“Obamacare is the Law of the Land”—Affordable Care Act Talking Points for April Recess

Recess Toolkit | March 30, 2017

Use the information and tips in this document to make sure that your representatives are committed not only to upholding the ACA as a law but supporting it as a means for affordable health care coverage for millions of Americans.

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Congratulations! You achieved something no one imagined possible: You stopped Donald Trump and Paul Ryan from taking health care away from millions of Americans. They thought it would be easy—but then you showed up.

And, over April recess, you have to keep showing up. You have to keep the pressure on and remind your representatives why the ACA is at its all time high in popularity. Remind your representatives that, as Paul Ryan said himself, “Obamacare is the law of the land.”

Why do you need to keep the pressure on? Because Republican Members of Congress (MoCs) are toying with repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA)again. The new proposals from the White House would make the bill even worse. Whether these MoCs are considering discussing another vote on TrumpCare in the next few weeks or months, they need to hear from YOU that any more time on TrumpCare is wasted time.

Just as important, you have to be sure that your representatives are committed not only to upholding the ACA as a law but supporting it as a means for affordable health care coverage for millions of Americans.

 Talking Points for Office Visits

  • The ACA is the law of the land. I will not tolerate any more time wasted on TrumpCare, which would have taken away care from 24 million people and cut Medicaid by $880 billion dollars in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy, insurance companies, and other big corporations.
    • I opposed this bill, and will continue to hold YOU [your MoC] accountable  for preserving quality, affordable coverage.
    • If the White House tries to make the bill even worse, by allowing states to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, I expect you to stand up for the tens of thousands in our district who could be charged higher premiums.
  • Congress is responsible for ensuring the existing health care system works. We will hold you accountable for any action that makes healthcare more expensive or drives insurance companies out of the marketplaces.
  • The individual mandate needs to be enforced to ensure that healthy people participate, which will help keep premiums affordable. Without the mandate, premiums might rise and insurers might decide it’s not a good bet to offer insurance in the marketplace.
  • No one likes uncertainty, certainly not me. Now that the ACA is the law of the land, I expect you to make sure it remains a strong and functional health insurance system.
  • TrumpCare was a major threat to the Medicaid program—it was going to cut $880 billion dollars from the Medicaid program in order to fund tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. Millions of Americans have benefit from expanded Medicaid coverage. I am disappointed that Republicans attempted to take Medicaid coverage away from vulnerable populations—like the elderly and the disabled. This is unacceptable. Furthermore, more states are thinking about expanding Medicaid since TrumpCare was defeated.
    • The Medicaid expansion is here to stay and I expect YOU [your MoC] to make public statements in support of expansion in our state.
  • The Trump administration stopped funding ads for the 2017 open enrollment period days before the enrollment deadline for 2017 coverage. Tom Price was vague about whether the administration would fund these ads in the future. There was a clear impact from these actions—fewer people signed up for healthcare because the administration did not show do its part to make clear what was available and how to access coverage.
    • I urge you to make funding available for programs that will help Americans know how, where, when, and what care to access.

Town Hall/Office Visit Questions:

ALWAYS try incorporating a personal story when communicating with your MoCs. Below are sample Yes and No questions for your MoCs:

If your representative voted for TrumpCare in committee (see a list here):

  • You voted for the American Health Care Act. That means you voted to take away insurance from 24 million people (including myself/my spouse/my family member).
    • Will you commit to dropping efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act?
    • Can you guarantee me, one of your constituents, that you won’t work to undermine the ACA moving forward?
  • Thanks to the ACA, I was able to enroll in my state’s Medicaid program for the first time. You voted for the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) which not only would have ended my Medicaid coverage, but that of [my elderly relative/my disabled relative/my child]. You voted to take away 880 billion dollars from the Medicaid program that funds my health care coverage to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations.
    • Can you assure me that you won’t vote again to cap funding for Medicaid?
    • Can you also assure me that Medicaid will remain an entitlement, and that anyone eligible will be guaranteed coverage?
  • I depend on the Affordable Care Act for coverage and I need there to be a plan I can access and that I can afford on the marketplace in my state next year.
    • Will you commit to pressuring the Administration to make the Affordable Care Act work so that I have access to options for coverage next year?
    • Will you ask the Administration to abandon efforts to undermine the ACA, like they did when they pulled paid advertisements for enrollment outreach?
  • My friend/family member/I have a pre-existing condition. The White House is proposing to give states the choice to drop protections that prevent insurance companies from charging people like me massive premiums.
    • Will you commit to opposing any changes to the American Health Care Act that will make it harder for people with pre-existing conditions to buy health care?

If your representative did not vote for TrumpCare in committee:

  • TrumpCare was going to take away coverage for at least 24 million Americans including myself/my spouse.
    • While the American Health Care Act failed earlier this month, I’m afraid that Congress will try again to repeal the ACA. Can you commit to me that you will vote against it?
    • The White House wants to make the ACA repeal bill worse by taking away protections for people (like me/my family member, etc) with pre-existing conditions. They also want to end requirements for insurance companies to cover services like mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Will you commit to opposing any bill that would undo these consumer protections?
  • Thanks to the ACA, I was able to enroll in my state’s Medicaid program for the first time. Currently, anyone who is eligible for Medicaid can get it. I’m one of those people. If the program is restructured to a block grant or a capped system (as was proposed by the American Health Care Act), I could lose my coverage. My elderly relative/disabled relative/child could lose coverage.
    • Can you also assure me that Medicaid will remain an entitlement, and that anyone eligible will be guaranteed coverage?
    • Can you assure me that funding for Medicaid won’t get cut under any replacement plan?
  • I depend on the Affordable Care Act for coverage and I need there to be a plan I can access and that I can afford on the marketplace in my state next year.
    • Will you commit to opposing any action, such as cutting funding for subsidies, that would discourage insurance companies from offering plans next year?
    • Will you commit to pressuring the Administration to make the Affordable Care Act work so that I have access to options for coverage next year?
    • Will you commit to funding education efforts, like advertisements, so that I know when to sign up for a new plan?

For those with Democratic members:

  • I was glad to see that you nor any other Democrat crossed party lines and voted for TrumpCare.  I’m afraid that Republicans will try to force Democrats to negotiate on coverage and benefits in a future replacement plan, especially in the guise of an ACA “fix.”
    • Can you promise me that you won’t compromise on coverage and benefits for anyone currently eligible for the ACA?
    • Will you commit to pressuring the administration to make the Affordable Care Act work so that I have access to options for coverage next year?
    • Will you commit to appropriating money to fund cost sharing for those who qualify for it?
    • Will you commit to funding education efforts, like advertisements, so that I know when to sign up for a new plan?
    • Can you also assure me that Medicaid will remain an entitlement, and that anyone eligible will be guaranteed coverage?
    • Can you assure me that funding for Medicaid won’t get cut under any replacement plan?