This Week in Washington:
- 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
- Republican Study Committee plans to announce theirreplacementplan this afternoon: The American Health Care Reform Act of 2017. Republicans are messaging #RepealAndReplace
- 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).
- The AmericanMedicalAssociationandtheAmericanCollegeofPhysicians are urging Congressdont repeal without replace (ie. dont take away the ACA without having a replacement plan ready).
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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:
- Remember!Itsnottoolate: Healthcare.Gov remindsYou can update,shop&switch health care plansthroughJanuary 31st.
- 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.
- 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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