Learn more and take action in the wake of pending health care legislation.
Learn more and take action in the wake of pending health care legislation.
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May 25, 2017 | Volume 21, No. 6 | Archives
Advancing Our Values–NOW
A Letter from Bobby Watts, CEO of the National HCH Council
In these turbulent and changing times, our tactics and short-term objectives may necessarily change, but our principles and values do not. The U.S. Senate is considering changes to our health care system that would have a significant impact on the Health Care for the Homeless community. We must insist that the result of any legislation achieves the objectives below, which are based on our value that Health Care is a Human Right:
  • Improve access to health care coverage: While the Affordable Care Act was far from perfect, it resulted in 11 million low-income Americans gaining new coverage—including many individuals without housing. Lives have been saved, health has been improved, and homelessness has been ended for those newly connected to care. However, 30 million remain uninsured, including many in states that did not expand Medicaid. We urge the Senate to ensure that any legislation results in more people with health coverage and does not create barriers to coverage such as work requirements. We cannot move backwards on this.
  • Protect comprehensive care: Millions of Americans suffer from mental health and addiction disorders, and America is currently in the midst of the worst epidemic of opioid misuse in history. These behavioral health disorders are a major cause of homelessness, but effective, integrated care has proven to help people without homes get clean, healthy, housed, and remain in housing. We urge the Senate to protect existing requirements for essential health benefits in all insurance plans. Helping people get healthy and housed depends on it. 
  • Improve access to preventive care: A high-quality health system facilitates appropriate screenings and preventive care to catch disease at the earliest possible stage, engage in treatment, and prevent worsening of health. Our goal is a healthy populace, and preventing disease is the best way to do that. We urge the Senate to enact legislation that facilitates early and easy access to care, rather than impose barriers that only serve to discourage care. 
These objectives flow logically from our value that Health Care is a Human Right – access to health care should not be based on one’s income, employment, health status, or state of residence. In short, the only criterion for receiving health care in a nation as wealthy as ours is that one is human – that’s what "Human Rights" means! 
At the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, we believe that the best way to ensure that health care as a human right is practiced is through a universal, single-payer system. While that remains our long-range objective, our immediate focus is to ensure that any changes from Congress at a minimum meet the above objectives and protect vulnerable populations. NOW is the time to make our voices heard. Those experiencing homelessness—and those who work alongside them—should be driving the solutions that impact them most directly. Congress will be on recess in their district offices next week, which offers you the opportunity to engage them on these principles. Learn how you can Take Action in our sidebar to the right.
Lives depend on this. Show up. Stand up. Speak out. Get engaged. NOW.
In Solidarity,
G. Robert Watts
Bobby Watts
Chief Executive Officer
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
(615) 226-2292
In the News This Month:
  • The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed in the U.S. House on May 4. The bill outlines major changes to the current health care system including the dismantling of Medicaid. Read about the house-passed version of the AHCA and see how your Representative voted.
  • The AHCA awaits action in the Senate. The timeline for action in the Senate is unclear, but advocates are preparing for a vote by the August recess. Learn more about how the Senate is tackling health care.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports major costs and coverage losses under the AHCA. The CBO found that the current version of the AHCA will lead to $834 billion in federal Medicaid cuts and 23 million people losing coverage. Read details.
  • Trump released remaining budget recommendations. As expected, the remainder of Trump’s 2018 budget includes massive cuts to vital programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and SSI/SSDI that support low-income individuals. Read an analysis and an outline of the cuts
Did you receive Mobilizer as a forwarded email or hear about it via social media? Register now to receive our action alerts each month!
Sign Up for Mobilizer
Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Take Action!
Attend a Town Hall:
Senators are on Memorial Day break next week! Look for events in your area from May 29 to June 2. Make appointments now for the next time Congress members are back home on recess: July 3-7 and the month of August.
Find Events
Speak Out: 
Make the case about the dangers of the AHCA at the local, state, and national level. Whatever your time or capacity, everyone can do something. Spend a few minutes on an email or a few hours giving a tour of your facility. Do not forget about our HCH letter, which serves as a template for your congressional communications.
Get Involved
Share Your Story: 
It only takes a few minutes to send us a few sentences. Policy makers need to hear the voices of those on the front lines and the stories of those who were hurt or helped by the current system.
Share Your Tale
Help Stop Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts: 
Learn more about what's ahead and how you can act, and email your Congressmember.
Send an Email
Take Care and Work Together: 
Don’t forget to take care of yourself first and don’t go at it alone.
Partner with Local Groups
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
Donate Now!
National Heatlh Care for the Homeless Council
PO Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
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