Federal threat to health care continues—keep speaking up

Written by: Erin Miller
Date Posted: July 21, 2017

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.
Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin serves as the Vice President of Health Initiatives for the Colorado Children’s Campaign, leading efforts to improve health insurance coverage and quality for Colorado’s kids, improve access to health services, and ensure that every child has healthy places to live, learn, and play. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign in September 2015, Erin worked on the Accountable Care Collaborative team at the Colorado Department of Health Policy and Financing. She has extensive experience evaluating federal, state, and local policies related to Medicaid, CHIP, the Affordable Care Act, and public health programs as well as working with legislators, policymakers, constituents, and other stakeholders to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Her professional experiences range from serving as a WIC Educator and Local Area Retail Coordinator for Denver Health to serving as a Special Assistant in the HHS Office of Planning and Evaluation in Washington DC and as a Health Policy Adviser and Budget Analyst for the U.S. House Budget Committee.