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Learn about the BCRA, other upcoming bills, and how you can Take Action.
Learn about the BCRA, other upcoming bills, and how you can Take Action.
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July 6, 2017 | Volume 21, No. 7 | Archives
Keep Up the Summer Heat on Health Care
HCH2017 Rally
Conference Recap
During our 2017 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference from June 21-24, over 150 HCH Advocates met with over 50 Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. On Friday evening, we gathered outside the White House to Rally for Housing and Health Care for ALL people. To everyone that joined us at HCH2017 and took part in Hill Visits and the Rally: thank you! Whether or not you were able to join us, see how you can continue the momentum under Take Action.  
June Roundup
Health Reform Replacement Bill Introduced in the Senate
On June 22nd the Senate revealed their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). After much contention among advocates and within the Republican party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the bill will not be considered on the Senate floor until after the Senate returns from Recess on Monday, July 10th.
What's in the Senate Version?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the BCRA would cause 22 million Americans to lose health insurance if this bill became law (including 15 million from Medicaid alone). Much like the House version, the BCRA also would end the Medicaid expansion and instill spending caps, require redetermination every 6 months, and give states the option to create work requirements and water down benefits--along with many other provisions that would disrupt access to care. Use this chart to compare the ACA, the House bill, and the new BCRA. 
The National HCH Council will not support legislation that takes away coverage from low-income individuals, and we hope you’ll join us and Take Action to prevent the BCRA from becoming law. The NHCHC has been communicating regularly with legislators about the impact of such changes on the HCH Community: read our recent letter to Senators asking them to “protect the financial structuring of Medicaid because it is the right thing to do.” Also check out our resource on the dangers of proposed Medicaid block grants or spending caps and a letter from our CEO Bobby Watts on protecting our values in health care.
Other Bills to Follow
On June 26th Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Clyburn (D-SC) jointly introduced the Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act which would increase funding for health centers from $5.1 billion to $12.5 billion over the next 10 years. In March, Senator Collins (R-ME) and Senator Reed (D-RI) introduced bipartisan legislation, A bill to strengthen the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which continues funding for USICH--currently set to sunset in 2017 and not funded in Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.
Budgetary Matters
Recent analysis shows that Trump’s proposed budget would indeed worsen homelessness, eliminating 250,000 Housing Choice vouchers. This past month Secretary Tom Price (HHS) and Secretary Ben Carson (HUD) testified in Congress to defend the Trump budget proposals. We submitted questions for both the HHS hearing, as well as the HUD hearing. Related to HUD funding, 23 Republican Congress members wrote to HUD Secretary Carson opposing HUD’s priority on supportive housing, arguing it disincentivizes work. 
Single-Payer News
H.R. 676, the single-payer bill in the House, sits with over 100 co-signers and we are waiting in anticipation for Senator Sanders to introduce a Senate bill before the August Congressional recess. On the State level, California’s bill to create a single-payer system passed the legislature on June 1 but was then pulled back a few weeks later to clarify more details. New York State’s legislature passed a similar measure in May, but it still must clear the state’s Senate. As an interesting alternative, Nevada’s legislature passed a Medicaid-For-All bill, which was then vetoed by the Governor. This may only be the beginning of such proposals, however.
Local Advocacy Spotlight
A shout-out to Family Health Centers in Louisville, Kentucky! Bill Wagner, CEO, wrote a thoughtful open-letter to his Senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, about the importance of compromise and protecting health care coverage. He also joined over 30 organizations on a separate open letter to Senator McConnell, urging him to “STOP the mad rush to pass this bill.” Kudos to Louisville!
Have a letter of your own, or other local advocacy to share? Email us!
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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Take Action!
Call (and Keep Calling!): 
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or email your Senator and ask them to vote against the deadly Medicaid cuts in the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Convey some simple messages:
  • Vote NO on BCRA
  • Medicaid saves lives and helps prevent and end homelessness
  • Protect Medicaid and do not cap the program
Contact Your Senator
Attend Events: 
Join events in your area. Find them through Town Hall Project, Organizing for Action, and Families USA.
Find Events
Have Your Say-- #MedicaidMatters: 
Post on social media using #MedicaidMatters and tag us @NatlHCHCouncil.
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    Celebrate HCH Day:
    Start planning now for HCH Day on August 16. Remember, Congress is on recess during August, so now is the perfect time to invite your Rep for a site visit. Use this example invitation letter.
      Learn About HCH Day
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      National Heatlh Care for the Homeless Council
      PO Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
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