We are at a major health and long-term care crossroads. Unless 51 Senators oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) when a vote is called in less than two weeks, Medicaid will never be the same. By capping the federal government’s commitment to this safety net program, BCRA leaves states, providers and consumers holding the bill…or in the case of older adults, without the Medicaid home and community-based or nursing home services they need to live.
Susan, we know that IL's Senators are united in opposing these devastating cuts to Medicaid. If you haven’t yet, it is important to thank them for defending this critical safety net program, and reach out to see how else you can help their efforts. There won’t be another chance to stop these devastating cuts.
If the Senate passes BCRA after the 4th of July recess, the House is likely to follow suit immediately and within days, the President would sign a bill that would end Medicaid’s safety net promise and structure.
While you don’t need to worry that your Senators are committed to protecting Medicaid, there are still other things you can do to contribute to the overall advocacy effort!
Here are some other things you can do:
- Acknowledge your Senators’ support. Members of Congress who are opposed to health care and Medicaid reform proposals are working tirelessly to protect these critical programs. Make sure they know you see that and appreciate it.
- Reach out to your Members in the House of Representatives. If a health care reform bill passes the Senate, it will have to get back through Congress. Did any of your Representatives in the U.S. House support the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed in May? If so, reach out and tell them you oppose any further support of devastating cuts to Medicaid.
- Take the next advocacy step. If you’ve used n4a’s #SaveMedicaid campaign toolkit to send a formal letter, make calls or send out an Alert in your community, excellent. Now do a letter to the editor, submit an op-ed, send a press release! And keep the calls coming into DC and local offices!
- REACH OUT in your local and nationwide community. Host a call to educate about the bill and the effect it would have on seniors’ health and Medicaid services and invite your providers, your boards and advocates, other community stakeholders who need to understand what’s at stake. Also consider reaching out to colleagues, friends and family in decisive states* and ask THEM to call their Senators in opposition to the bill!
- Join with others to advocate at town halls or other recess events! Even if your Senators steadfastly support health and long-term care services and protections for older adults, they still need to see their constituents engaged! Share your stories and expertise at local events during the recess. You can find a list of local events at https://townhallproject.com/.
Here’s what we can offer:
- Our toolkit contains all you need to know to weigh in on BCRA.
- We will keep you posted via Advocacy Alerts and Legislative Updates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already making deals with Senators like yours to earn their vote. But this is not a bill that is improved by tweaking—it’s too fundamentally wrong in its approach for that, but that’s what will happen.
Again, advocacy in every state is critical. We have only a couple of weeks to prevent devastating cuts to health and long-term care services for older adults.
* Key target states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, West Virginia