Congressman Evans on Tax Reform and Children’s Healthcare

Rep. Dwight Evans and kids in school classroom.

Rep. Dwight Evans and kids.

Republican Tax Plan

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) released the following statement after reviewing the latest Republican tax plan.

Our country has not seen bipartisan tax reform since 1986, and I believe we can all agree that the U.S. tax code is in need of a major facelift. Comprehensive tax reform must simplify our tax code, lower rates, and ensure a progressive tax code that helps move everyone in our neighborhoods forward, without simply picking winners and losers.

The Republican party seems to have forgotten one of the guiding principles of our democracy; as their new tax plan does absolutely nothing to ensure that our government is of the people, by the people and for the people. The GOP tax plan borrows trillions from future generations to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of our Commonwealth’s children and working families. This is entirely unacceptable and not a plan that fits the needs of Philadelphians, Pennsylvanians and Americans. It is time for the Republican party to work across party lines in a deliberate and transparent manner to create a tax plan that listens to, speaks to, and hears the needs of hardworking Americans in our neighborhoods nationwide.

Children’s Health Insurance Program

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) released the following statement in response to the vote on the House GOP CHIP-CHC Reauthorization bill, H.R. 3922; an incredibly, divisive partisan bill that allocates money to pay for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers (CHCs), and other public health initiatives by cutting funding for both the Prevention and Public Health Fund and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and raising Medicare premiums for seniors.

According to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts, Pennsylvania’s current DSH allotment is $616.27 million. Cuts to the program will reduce payments by $121.03 million, a 19.6% reduction. Currently, we have more than 176,000 children enrolled in CHIP which will soon run out of money to pay for their care. In the Second District alone, there are 8,360 children who receive healthcare coverage through CHIP.

Let’s stop the games and get something done. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice the health and wellness of one population for another; and that is exactly what this divisive GOP bill does. The bill puts healthcare for our children, our families and our seniors at risk by pitting their needs against one another. Healthcare is not a choice, it is a right. The children in our Commonwealth who rely on CHIP for their basic healthcare needs deserve more than this foolish game of politics. We need to come together, roll up our sleeves and do the right thing. I will keep fighting until we get this done for our children.

The Republican controlled House and Senate failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program which expired on September 30. Nationwide, nine million children rely on CHIP for affordable, reliable healthcare.

Congressman Evans voted “No” on the House GOP CHIP-CHC Reauthorization bill, H.R. 3922.

Congressman Dwight Evans (D PA-02) represents Northwest, West, North, parts of South and Center City Philadelphia, and the western suburbs of Narberth and Lower Merion Township. He serves on the House Agriculture Committee and House Small Business Committee. He is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Economic Development and Wealth Creation Task Force.

 

American Health Care — Where Do We Go From Here?

-Michael Bihovsky

I wrote and recorded a lot of content in an effort to help stop the devastating repeal of Obamacare (not to mention, the time spent planning a major activism campaign that, fortunately and unfortunately, I didn’t get to use). So I want to say a few things now that the Republican Senate failed in its effort to uninsure anywhere from 22 to 32 million Americans, depending on which specific legislation the Senate was voting on at any given moment.

The most important thing I want to say is that this isn’t over. I really wish it were. But while the defeat of the Republican bill was absolutely a victory for health care rights and for basic human decency, it is not a lasting solution. Left on its own, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Obamacare — will, in fact, implode. This is not the result of the legislation itself, but as detailed in an article by Steven Brill in The Washington Post, it is the result of early Republican sabotage against provisions of the bill that were intended to keep insurance costs down. [Read more…]

Open Letter to Senator Calls for Single-Payer Solution to Health Care Woes

Dear Sen. Toomey:

Last night, after the defeat of a series of ill-considered, clandestine plans to overtun the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Now it might be appropriate to ask what are their ideas. It would be interesting to see what they suggest as the way forward.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) deplaning in Maine to a round of applause after voting against the repeal of the ACA. Photo: BLCKGRD's Twitter Page

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) deplaning in Maine to applause after voting against the repeal of the ACA. Photo: BLCKDGRD’s Twitter Page.

Indeed, a willingness to listen to bipartisan solutions is long overdue. We need to build on the gains in insurance coverage we have already seen by repairing the holes in the ACA. In my mind, the best and simplest way to accomplish that is a single-payer solution, i.e., “Medicare for all.” This would cover everybody’s basic health care needs and allow private insurance to specialize in supplemental insurance if people so choose.

Sincerely,

Dr. Daniel E. Loeb

Watch this video for more information on a single-payer health care system:

Montgomery County HealthCare Town Hall

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee is proud to announce a Town Hall designed to take a look at what’s at stake with the future of American healthcare.

The second in a series, MCDC Town Halls are dedicated to exploring key issues that affect our lives.  The forum is free and open to the public.

The Senate’s secretive healthcare plan has finally been released, and it’s just as bad as many feared. Montgomery County won’t sit back and allow thousands of our friends and neighbors to lose their healthcare!

Whether you have questions about Washington’s health care plan itself, or want to know how you can help to stop it, join our town hall forum onJuly 18th to soak up some knowledge. We’ll have a panel of experts on hand to answer audience questions and guide discussion.

A featured panelist will be Dr. Val Arkoosh. A medical doctor by training, now Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Val brings unique experience right at the intersection of politics, medical practice, and public health policy.

*Montgomery County Community College is not affiliated with this event and the College should not be contacted regarding the program. 

Please email zack@pennanurses.org with any questions.

Sign up here: bit.ly/MCDCHealthCare 

GOP Bill: Healthcare Cut for the Disadvantaged, Tax Cut for the Billionaires

Health care and money. Photo: Robin Fischer. Pills, blood pressure cuff, money.

Health care and money. Photo: Robin Fischer.

It’s out. The GOP  Healthcare Bill has been (finally) made public, and it is as bad as we expected. You can read the full text here. Cuts to Medicaid will mean that the 69% of nursing home residents whose stays are funded by Medicaid will no longer be able to remain in nursing homes; removal of funding for Planned Parenthood will cause women who depend on their services will not get the cancer screenings that will save their lives. Millions of people will be uninsured, and even more will get cheap health insurance which doesn’t cover doctors visits, ER visits, medications or mental health services, not to mention health insurance with $10,000 deductibles, and capped benefits. [Read more…]

Urgent Call to Action: Vigil to Protect Our Care

Word has it the Senate GOP is planning to vote on TrumpCare on June 29–yet Mitch McConnell and his band of 13 healthcare taskforce members still have not shown us the bill: Their plan is to end coverage for 23 million Americans in secret, slash funds for Medicaid, and then skip town for the Fourth of July recess.

Now is the time for us to take our message directly to Senator Toomey.

On Thursday, June 22, at 3:00 PM, Indivisible NW Philly will join PA Health Access Network’s (PHAN) 24-hour vigil outside Senator Toomey’s Philadelphia office at 200 Chestnut Street to stand with individuals and families at risk of losing care.

  • The vigil kickoff at 3:00 PM will be headlined by Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, leader of the Moral Mondays civil rights protest movement, and member of the NAACP national board. Reverend Barber has been a voice for social justice throughout the nation, and it will be a great honor to stand with him at this crucial moment for healthcare.
  • On Friday, June 23, at 8:30 AM, we will be holding a morning rally with the vigilers who spent the night standing up for our Medicaid and access to healthcare. Come rally with us as we head into the second day of the vigil! 

    You can RSVP with PHAN here or on their Facebook event page. Please share these links widely throughout your network of friends and family!

How can you show your support?

1. Sign up to fill a slot during the 24-hour vigil. We need people to be at the site to show their solidarity throughout the 24 hours. Signup form is here.

2. Come to the vigil prepared to tell your story or the story of a loved one:

  • Are you a parent with kids on Medicaid (PH95)?
  • Do you have a parent on Medicaid who lives in a nursing home?
  • Do you use Medicaid?
  • Has your life been affected by the Affordable Care Act?

3. Share your pictures and videos of the event on your Facebook and Twitter feeds and other social media. Use the hashtag #ProtectOurCare

4. Call Senator Toomey’s Philadelphia office on the day of the vigil:  Even if you can’t be there in person, it is vital that we keep those calls coming into the Philly office to let the senator and his staff know we stand with the vigilers. You can say:

“I understand Senator Toomey is part of the taskforce on healthcare in the Senate. It is unacceptable that he is going along with the plan to keep this terrible bill secret from me and all his constituents in Pennsylvania. As our elected representative in the Senate, he has the duty to represent us and our voices, not subvert democracy by legislating in the shadows. Show us the bill.”

Senator Pat Toomey: (215) 241-1090

Can’t wait till tomorrow to have your voice be heard? Click here for today’s Indivisible call script for Pennsylvania. TrumpCare will raise individual insurance premiums in PA by anywhere from $1,000 to $16,000 a year! And Senator Toomey will be directly responsible for these increases. It’s time to stop the bill.

Our First Stand: Rally to Save Health Care

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer along with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi have called for a national day of action, with rallies being organized across the country, including in Philadelphia. The goal is to stop GOP efforts aimed at destroying the Affordable Care Act and taking health insurance away from 30 million Americans, privatizing Medicare and making massive cuts in Medicaid.

The Philadelphia rally is being organized by Reps. Dwight Evans and Bob Brady, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). RSVP here to attend. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Day 2 and You Are There

orange barrietI attended two terrific events yesterday. A Taste of Emerge was an introduction from the group Emerge, which trains women to run for office. The Future of Healthcare was a panel discussion. They are each detailed below. At the end of the second event came the high point of my experience of this convention. A compliment I will not soon forget. [Read more…]

Affordable Care Act Brings New Health Care Options to Pennsylvania

— by Chris Lilienthal

Beginning today, Pennsylvanians who are working but lack health insurance will be able to shop for and compare options for affordable coverage, on a new competitive Health Insurance Marketplace established by the federal health care law.

Today marks the first day of a six-month open enrollment period, during which uninsured Pennsylvanians and their families will be able to buy coverage with the help of federal tax subsidies on the new Marketplace. It is the latest provision of the Affordable Care Act to take effect.

More after the jump.
Advocates and health care providers explained during a State Capitol press conference today that the new Marketplace will open the door to health coverage for hundreds of thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians, who will be able to see a doctor for the first time in years.

Sharon Ward, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, said:

This is the beginning of a journey toward meeting the health care needs of individuals and families across the nation. The Marketplace will give Pennsylvanians valuable new options, and allow them to decide which coverage best fits their family’s needs.

The Marketplace is designed for those who don’t have health coverage through their employers and are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program. Those with employer-offered coverage can keep it.

Insurance companies participating in the Marketplace will compete to provide the best product at the best price to consumers seeking health coverage. Tough rules will ensure that every package sold on the Marketplace covers the basics, like annual checkups and preventive medicine.

Pam Clarke, vice president of finance and managed care for The Hospital & Health System Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), said at the press conference:

Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems across the state stand ready to support consumers in this important enrollment process. We are committed to ensuring that more Pennsylvanians have access to affordable, timely, quality health care, which is so critical to their quality of life. The hospital community and HAP believe the Health Insurance Marketplace will be successful in enrolling many Pennsylvanians in viable health plans.

The Affordable Care Act will also make health care coverage more secure by ensuring that working families cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or lose their coverage or be forced into bankruptcy when someone gets sick. Lifetime caps on insurance benefits will also be a thing of the past.

Seniors who receive Medicare will be able to keep it and do not need to go through the new Marketplace for coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare will cover more prescription drug costs as the new law will close the donut hole.

Ray Landis, advocacy manager for American Association of Retired Persons Pennsylvania, said:

The beginning of the health exchange open enrollment process is especially important for those between the ages of 50 and 64, who are not yet eligible for Medicare, but who have had the most difficult time finding affordable health insurance, because of the chronic health conditions that affect many people in this age group.

Patricia Fonzi, vice president of customer service and relationship management of the Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, added:

The new law also improves health care for women and children. No longer will insurers be able to charge women more than men for the same coverage or deny coverage for maternity care.

Pennsylvanians should go to the Marketplace’s website to apply through the state’s federally-established Marketplace and to find additional information and help. Open enrollment runs from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Applicants must apply by Dec. 15 to begin receiving coverage Jan. 1. People needing assistance can call 1-800-318-2596.