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Dear CSWA Members,
The Congressional Budget Score (CBO) for the Senate amendment to the House bill HB 1628 was released today, and as many have predicted, it is as potentially damaging, in some different ways, for the poor with mental health problems, as House bill is. Of course this populations are known to have higher mental health needs (33%) than the country as a whole.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Senate bill to replace the ACA, will mean that 22 million people will lose health care by 2026, with 18 million losing it next year. This is almost exactly what the CBO score for the House AHCA bill, which predicted 23 million would lose health insurance, said.
Please review the issues which I sent out in my posts of June 12 and June 19 which detail how these bills are harmful to people with mental health needs including the possible loss of essential benefits, including mental health and substance use for states who choose waivers to Medicaid; the extreme cuts to Medicaid, with the bulk of lost insurance being people covered by Medicaid; and the end of required coverage for pre-existing conditions for state that choose waivers for Medicaid.
The main political issue is whether there are three senators willing to vote against this deeply flawed bill. We need to continue to oppose this bill with the senators who are wavering on their vote, mainly the more moderate Republicans.
Here is the message I am suggesting with the contact information for these Senators:
Call these Senators today to ask them to oppose the AHCA without protections for substance use disorders and mental health.
A list of key decision-making Senators to call is below:
Sample call script:
I am a constituent [if you are] and a member of the Clinical Social Work Association. Please oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 which will not protect the coverage needed for mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and will severely cut Medicaid coverage. These policies would increase costs for everyone by increasing the use of emergency rooms and law enforcement as the place that these disorders will be addressed. BCRA will cause emotional suffering for those who need help. [Your name, degree, contact information]
If you wish to contact other Republican Senators, you can do so by going to https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm where you will find all the phone numbers for U.S. Senators.
One other possible way to oppose this bill is to contact your Governor and ask your Governor to let your state’s senators know that your Governor opposes this bill. The same message can be used.
As always, let me know when you have sent messages.
PO Box 10, Garrisonville, Virginia 22463 | email@example.com