Get the latest on evictions, budget reconciliation, COVID-19, & more.
Get the latest on evictions, budget reconciliation, COVID-19, & more.
Share this:
August 26, 2021 | Volume 25, No. 8 | Archives
Medicare, Mandates, and Moratoriums, Oh My!
In this Issue:
  • Budget Reconciliation Opens Door for Health Expansions and More
  • Congress Makes Big Moves on Infrastructure
  • New Eviction Moratorium
  • International Overdose Awareness Day
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters, Mandates, and More ...
  • Hurrah! Feds Nix Medicaid Work Requirements
  • U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Seeks Input
  • Research is Advocacy!
  • What We're Reading
Budget Reconciliation Opens Door for Health Expansions and More
Congress passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution (summary) that gives committees an outline for their respective budget bills. While details are still being determined, the health care highlights include: investing in community health centers, addressing health equity, expanding covered services in Medicare (to dental, vision, and hearing), lowering the Medicare eligibility age, and covering the Medicaid coverage gap in the 12 states yet to expand. Additionally, the Judiciary Committee’s instructions open the door for expanding Medicaid coverage to 30 days pre-release from the justice system and removing barriers to prescribing buprenorphine (two priorities for the HCH community). The likelihood of this exciting line-up of health care expansions moving forward is yet to be determined, but see “Take Action” for how to weigh in!
This week, the House voted to advance the budget resolution in exchange for setting a September 27 vote on the infrastructure bill, which has already passed in the Senate. The Council will share more information about the health care expansion proposals as they are drafted and debated.
TAKE ACTIONNow is the time to weigh in with your members on Capitol Hill about what you want to see in the budget resolution and urge them to be bold. We don’t want to lose steam. Here are three ways to take action:
  • Organizations can become an early endorser of Rep. Jayapal’s soon-to-be-released bill that lowers the Medicare eligibility age to 60. Sign-on here. Once released, advocacy will continue to have the bill incorporated into the budget resolution process.
  • Individuals can sign a petition organized by our partners at Healthcare-NOW! telling Congress: "We need Medicare Expansion yesterday!"
  • Individuals can write to their Senator urging them to be bold crafting legislation in this easy-to-use portal (template included, but customize your letter using the talking points below).
See more on how to advocate for the robust housing provisions from our partners at the National Low Income House Coalition.
Listed below are Health Care for the Homeless talking points for the health care expansion proposed in the budget reconciliation bill. Customize these further with stats from your own program!
  • Expanding Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing services would fill great gaps in care for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Lowering Medicare eligibility to age 60 would benefit thousands of patients in the HCH community.
    • There were 79,833 HCH patients age 60-64 in 2019 (8% of all patients). Of these,  17,434 were in the 12 non-expansion states (and highly likely to be uninsured).
  • Providing a health insurance option in the 12 Medicaid non-expansion states would improve access to care for nearly 170,000 patients in the HCH community.
Congress Makes Big Moves on Infrastructure
This month, the Senate passed a $550 billion infrastructure bill alongside the budget resolution. This bill is a pared down version of Biden’s multi-trillion build back better agenda. The bill doesn’t include major priorities such as low-income tax credits and housing and is mostly physical infrastructure, broadband access, and transportation. See an interactive comparison of the original proposal in the New York Times (sorry for the paywall) and an analysis of what’s included in the bill from Vox. The House is anticipated to vote on this bill on September 27.
New Eviction Moratorium
On August 3, the Biden Administration released a new federal eviction moratorium (following a 10-day lapse of the CARES Act eviction moratorium that expired on July 24). The new order protects renters through October 3 and only applies to communities with high levels of transmission. See if your county qualifies. Like previous federal moratoriums, it does not relieve renters of the obligation to pay rent and renters must provide a signed declaration to be covered. The Biden administration does not plan to extend the moratorium further and announced immediate steps to protect renters, including a toolkit and program locator that allows renters and landlords to find information on obtaining rental assistance in their area.
TAKE ACTION: Three things the HCH community can do to prevent evictions:
  1. Identify and advocate for state and local protection;
  2. Connect clients/consumers to services and cash resources; and
  3. Speak out about the health implications of evictions and poverty. See details here.
International Overdose Awareness Day
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data showing overdose deaths rose approximately 30% in 2020 to 93,000 deaths -- the deadliest year on record. Overdose deaths are nothing new to the HCH community, and our advocacy continues for broader changes, such as those included in the MAT Act, which eliminates the X-waiver requirement to prescribe buprenorphine.
TAKE ACTION: Join us on August 31 on Twitter for International Overdose Awareness Day to tweet about the need for passing the MAT Act and share your overdose story. Use the hashtag #EndOverdose and don't forget to tag us at the Council @NatlHCHCouncil.
COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters, Mandates, and More ...
Learn about these policy developments and emerging issues related to COVID-19 in the biweekly COVID-19 Flash Blast.
Hurrah! Feds Nix Medicaid Work Requirements
The Biden Administration is continuing the promise to end Medicaid work requirements (throwback to 2019). Currently, Georgia is the only state with an approved work requirement remaining, but the state has stopped implementation. See withdrawal letters for NebraskaOhioSouth Carolina, and Utah.
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Seeks Input
The USICH is in the process of creating a new Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and they want input. Comments can be submitted online. Use this opportunity to illustrate the need for single-payer health care (or at least universal Medicaid eligibility), the importance of medical respite care, and the critical shortage of substance use treatment.
Research is Advocacy!
Research is an effective tool in advocating for needed change. See new publications on our radar below. These new resources in particular are great fodder for advocacy on adopting single-payer, reducing racial disparities, increasing access to substance use care, and promoting housing first!
COMING SOON! The Council will be releasing an updated fact sheet on HCH health insurance coverage and Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD, aka Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT) in the HCH community.
What We're Reading
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
Health Policy Manager
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
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.
604 Gallatin Ave., Suite 106 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.