Senate’s Final Health Vote Tomorrow – Speak Up Now

A lot has happened in the U.S. Senate in the past few days with proposed repeals of the Affordable Care Act. Here is some context and explanation of what is expected to happen with health care legislation in the next day. Scroll to the bottom for phone number to make your voice heard!

Background:

The Senate voted affirmatively on the Motion to Proceed on the House-passed health reform bill that would repeal large parts of the Affordable Care Act and make dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program. The vote was 50-50, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie. Senators Collins and Murkowski joined all Democrats in voting against the motion. This vote started 20 hours of debate on the bill, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Senators are using this time to give health care speeches. So far, the Senate has voted down both the Senate’s version of “repeal and replace” – the Better Care Reconciliation Act – and their version of “repeal and delay” without a replacement. Both votes went down with a few Republicans joining Democrats in voting against. Once debate ends, likely sometime this afternoon, vote-a-rama will start. During vote-a-rama, Senators can bring forward an unlimited number of amendments on the bill, which will be voted on quickly. It is expected that Republicans will put forward some politically challenging amendments during this time. Democrats could use vote-a-rama to force Republicans to take a slew of unpopular votes (e.g. put forward amendments that would protect care for cancer, or put forward amendments to protect care for pregnant women). However, Senate Democratic leaders have stated that they will not bring forward amendments until Senate Republicans show their cards and put up their final bill, meaning that a final vote could occur quickly once debate ends. We expect that Senate debate will occur late into the night tonight, with a final vote on Friday.

Likeliest Path Forward:

We have heard that Republican leaders are trying to get a final vote on a “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This proposal would repeal some of the tax penalties and taxes in the law. The proposal would likely strike the tax penalty on individuals who do not have health insurance (also known as the individual mandate) and reduce the tax penalty on employers who do not offer affordable coverage (also known as the employer mandate). These changes would cause health insurance premiums in the individual market to increase substantially. Senate Democrats asked the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to score a plan that included the rumored provisions of the “skinny” repeal bill. That estimate projects that 16 million Americans would lose access to health coverage over 10 years – and 15 million of those would lose coverage next year in 2018. Any number of additional changes could be made before the final vote.

If the Senate manages to pass a health bill, there are two possible paths forward. Either the House could take up the Senate bill and pass the exact bill and send it immediately to the President’s desk for his signature, or House and Senate leaders could decide to conference the House-passed bill (which would result in 23 million Americans losing coverage) with the Senate-passed bill. The conference committee would likely produce compromise legislation between the two versions and result in, presumably, 16-23 million Americans losing access to health care. If leadership chooses this path, the final compromise bill would have to go back through both chambers for a final vote.

Best/Worst Case

Senate Republicans have not produced a health reform proposal that would not result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance – which would impact thousands of kids in Colorado. At this point, the best outcome for Colorado kids likely would be that the Senate fails to pass any type of health care bill. The worst-case scenario, given where things are now, seems to be that a “skinny” repeal bill that raises insurance prices and jeopardizes coverage for millions of Americans is signed into law by President Trump. If the conference path is chosen, we will have additional opportunities to engage our lawmakers before the final vote in both chambers.

What You Can Do Now

Keep calling and emailing our Senators and House Representatives. Tell them not to support any proposal that increases the price of health insurance and jeopardizes health insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

PHONE NUMBERS:

Call both senators:

Sen. Cory Gardner: (202) 224-5941

Sen. Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852

Look up your district here, then call your representative:

Rep. Diana DeGette: (202) 225-4431

Rep. Jared Polis: (202) 225-2161

Rep. Scott Tipton: (202) 225-4761

Rep. Ken Buck: (202) 225-5870

Rep. Doug Lamborn: (202) 225-4422

Rep. Mike Coffman: (202) 225-7882

Rep. Ed Perlmutter: (202) 225-2645

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative, Outreach |


Action Alert: Key Federal Health Vote Expected at NOON TODAY. Speak up for Colorado kids NOW.

A key Senate vote is expected around NOON Mountain Time today. The vote will be to start debate on Senate efforts to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act. We need you to speak up for Colorado kids NOW. In an unprecedented move, it is still uncertain what bill will eventually be brought forward for a final vote, even though the bill will reshape one-sixth of our economy and undermine health insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

The vote today will be on the Motion to Proceed (also known as “MTP”) on the House-passed health reform bill, which would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance. At this time, it’s unclear what plan could be substituted for the House bill during Senate debate. Current options include a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, which would result in 32 million Americans losing their health insurance, or a revised version of the Senate health reform bill, which would lead to 22 million Americans losing their health insurance.

Whatever bill is brought forward, we have not yet seen a health reform proposal that would maintain the historic coverage gains for kids in Colorado. Any of these options would result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage, including tens of thousands of kids in Colorado. All of these proposals would also blow a hole the size of several billion dollars in the state budget. They would also gut consumer protections and jeopardize access to health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Key health services to ensure that kids get off to a healthy start such as maternity care, preventive health services, and mental health services would also be at risk.

Please call our Senators now.

Our Senators need to hear from you – they need to hear your personal stories and why Medicaid and affordable health insurance are important to families in your community. Ask our Senators to protect strong and affordable health insurance and to oppose any plan that ends Medicaid as we know it. Yesterday, our Governor, John Hickenlooper, said, “Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans still face losing access to care and coverage. Let’s roll up our sleeves and find a bipartisan fix. Let’s deliver a health care package that works for everyone.” The Senate should take advantage of this opportunity to start from scratch with a new, bipartisan approach that focuses on making real improvements to insurance marketplace stability and affordability. Call both our Senators.

Call Senator Gardner [202-224-5941] and Senator Bennet [202-224-5097] – emphasize any of these points that speak to you:

  • Share your personal stories about why Medicaid and affordable health insurance are important in your community.
  • Ask them to oppose the upcoming Motion to Proceed vote and set aside any legislation that would end the Medicaid expansion, cap and cut Medicaid, and cause millions to lose health coverage.
  • Explain that Medicaid funding is essential to protect Colorado kids and parents. Children covered by Medicaid are less likely to drop out of high school and are more likely to graduate from college and have higher incomes as adults than uninsured children.
  • Explain that Medicaid is most important in our rural areas and an important tool in helping our communities deal with the rise in opioid addiction.
  • Tell them that tax credits need to make coverage more affordable in our rural areas.
  • Say that lawmakers should start over and use an open and bipartisan process to develop a health reform proposal that continues to improve the health care system and maintain the comprehensive benefits that are critical for children’s healthy development.

 

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash |


Federal threat to health care continues—keep speaking up

After a whirlwind week, the Senate Republicans are again gaining momentum in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would jeopardize health insurance coverage and access to critical health services for kids in Colorado. Senate leaders hope to vote early next week on the Motion to Proceed (also known as “MTP”) on the House-passed health reform bill, which would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance. At this time, it’s unclear what plan could be substituted for the House bill during Senate debate. Current options include a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, which would result in 32 million Americans losing their health insurance, or a revised version of the Senate health reform bill, which would lead to 22 million Americans losing their health insurance.

Whatever the result of these negotiations, we have not yet seen a health reform proposal that would maintain the historic coverage gains for kids in Colorado. Any of these options would result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage, including tens of thousands of kids in Colorado. All of these proposals would also blow a hole the size of several billion dollars in the state budget. They would also gut consumer protections and jeopardize access to health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Key health services to ensure that kids get off to a healthy start such as maternity care, preventive health services, and mental health services would also be at risk.

We still need you to call our Senators and speak up for Colorado kids.

Click here for phone numbers and tips – please call now.

Our Senators need to hear from you – they need to hear your personal stories and why Medicaid and affordable health insurance are important to families in your community. Ask our Senators to protect strong and affordable health insurance and to oppose any plan that ends Medicaid as we know it. Just as our Governor, John Hickenlooper, together with a group of 10 other bipartisan governors, said, “The Senate should immediately reject efforts to ‘repeal’ the current system and replace sometime later. This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets.” The Senate should take advantage of this opportunity to start from scratch with a new, bipartisan approach that focuses on making real improvements to insurance marketplace stability and affordability. Call both our Senators.

Call Senator Gardner [202-224-5941] and Senator Bennet [202-224-5097] – emphasize any of these points that speak to you:

  • Share your personal stories about why Medicaid and affordable health insurance are important in your community.
  • Ask them to oppose the upcoming Motion to Proceed vote and set aside any legislation that would end the Medicaid expansion, cap and cut Medicaid, and cause millions to lose health coverage.
  • Explain that Medicaid funding is essential to protect Colorado kids and parents.
  • Explain that Medicaid is most important in our rural areas and an important tool in helping our communities deal with the rise in opioid addiction.
  • Tell them that tax credits need to make coverage more affordable in our rural areas.
  • Say that lawmakers should start over and use an open and bipartisan process to develop a health reform proposal that continues to improve the health care system and maintain the comprehensive benefits that are critical for children’s healthy development.
Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative |


ICYMI: We’re hiring a development director

developmnetThe Colorado Children’s Campaign is looking for a dynamic and experienced development professional to lead our development team to the next level. We’re looking for candidates with experience creating and executing development plans and leading a strong team of professionals. We have skilled staff, supportive donors, a track record of success and a strong financial position. If you are ready to build on those strengths to move our advocacy on behalf of kids to another level, we’d love to hear from you. Please visit our website for details.

 

Posted in Development, KidsFlash, Outreach |


Early childhood access and affordability study seeks consultants for Adams County study

The Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County has issued a request for proposals to support a study of early childhood access and affordability. The partnership includes more than 45 organizations dedicated to improving systems serving young children and families. Click here to read more.

Posted in Early Childhood, KidsFlash |


Fast Fact- July 21, 2017

During the 2015-16 school year, Colorado school districts identified nearly 24,000 students who were homeless—double the number of students identified as homeless in 2007-08. A student is considered homeless if he or she is living in a homeless shelter, unsheltered, doubled-up in a household with another family due to economic hardship, or living in a hotel, motel or shelter. To find data on the number of homeless students in your county, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


Save the date for our Annual Luncheon: Nov. 1, 2017!

 

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Click here for a PDF version to share.

 

 

Posted in Development, KidsFlash, Outreach |


We’re hiring a new development director

developmnetThe Colorado Children’s Campaign is looking for a dynamic and experienced development professional to lead our development team to the next level. We’re looking for candidates with experience creating and executing development plans and leading a strong team of professionals. We have skilled staff, supportive donors, a track record of success and a strong financial position. If you are ready to build on those strengths to move our advocacy on behalf of kids to another level, we’d love to hear from you. Please visit our website for details.

Posted in Development, KidsFlash |


Revised Senate health bill still devastating for kids in Colorado

Yesterday, leaders in the U.S. Senate released an updated version of a health reform bill and are planning to vote on the proposal next week. The revised version of the bill does not improve its devastating impact on kids in Colorado—especially kids in the most sensitive periods of their lives. We are at a critical point and need you to speak up for Colorado kids now.

We are expecting that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office will release a preliminary “score” of the bill early next week. It will detail how the revised bill will impact health care costs and health insurance coverage. The Senate may vote as early as Tuesday of next week on a motion to proceed, which would start debate on the proposal, after the release of that analysis.

As with previous versions of the proposal, the bill goes beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act and includes the largest ever cut to the Medicaid program. The cuts include Medicaid coverage for populations who were covered before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, such as kids and pregnant women. The Colorado Medicaid program provides health insurance coverage to nearly half of Colorado kids at some point during the year.

Thousands of Colorado kids and families would lose coverage under this proposal. It guts consumer protections, does not protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and jeopardizes access to prenatal care, newborn care, mental health care and substance abuse services. The bill also raises costs for Colorado families; it would reduce the tax credits available for the purchase of health insurance so that Colorado families would be spending more to buy coverage that will cover less of their health care costs. The bill would blow a hole in the Colorado state budget the size of several billion dollars.

We urge federal lawmakers to start over, and use an open and bipartisan process to develop a health reform proposal that protects the significant gains that have been made in health insurance coverage for children and families, and that continues to improve the health care system and maintain the comprehensive benefits that are critical for children’s healthy development.

We are at a critical moment in the health insurance debate and calls to our federal representatives are more important than ever. Call our Senators first, and then contact your House member to share your concerns with this bill. The House will have to vote again on any proposal that passes the Senate, so it is important to continue to share your concerns with those Representatives as well.

Please speak up for Colorado kids. You can also call your Representative and Senators using the information below, and you can speak to any of these points that are important to you:

  • Share your personal stories about why Medicaid and affordable health insurance are important in your community.
  • Remind your Representative that if passed, this bill would be the largest ever cut to the Medicaid program – including a cut to coverage for kids and pregnant women.
  • Medicaid funding is essential to protect Colorado kids and parents. The proposed restructuring of Medicaid financing will shift costs to the states, force states to make impossible choices, and kids will get hurt.
  • Medicaid is most important in our rural areas and an important tool in helping our communities deal with the rise in opioid addiction.
  • Colorado will be particularly harmed by our constitutional financial constraints.
  • Tax credits need to make coverage more affordable in our rural areas.
  • Lawmakers should start over and use an open and bipartisan process to develop a health reform proposal that continues to improve the health care system and maintain the comprehensive benefits that are critical for children’s healthy development.

PHONE NUMBERS: Call both senators:

Sen. Cory Gardner: (202) 224-5941

Sen. Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852

Look up your district here, then call your representative:

Rep. Diana DeGette: (202) 225-4431

Rep. Jared Polis: (202) 225-2161

Rep. Scott Tipton: (202) 225-4761

Rep. Ken Buck: (202) 225-5870

Rep. Doug Lamborn: (202) 225-4422

Rep. Mike Coffman: (202) 225-7882

Rep. Ed Perlmutter: (202) 225-2645

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative |


DO YOU KNOW WHERE SUGAR HIDES?

sugar

We all know eating too much sugar is bad for our health, but do you know just how much sugar is in many of the drinks we give our kids? Sugar hides in many drinks, including juice drinks, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and even chocolate milk. In fact, there’s 7.6 teaspoons of sugar in one 10 oz. bottle of fruit punch, the same as 10 chocolate chip cookies!

To keep kids healthy, skip drinks with sugar in them and give kids water instead. Reducing the amount of sugar kids get from drinks is easy. Just follow these tips:

  • Carry a refillable cup or water bottle.
  • Choose healthier vending and menu options.
  • Serve water during sports events and parties.
  • Serve water flavored with fruit slices (lemon, berries, cucumbers) at parties.

Find more information at Hidden-Sugar.org

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Outreach |


 

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