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Major decisions regarding the present & future of health care are looming.
Major decisions regarding the present & future of health care are looming.
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November 29, 2018 | Volume 22, No. 11 | Archives
The Present and Future of Health Care
As we close out the year and the 115th Congress’s lame duck session, decisions will be made regarding leadership positions, a number of budgets (to include HUD) that expire on December 7th lest the government shut down, and a time-sensitive farm bill that funds and protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps). What passes and what doesn’t amidst the many competing priorities and deadlines will set the tone for the year ahead with the new Congress.
The balance of power in Congress continues to mean significant health reform bills won’t likely pass, and we will continue to battle controversial health care changes from the current administration. It’s no surprise that we continue to be a country that spends more than any other on health care but has dismal life expectancy and poorer health outcomes. Yet support continues to grow from Congress and 59% of the public now favor a single-payer system. Following the election, at least 11 more districts have representatives that endorse single-payer, totaling over 130 advocates in the House. Congresswoman Jayapal (D-WA07) is the new leader of the House bill, and Senator Sanders (I-VT) continues his lead in the Senate. Both are ready to work on Capitol Hill, but they need grassroots support (see more under Take Action). The Council is proud to continue its long-standing support for a single-payer health care system.
ICYMI: check out our recent Mobilizer which covers the results of the mid-term elections that include new expansions in health care and civil rights, as well as an increase in the diversity of people representing us in our government. The issue also highlights resources for submitting feedback on the proposed rule on “public charge” due December 10.
News Roundup
  • Voting and health care are intimately connected. Medicaid expansion could increase voter turnout in 2020, according to a new study. The connection between Medicaid and voting works both ways. Likewise, when more people vote, more people get health care.

  • Criminal justice reform: President Trump calls for Congress to act quickly to pass a criminal justice reform bill, only to get pushback from Republican leadership. The First Step Act would improve re-entry practices reforms and sentencing practices.

  • Hospitals & Medicaid pay for housing?: HHS Secretary Azar made public statements on the need to expand care to cover social determinants of health such as housing. You can read his full speech, which makes several references to the importance of housing and seeking new ways to pay for these. We will be looking for any specific policy changes that HHS proposes in this regard.

  • The California Camp Fire: This disaster created over 80,000 evacuees and burned down over 10,000 homes, worsening the already pressing need for affordable housing in California and around the country. The latest government study shows large fires like this one will likely continue, as they are a symptom of man-made climate change. Many evacuees may struggle with homelessness.
Poverty Policy Podcast
Last month the Council released the second episode of the Poverty Policy Podcast, covering the intersection of immigration and homelessness with Wendy Cervantes, Senior Immigration Policy Analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy.  We’ll be back soon with our next episode, but in the meantime you can learn more making the case for Medicare for All on Chris Hayes’ “Why Is This Happening?” October episode.
Did you receive Mobilizer as a forwarded email or hear about it via social media? Register now to receive our action alerts each month!
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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Immigration & Public Charge: Submit Comments on the Proposed Rule!
Submit comments by December 10. Use the Council’s letter as a template for your own message to the administration, adding any data or personal stories you would like to share. Learn more in our recent Mobilizer and latest Poverty Policy Podcast episode exploring immigration. Additionally, you can find more resources from our partners on Medicaid, health centers, food stamps, housing assistance, and the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign.
Have Your Say
Single Payer: Check Your Rep and Join a Local Group
If you have a democratic representative who is not on the list of cosponsors on the single-payer bill, let us know so we can talk to their office. There are local organizations in 37 states working in single-payer. Find yours and join them! Also, join the Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare as an individual and/or as an organization (forward this to your boss and your colleagues!)
Get Involved
Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue: Sign On to this Open Letter
This month the American Academy of Physicians released a paper, “Reducing Firearm Injuries and Death in the Unites States.” The National Rifle Association (NRA) responded with “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.” (Read more and find links to both these papers.) Anyone who thinks gun violence is a public health issue can SIGN ON to this open letter that pushes back against the NRA and declares #ThisIsOurLane.
Add Your Signature
Save the Date for Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on December 21
Get ready for HPMD with the advocacy agenda and planning materials on our website or contact us to receive help in organizing events.
Get Started
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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