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ACA Round Up 1-27-17

By Shalini Pammal
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ACTION

All outreach to consumers around the January 31 Open Enrollment deadline has been canceled. Here's the ad that is now off the air. Now more than ever, it's important that we let our patients know about their coverage options. Please share as this may save the life of someone you know. 

SHARE: All outreach about the enrollment deadline has been canceled. But you can still #GetCovered by Jan 31 at healthcare.gov.

Week-at-a-Glance

Following the inauguration of Donald J. Trump last week as 45th President of the United States of America, the President signed a series of Executive Orders, one of which included an order to "take all actions consistent with the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the federal health law. This order however, is situated within a surge in public support for the healthcare law, evidenced by rallies held across the country, including the March for Women in Washington, D.C. and cities across the globe. Significant decisions from the Senate and the House to repeal the signature healthcare law last week were followed by a slower timeline for the budget reconciliation process, motivated in large part due to a shift in public sentiment for the Affordable Care Act, and lack of a viable replacement plan, about which some GOP leaders voiced concern.

Some replacement plans have been presented, including the Cassidy-Collins "Patient Freedom Act of 2017" as well as the "Empowering Patients First Act" plan from Representative Tom Price. Republican leadership convened at their annual retreat this past week to coalesce around a replacement plan for Obamacare, joined by President Trump and Vice President Pence. Additionally, Price testified in his second of two hearings for Secretary of Health and Human Services, facing inquiry regarding his position on Medicare, Medicaid and ACA replacement plans, as well as ethical questions regarding stock trades.

Next week, we are expecting to see Supreme Court nominations for the seat left vacant by Justice Scalia. Among likely contenders are Judge Neil M. Gorsuch and Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. Gorsuch is best known for his vote to accommodate religious objections to the regulations requiring employers to provide free contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Pryor has also explicitly states that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion, was "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history."

As uncertainty continues to pervade the political landscape, it is increasingly important to continue putting pressure on Republican leadership to act in the interest of patients not politics and avoid repeal now and replace later for the sake of millions across the nation.

Members in Action

March on Washington - This past weekend, Kyle Ragins, MD MBA and Isabel Chen, MD led doctors and medical students in a march on Washington to protect our patients. White coats also united with concerned citizens to march in support of the right of everyone to receive quality, affordable care in cities across the country.

Members of DFA pose together at the March on Washington.

Save My Care Bus Tour - Dr. Alice Chen spoke at the kick-off of the Save My Care bus tour in Washington, DC. The bus will be traveling across the country. It made it's first stop in NYC where Drs. Bruce Rector and Katherine Scheirman attended to show support. The tour then rolled in Maine where Dr. Cathleen London rode the bus to stops in Augusta and Bangor where she spoke about the importance of protecting patients care.

Dr. Chen stands with a cancer survivor at the bus tour kick-off in DC.

Drs. Scheirman and Rector rally with fellow physicians at the NYC bus stop.

Dr. London poses at a stop in Bangor, ME on the Save My Care bus tour.

Meetings with Senators - DFA-NYC joined physicians organizations in NYC to met with Senator Gillibrand's office where they praised her for her strong support for the ACA and women’s health and discussed efforts to repeal the law and block grant Medicaid. Drs. Ragins and Chen conducted 5 meetings with local doctors and Republican Senators from Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arizona and Ohio to express their concern with rushing to repeal the healthcare law without an adequate replacement.

NYC Doctors pose outside Sen. Gillibrand's office.

Key Articles

Everything you need to know about Block Grants - the heart of GOP's Medicaid Plans

"President Donald Trump's administration made explicit this weekend its commitment to an old GOP strategy for managing Medicaid, the federal-state insurance plan that covers low-income people – turning control of the program to states and capping what the federal government spends on it each year."

Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually

Nearly 400 health care experts urge Congress to reject Trump's HHS secretary

15% of primary care doctors favor repeal

Expert opinion on ACA repeal and delay strategy

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report on estimated changes in health insurance coverage and premiums resulting from a repeal of major provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

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