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Message to Senators on AHCA - 5-4-17

04 May 2017 11:09 PM | Anonymous

Thanks to everyone who sent messages to legislators on American Health Care Act, the last version of the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House today on a 217-213 vote.  Many of the moderate Republicans we targeted voted against the bill.  Good work!

I want to remind you that this may be a political victory, though that remains to be seen, but is not yet a policy victory.  AHCA must now be passed by the Senate, a much more divided body, and will very likely have significant changes when and if it does. 

Here is what I suggest you consider for the moment:

  • The Congressional Budget Office score which was avoided before this vote will come out next week and may cause some major rethinking of the budgetary impact of these changes.
  • For LCSWs, the main concerns are 1) the elimination of Essential Benefits, which include mental health and substance use treatment; 2) the creation of high-risk pools which are severely under-funded and will decimate Medicaid coverage and enrollment for people needing mental health/substance use treatment; and 3) the potential collapse of the individual market which covers many LCSWs in solo practice.
  • Now is a good time to ask Senators, especially those who supported the Affordable Care Act or opposed the AHCA, to WORK WITH Republicans on developing a bill that will fix the problems that we know the ACA had, without eliminating the 20 million people who were able to get coverage through the ACA or almost doubling premiums for those who are 50-64, among other issues. 

    CSWA will be working on this nationally, but calling your own Senators to suggest a more collaborative approach would be very helpful. You can contact your senators through https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC or http://www.senate.gov/states/

    A possible message would be "I am a constituent and a member of the Clinical Social Work Association. As you consider the American Health Care Act passed by the House, please take a collaborative approach.  Passage of a bill that will provide the mental health and substance use treatment that our citizens need depends on it"

As always, let me know when you have contacted your senators.

Keep our patients in mind as you consider what we need moving forward and remember that we have many miles to go before this campaign is over.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Laura W. Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
Clinical Social Work Association
The National Voice of Clinical Social Work
Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY


PO Box 10, Garrisonville, Virginia  22463 | 202-203-9350 | administrator@clinicalsocialworkassociation.org

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