Health Policy: This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington:
  1. Obama and Pence are in Washington today: Obama rallying Obamacare, to defend as much of it as possible and Pence to discuss specifics of the transition period with Republicans. Democrats are messaging #ProtectOurCare
  2. Republican Study Committee plans to announce theirreplacementplan this afternoon: The American Health Care Reform Act of 2017. Republicans are messaging #RepealAndReplace
  3. The House passed a rules package Tuesday, a first step to dismantle parts of Obamacare, which Republican lawmakers plan to do through budget reconciliation (expeditedconsiderationofcertaintax,spending,anddebtlimitlegislation).
  4. The AmericanMedicalAssociationandtheAmericanCollegeofPhysicians are urging Congressdont repeal without replace (ie. dont take away the ACA without having a replacement plan ready).
  5. About 1,000 HIV medical professionals and associations wrote a letter to Congress to protect their patients, and the assistance Obamacare provided to them. (Can we organize something similar from the #DOC?)
  6. Trumps nominee for secretary of the Health and Human Services Department is Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. He is expected to be one of the eight cabinet picks the Democrats plan to target, because of his support to privatize Medicare.
  7. Senate Democrats will force controversial drug pricing votes next week, to make things difficult for their Republicancolleagues and put unwanted attention on the pharmaceutical industry.
Vocabulary: Coverage vs. Access

*This is a confusing difference, purposefully so. Especially for those of us in the #DOC that usethe word access in regards to insurance approval of devices, government supply of insulin, etc.

  • Universal Coverage Democrats + Affordable Care Act advocate for all people to have health insurance.
  • Universal Access Republicans + Repeal and Replace advocate for all people to be able to buycoverage iftheychooseto.
PWD Checklist for the Meantime:
  1. Remember!Itsnottoolate: Healthcare.Gov remindsYou can update,shop&switch health care plansthroughJanuary 31st.
  2. If you dont yet have 2017 insurance, see if you are eligible for a health care plan, the ACA, or Medicaid. Even if changes are enacted, it is unsure howlong the transition would take, anda few months of coverage are better than being uninsured.
  3. Once you have health insurance, usewhat you cannow before changes are enacted.Consider getting preventative check-ups, more expensive treatments, lab work, vaccines, and long-term contraception while they are covered.

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