By Rosana Garcia
Last Friday, in the wee hours of the morning
The “skinny” repeal bill brought to the Senate floor very early Friday morning failed, when all 48 Democratic Senators, and 3 Republican Senators (Senators Collins, Murkowski and McCain) voted “No.” Senators Collins and Murkowski’s “No” votes were expected – but Senator McCain’s thumbs down was the final, and surprising, nail in the coffin.
So what does the “No” vote mean?
As we mentioned last week, the failure of “skinny” repeal is certainly a victory for protecting our health care gains, but there are still threats ahead, and a lot of work to improve health care in the state, and in this country.
What are the upcoming threats?
1. Republicans could still push for some sort of action on health care. See: It’s not impossible: Four ways Republicans could still take action on Obamacare (Washington Post, Amber Phillips)
2. The Trump Administration, which includes the Department of Health and Human Services, could sabotage the Affordable Care Act in a few different ways.
The threat you may have heard of the most in the past few days are around cost sharing reduction payments. These are payments the Administration makes to insurers to help lower-income people afford their health care, by reducing out-of-pocket costs and lowering deductibles. Up until now, they have been paid on a month to month basis. The President has threatened, though, to withhold payments after the health care bill’s failure last Friday. It is unclear how that may shake out this week.
Read more here about how the Administration can sabotage the ACA: Obamacare 101: Trump threatens to let the Affordable Care Act fail. Can he? (LA Times, David Lauter & Noam Levey).
3. A little further down the road (though quickly approaching) Congress will need to take action to re-authorize CHIP – Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has often been seen as policy that both parties agree on. CHIP expires in September, and ACA repeal, or other health care changes, could get caught up in CHIP re-authorization.
4. The House Republicans released their 2018 budget which includes cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. This is just another way to radically change two critical health care programs that helps millions.
For more, you can check out Families USA’s ACA Threat Tracker!
Our Lives Still on the Line
We had an Our Lives on the Line event in Hartford on Saturday, we heard from many speakers, including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (we’ll be sharing more about that amazing event soon – and a big THANK YOU to all who helped, showed up, chanted and cheered!).
While celebration of the defeat of “skinny” repeal was in the air, we also heard about the need to continue to work together, remain vigilant, and ensure health care is accessible and affordable for all of us. The fight isn’t over!
- Stay up to date with news & action alerts by signing up at Protect Our Care CT
- Make sure you’re following Universal Health Care Foundation of CT on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram – we are working hard to make sure you know the latest news and how to be involved!
- Share your health care story with us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we want to know about how the ACA has helped you, struggles affording care and prescription drugs, and any other health care story you or someone you know would like to share.