Friends Don’t Let Friends Go Without Health Care

Author: Lainey Morrow, MSL Founder & parent

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We’re all struggling, aren’t we? We can’t very well handle someone else’s bills probably, but there are fairly easy things we can do. One very sad thing I frequently encounter is the suffering of individuals when great resources exist to prevent such a thing. Sometimes it might be a person whose health is suffering, while for others it may be a suffering future due to delays in development.

As a matter of fact, I have experienced this myself. For 2 years, my husband and I struggled to provide for my daughter. We went into debt, staying awake many nights with worry, and she went without necessary services. We thought we were on our own. We thought we’d been denied for the only things that were out there. We worked as hard as we could, and still it wasn’t enough.

By the time she was 2, my daughter was very developmentally delayed. We didn’t find out about resources we could have accessed until we moved to another state. My friend told me about TEFRA, and my daughter was easily accepted. It makes me sick to think of all she went without simply because we didn’t know this immense resource was available to us. All I needed was someone to tell me about it, which is why that’s a huge mission of MSL – to pass along important information and to connect people with great resources that exist out there.

Someone from another state recently asked me what resources exist for them, so I started to look into it. What if you don’t qualify for Medicaid? TEFRA is an option that only certain states provide, but how do you know if it’s available in your state? If TEFRA isn’t available or you don’t qualify, then what?


Let no one go without, so here’s all my research for you to share.

Do you qualify for Medicaid?

Ways to qualify for Medicaid.

Where to start if denied.

Which states have TEFRA? (This is a specific type of Medicaid usually for kids with disabilities under 19, usually requiring families who make too much to pay a premium.)

If your state doesn’t have TEFRA or you don’t qualify, what are the other options:

 


Like I said, I didn’t find out about something my daughter desperately needed until another parent told me about it. Two long years, and we could have gone more.

We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone. Someone helped me. Keep your eyes open. You may not need a resource, but someone in your friends list might. If you see a good resource, share it! It just takes a few clicks. Charities are out there to be used. They want to help people who truly need help. Sometimes they just need a little free publicity to connect with the people who need them.

This is just a start. If you know of any great resources, especially ones that apply to all states, please send them to me to share!

 

Senate pulls All-night Session to Vote on Skinny Repeal

The Senate is set to vote on a newly written bill, referred to as the skinny repeal, barely released an hour ago. They will vote around midnight.

Read the full text.

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Even Senators dislike it, but they may still vote it through.
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Watch live as they vote:
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Track the votes.

Senate Voted to Proceed: Now What?

Earlier today, the Senate voted 51-50 to proceed with debate over the health care bill. With only 2 opposing Republican votes, just 1 shy of what was needed, plus a tie-breaking vote from VP Pence, the motion succeeded. We now move toward serious Medicaid cuts that can’t be reversed once set into motion, and it will take all of us standing together to prevent it.

Watch how each Senator voted.

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Data shows that any bill, amendment, or revision proposed so far will be detrimental to Medicaid recipients. We (MSL) oppose the per capita caps or block grants that have been proposed because they will shift great stress to state budgets and reduce the ability to give recipients the coverage they need. We oppose ending expansion because it will result in millions losing coverage. In addition, the aforementioned bills remove essential health benefits and pre-existing condition protections, which would be detrimental to all Americans, making coverage unaffordable if not unattainable for many.

As part of the AACF statement on how this vote will affect Arkansas, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said: “Today’s vote shows that we have more work to do. Despite an outcry from health care professionals, business owners, families, and even governors, many Senators have decided to move forward with legislation that will destabilize the entire health care system. Too much is at risk to continue down the current path. Children with special needs, elderly enrollees, and people with chronic conditions who rely on Medicaid will lose coverage. Health care for families that were able to purchase affordable coverage, many for the first time, is also at risk.

The people have spoken—any proposal that falls short of guaranteeing everyone affordable, comprehensive coverage, is unacceptable. Now, it’s time for Congress to listen. We ask that Senator Cotton and Senator Boozman commit to voting no on any bill that endangers the health of tens of thousands of Arkansans. Anything less is breaking their promise to all of us.”

Now that we understand the ramifications haven’t changed, here’s what will happen next:

  1. The Senate will debate for 20 hours. By rules, to be fair, Republicans and Democrats get equal time of 10 hours each.
  2. The Senate will probably vote a bunch of times on amendments and such.
  3. Then the Senate will vote on a finalized bill and send it to the House.
  4. The House will vote, and if it passes, they’ll send it to President Trump.

See a flow chart.

As you can see, if you oppose Medicaid cuts, you can’t give up. Not a single Democrat voted to proceed, and we only need a few Republicans to oppose to keep any bill from moving forward. We were only one opposing vote short. Take a breath, renew your determination, and communicate in any way you possibly can!

Contact your Senator!

Email your Senators’ legislative aids!

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Stand strong!

Take Action: Graphic to Share

The news changes like the wind. Are they voting or aren’t they? Repeal and replace or repeal without replace? No matter what’s happening with them, we need to continue to make our needs and wants abundantly clear.

Many are saying that they can’t get through to Senators via phone calls. Don’t stop calling because they are counting the calls. 866-426-2631

However, social media is a great way to publicly contact your Senators, especially since they won’t post their direct email addresses.

Share this graphic with them and tag them in your posts. Use hash tags like #BCRA or #ProtectOurCare to help others see your posts!

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Revised Senate health care bill: Where are we now?

A revision of the BCRA Senate Health Care   bill has been released, but what’s different? We have the one-stop-shop for understanding the bill for yourself.

Some reports say that they want to vote as early as Tuesday. Get to reading and then get to calling!

Every call matters. Here’s the number for Senators across the nation: 866-426-2631

Find your states US Representative & contact his/her office

Find your state’s US Senator & contact his/her office

Read the new revised bill to make sure you discover everything for yourself.
Check out these resources to guide you:
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What was the original bill?

Full text of the original bill. Click on the image below, and  use the resources above to help you.
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How the BCRA will affect you, even if you don’t receive Medicaid

The topic of health care is not only in some ways oppressive on our minds but also overwhelming these days. Months ago, the House wrote the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they passed it on to the Senate. Then, the Senate must have found fault with the AHCA because they wrote their own version of the bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). If the Senate passes their bill, it will have to go to the House for their approval. We have seen months (years!) of coverage on the subject of health care, and it’s downright confusing at this point.

Let’s try to clarify some of the confusion by pulling a few articles together to show what will change with the Senate health care bill, the BCRA. (The AHCA doesn’t matter if the House approves the BCRA.) This research will show that nearly everyone who isn’t extremely wealthy will be affected negatively by the bill as it stands proposed today. If you care about, or are affected by, any of the following categories, you can expect changes to come to you and your family if this bill were to pass.

1. Medicaid Funding

“[T]he Senate bill would radically restructure all parts of Medicaid—not just the expansion provided under the Affordable Care Act.” 1

“The cumulative impact: a $772 billion spending cut over 10 years, versus current law, and 15 million fewer people enrolled in Medicaid in 2026.” 2

2. Essential Health Benefits

“But another change might have more far-reaching effects: eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s ‘essential health benefits,’ or EHBs. That shift could affect almost everybody, including the 156 million Americans who receive health coverage through their employers.” 5

Here’s a rundown of what they are: 4, 5, 6

  • Outpatient care — scheduled doctor visits, (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency room trips — ER visits and ambulance trips.
  • In-hospital care — All care people get as hospital patients, such as surgery.
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care — before and after birth
  • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services — (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and habilitative services – help recovering from an injury or illness, but also treatment (therapy) for kids with autism or cerebral palsy.
  • Lab tests
  • Preventive services — vaccines, cancer screenings, etc.
  • Pediatric services — including dental and vision care for children.

3. Pre-existing Conditions Protections

“The BCRA retains the popular ACA provision that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged more for insurance because of their health status. However, weakened essential health benefits would hurt people with pre-existing conditions.” 1

“The Senate bill would retain some limits. It wouldn’t, for example, allow states to waive the prohibition on discriminating on the basis of preexisting conditions. But it would allow states to remove caps on out-of-pocket spending for exchange plans.” 3

4. Subsidies & Taxes

“One major difference is that the Senate bill provides subsides only up to 350% of the federal poverty level starting in 2020; the ACA currently provides subsidies up to 400%. In other words, while individuals earning up to $47,550 qualify for help under the ACA, only those earning up to $41,580 would qualify under the Senate plan. This means far fewer people will qualify for aid.” 1

Sources:

1 4 Things to Know About the Senate’s Health Care Bill

4 ways you probably didn’t know the Republican bill changes Medicaid

3  Crazy Waivers

4 What Are ‘Essential Benefits’ in GOP Health Care Bill Debate?

5 The 10 ‘essential’ benefits that could be eliminated under the GOP health care plan

6 What Marketplace health insurance plans cover

Facts & Faces of Medicaid

Share the facts and faces of Arkansas Medicaid.

Show people who Medicaid cuts would hurt. Don’t give up. Keep calling and sharing.

Data source is credited. We have gathered several of KFF’s posts here to save you some time.