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October 26, 2017 | Volume 21, No. 11 | Archives
Emergencies, Disasters, Cliffs, & Taxes
This Month... 
Senate Sets the Stage for Major Tax Overhaul
On a 51-49 vote the Senate passed a budget resolution which sets up the procedure for $1.5 trillion of tax cuts that can be passed on a filibuster-proof party line. The measure assumes the tax cuts will be paid for by taking trillions over the next ten years from programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), low-income tax credits, and programs that assist persons with disabilities. The next step in the budget process is finalizing line-item budget packages, which we will cover in our next few Mobilizers. Read more.
A Bipartisan Fix for the Health Care Marketplace Moves Forward
Senate Republicans and Democrats came together on legislation that continues the payment of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) through 2019 and partially restores funds for consumer enrollment outreach and education. While providing crucial coverage and financial assistance to consumers, this legislation is a needed response to recent attempts from the Executive Office to undermine Obamacare. On the downside, the measure loosens requirements for waivers, giving states more flexibility in their health care marketplaces to offer more costly plans. Learn more about what’s in the bill. While Congressional leadership supports the bill, there are conflicting messages from the President. The measure must still be voted on by the full Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Read more.
The Opioid Epidemic Is a National Emergency, Almost…
In early August President Trump announced "We’re going to make it a national emergency.” National Emergency status would allow for more public funding and potential changes to a Medicaid rule that currently forbids federal funding for admission to mental health hospitals, a large barrier to treatment (learn more about what a National Emergency can do). We still haven’t seen any action, and public officials are demanding a declaration be made soon. Check out this letter from Sen. Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) urging President Trump to take action. The White House is hosting an "Opioid" event today and has promised movement on this soon. Read more.
Disaster Relief Package Moves Forward But Isn’t Enough
Congress is pushing ahead with a $36.5 billion disaster relief package created in wake of devastating Hurricane damage in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and wildfire damage in California. Advocates and lawmakers argue the measure won’t be enough for rebuilding efforts, and ignores the crisis facing 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico. Those experiencing homelessness before the storms are often categorized as “undeserving” during the allocation of relief resources. The National HCH Council is working to fight these inequities and signed a letter, alongside a multitude of national partners, urging HUD to prioritize the needs of low-income individuals impacted by the disasters. Read more.
Democrats Release Another Plan to Expand Health Coverage
In contrast to Sen. Sanders’s (D-VT) recently released Medicare-For-All (which would create a single government-run plan that provides generous insurance coverage to all Americans), the new Medicare-X bill from Sen. Bennet (D-CO) and Sen. Kaine (D-VA) would leave other insurers intact and give the public an option to buy into Medicare. While both bills have a very small chance of passing in the current political climate, they set the stage for movement. In the wake of the national momentum on single-payer, state-level efforts are heating up in California, Ohio, and New Hampshire. The National HCH Council supports all efforts to expand affordable and comprehensive health coverage. Read more.
New Resources
Political cartoon
Matt Davies, New York Journal News
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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Take Action!
Fix the Cliff
Progress is being made. Last week two Representatives led a bi-partisan Health Center Cliff Dear Colleague Letter, and the CHIME Act, which extends Health Center funding by five years and fixes the cliff, is gaining momentum. We must get this done. Keep up the noise with the quick and simple advocacy tools from our partners at the National Association of Community Health Centers.
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Take Our Survey
The National HCH Council is the voice of the Health Care for the Homeless Community in Washington, D.C. In order to better serve your interests, we'd like to ask you to let us know about your current involvement (or wishes for more involvement) by taking this quick but important survey.
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Amplify Advocacy 
A message from Council CEO Bobby Watts: “All of our advocacy efforts are supported by private donors like you. Without your support, we will not be able to speak out loudly for systemic solutions to homelessness--health care and housing being recognized as human rights. We also would not be able to mobilize our community to respond quickly to proposed legislation and regulations to shape policies in ways that meet the needs of people without homes.”
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Local Feature 
Bill Daniell and Ben Danielson (Board of Health members in Seattle, WA) call upon Seattle’s Mayor and City Council to take bold action to address the homelessness crisis in this op-ed: “Homelessness is Seattle’s Public Health Crisis.”
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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National Heatlh Care for the Homeless Council
PO Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
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