The Upcoming Repeal Vote…

HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE
Friday, January 7, 2010

U.S. HOUSE TO VOTE ON REPEALING NEW FEDERAL HEALTH LAW
* Symbolic floor vote planned for next week, January 12, by new Republican leadership
* Senate to block repeal attempt, but consequences would be grave for California
* Implementation continues in California after 9 months; Much more work to do

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Also: Working Families Summit Next Week January 12: Register Today!

With the new Republican majority officially installed in the House of Representatives, the legislative effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is coming to a head.

REPEAL VOTE SET: The House is set to vote on the bill on January 12. Passage of a repeal bill would be no more than a symbolic win for Republicans, as the Senate has already vowed to block further movement of any repeal bill; and if that were not the case, a Presidential veto certainly would.

However, were a repeal to ever become law, the consequences would be significant. The Congressional Budget Office just calculated that such a repeal would have a $230 billion impact on the federal deficit.

More importantly, repealing the ACA would mean rolling back significant benefits that have already begun to help Americans struggling with health care coverage. Seniors who last year received rebate checks for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are slated to begin receiving a 50% discount on drugs in the donut hole. Young adults who have disproportionately suffered from uninsurance and underinsurance will no longer be able to get coverage under their parents’ plans. People who have denied coverage due to preexisting conditions that are now covered under the new federal high risk pools would see their coverage disappear. And insurers would be allowed to revert to abusive practices that harm consumers such as annual and lifetime limits, rescissions, and denying coverage to sick children.

As our Health Access fact sheet details, California consumers would be disproportionately impacted, as a significant number of California workers are employed by small businesses who would no longer be able to receive tax credits for covering their workers. Hundreds of milliosn of dollars allocated to community health centers who serve those in need would disappear, along with the promise of $106 billion in tax credits to help middle class families pay for insurance in the exchange (starting in 2014). In the context of the state’s budget crisis and impending cuts to the safety net system, Californians are not only looking forward to, but depending on the current and future benefits of the ACA.

As California moves forward with an aggressive agenda to both implement and improve upon the ACA, Health Access invites individuals and organizations to join us in standing up to fight against repeal efforts. California should take this opportunity to also be a leader in moving reform forward.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY: Please call your Member of Congress to make sure that they cast a NO vote (against repeal) on January 12.

PARTICIPATE IN AN EVENT: Health and consumer advocates have scheduled events up and down the state to support the new law, and to rally against attempts to repeal it. Contact Patrick Romano at promano@health-access.org to get information about an event in your region on Tuesday or Wednesday.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Have you or someone you know already benefited from ACA’s early provisions? We need your story to ensure these consumer protections and new options continue!

For more information, contact the author of this update, Linda Leu, at lleu@health-access.org.

ALSO: REGISTER FOR CA WORKING FAMILIES POLICY SUMMIT: Health Access is Co-Sponsoring the 2011 California Working Families Policy Summit on Wednesday, January 12. Speakers will include Senator Carol Liu and Assembly Member Holly J. Mitchell, with State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones delivering a keynote at the Summit luncheon. Health Access will be among the state’s leading advocates will releasing recommendations to improve the health and well-being of California’s families. Recommendations will focus on health care, welfare, school services, early learning, child care, asset building, housing, food stamps, nutrition programs and paid leave.

The California Working Families Policy Summit will be held on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at the Sacramento Convention Center from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Registration opens at 8:00 am. Click here to register now! Early Registration ends January 7!

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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