Our next March on Fairbanks action is a Letter To The Editor (LTE) storm! We need you to tell your Health Insurance Story via an LTE and in letters directly to our Senators as soon as possible!
We have identified six potential sections of the AHCA that would be bad for Alaskans and effective points to hit when writing your LTE:
- Medicaid Expansion Rollback: As a Medicaid expansion state 30,000 Alaskans stand to lose health insurance in a time when the state is facing an unprecedented public health crisis, the opioid epidemic. The Medicaid expansion is a critical part of that fight.
- Defund Planned Parenthood: The AHCA has language in it that would cut off all Federal reimbursements for services to Planned Parenthood. This is how PP gets a large portion of its revenue, by providing services to those on Medicaid and Title X, and getting reimbursed by Medicaid and Title X for those services.
- Un-Affordability: Don Young himself has said that the AHCA will do nothing to reduce premiums in Alaska. The bill will significantly increase the out of pocket expense that those on the individual market must pay by getting rid of the federal insurance subsidy.
- Pre-Existing Conditions and Essential Health Benefits: The AHCA allows states to opt out of mandating insurance companies cover essential health benefits like maternity care. It also would allow states to allow insurance companies to charge those with pre-existing conditions more and put them into a high risk pool.
- Cost Shifting to Old, Sick and Poor: The AHCA would shift the cost of healthcare to those who are old, sick, and poor. By allowing healthy people to opt out of insurance, only those who have illnesses will purchase it. Thus, driving up costs for those who are more likely to use it.
- Tax Cut to the Wealthy: The AHCA includes major tax cuts for the wealthy, shifting the cost of healthcare once again to those who cannot afford it.
The goal of this action will be two-fold. 1) We need to let Rep. Don Young know when he votes for a bill that will be terrible for the state there will be repercussions. Just hoping that his colleagues in the Senate will fix it is irresponsible and it cannot be tolerated. 2) We need to put Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Sullivan on notice that this same behavior will not be tolerated from them. They are the main target of this action, as they are the ones who will vote next.
Senator Murkowski has taken numerous positive stances on the above stated sections. It is important that as a target we lift her up for those positive stances. She risks a lot by breaking with her party in support of Medicaid and Planned Parenthood. In our LTE’s we need to show her support. These LTE’s are to give her ammunition for fighting harder against this extremist agenda.
Senator Dan Sullivan is a low-calorie version of Rep. Don Young. He is not a friend in this fight so when we are targeting him the language that we use is important. We might say something like, “Sen. Sullivan, where is your leadership?” or “Sen. Murkowski stand with the people of Alaska, where are you Sen. Sullivan?” It’s important to make him look as bad as possible for showing poor leadership on this.
Please do not delay! Every single letter counts!!! We need LTE’s sent into the News Miner ASAP. Please also forward them to our Senators or email them to MarchOnFBX@gmail.com so we can personally get copies of them to each of our senators local offices.
LTE Requirements are simple:
- Address (not published)
- Phone Number
- Email (optional but preferred)
- Title (optional but preferred)
- Body of Letter:
- The first paragraph should introduce your topic. A catchy beginning would be great if you have one.
- In paragraph 2, state your case. Use facts, quotes from experts, or tell a personal story.
- Wrap up in the last paragraph.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online: https://newsminer-dot-com.bloxcms-ny1.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/letter_editor/
- Email them MarchOnFBX@gmail.com and we will personally deliver them.
As an example, here is a letter recently sent in:
Medicaid Expansion Great for Alaskans
May 16, 2017
To the Editor: Medicaid expansion hasn’t been good for Alaskans; it’s been great. Tell that to Congressman Don Young who voted for the new GOP healthcare bill that would slash the amount of Medicaid expansion money coming to hardworking Alaskans.
Because of Medicaid expansion, over 25,000 Alaskans have healthcare for the first time, at no cost to the state of Alaska. In the first year and a half since Alaska opted into Medicaid expansion, over $290 million federal dollars entered our economy and Alaskans can get timely treatment for pressing medical needs, instead of waiting for a crisis that lands them in the emergency room. In addition, expansion actually saves the state money because it allows previously state funded medical programs to be covered with federal funds. This savings is tens of millions of dollars more than the 5% that the state has to chip in starting in 2017.
This will soon change if the Senate doesn’t revise the healthcare plan recently passed by the House of Representatives, because in the House version of Trumpcare, the federal government would only send a limited amount of money for each Medicaid enrollee regardless of the real costs of care. The loss of Medicaid expansion dollars will affect Alaskan hospitals, healthcare providers, and businesses, but most of all it will affect our residents who may not be able to receive urgent treatments because reduced Medicare expansion money will not cover the care they really need.