare to pass, the GOP needs only 50 votes with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence. To defeat Trumpcare in the Senate, the opposition needs 51 votes, meaning that three Republican senators must vote against the bill. If Trumpcare passes the Senate, it will go once again to the House for final passage.
Feminists must fight back. The fight is now. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants the Senate to pass Trumpcare by the end of July. We must fight back now and resist. Millions of people will suffer, many will die prematurely, and hospitals will close if Trumpcare prevails.
Feminists must mobilize on a massive scale before it is too late.
Join a Save Affordable Health Care Team in your State and Congressional District
When we mobilize on a grassroots level, real change is possible, and it all starts with you. Your federal and state Senators and Representatives must hear you. That’s why organizing by state and Congressional district is so important, and we’re here to help make this happen. Join a Save Affordable Health Care Team now.
Recruit your friends to join your team
We know you’ve been talking to your friends, family and coworkers about these issues for a long time, and this is a great opportunity for you all to get involved together. The more activists on the ground, the stronger our movement.
Your team will have the opportunity to get involved in federal, state, and local actions to protect access to women’s healthcare and stop any and all efforts to ban abortion or restrict family planning access. That means everything from letter-writing campaigns and phone-a-thons, to lobbying days and on-the-ground clinic defense for embattled women’s health providers.
Actions to Save Affordable Health Care
Send an email to your Members of Congress
When you click here, you’ll be connected to an email system that sends messages directly to your Senators and Representatives. Tell them to oppose Trumpcare, which would deny health insurance coverage to 22 million people, end Medicaid as we know it, and cause millions to lose access to critically-needed health care services. You can use the email template we provide, edit it to fit your message, or write a completely original letter.
Call your Senators and Representative
When you’re done sending the email, call your Senators and Representative to let them know what you think, how you feel, and the lived truths that have pushed you to demand opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Trumpcare plan.
You are the expert on why you believe so strongly that access to healthcare coverage is essential. But most important, you are a constituent, it’s their job to listen to you.
The phone line on Capitol Hill has been ringing off the hook since Trumps election, and we plan to keep it that way. Contact members of Congress through the Capitol switchboard now: 202-224-3121. Tell them how important Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act are for women, men, and families.
Visit your Senators and Representative at their local Congressional Offices.
This is where the team becomes super important. We need the staff in the district and state to see with their own two eyes how strong opposition to Trumpcare is. Showing up at your lawmakers’ local district office to request a meeting or hold a demonstration is super effective, especially when you’ve assembled a group of well-informed and active voters. It’s also a fun way to cheer each other on, show solidarity and inform others on the issues at hand. When you’re there, take a picture and post about your visit on Twitter or Facebook .
Plan an action with your team
There are so many great actions you can take to defend affordable health care. When your Senators or Representative are home for the weekend, organize a town hall for them to attend and answer your questions. Actions can be large (rallies in front of your Senator’s district office) or small (postcard writing parties). The possibilities are endless.
Share what you’ve done
Our goals are two-fold: empower you to advocate for affordable health care and amplify your messages and actions to show Trumpcare’s devastating impact, especially on women, children, and older people. Let us know about how Trumpcare would impact your community and what your team is doing! Share the details of your team’s actions! We will spread your ideas and actions nationwide. Not only will it get more eyes on your issue, it will inspire others to get involved.
We Must Stop Trumpcare
Within current Senate rules, a vote of only 50 senators plus the vote of the Vice President can pass Trumpcare. There are now 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents in the Senate. Several of the Republican Senators have express real reservations on Trumpcare, all Democrats in the House voted against it, and there are real divisions among House Republicans on the Trumpcare plans. The Quinnipiac poll on March 23, 2017 shows that only 17% of the public supports Trumpcare. A recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that a majority of the public thinks they and their families would be better off if the ACA were not repealed, and three-fourths of the public have a favorable view of Medicaid.
We can win—Feminists must fight back.