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Dear CSWA Members,
As discussed in yesterday's post (below), the US Senate voted 51-50 today to proceed with debate on repealing and/or replacing the Affordable Care Act. This debate could include discussion of the American Health Care Act, the House bill which has passed to the Senate, the Better Care Reconciliation Act in the Senate which has failed to pass twice, or be a simple repeal with a replacement to follow.
The AHCA and the BCRA are much more similar than they are different. Both would seriously undermine access to mental health treatment by removing essential benefits; remove mental health parity from Medicare; cut access to Medicaid using caps and/or block grants; and possibly create plans which would eliminate coverage of pre-existing conditions.
There is a new wrinkle in the announcement by the Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, that some of the provisions in the bills may require 60 votes to pass, as opposed to the 51 currently being sought. That would significantly change the likelihood that the bills could be passed.
I will be sending messages over the 20 hours of debate allowed, which will probably take no more than a few days, to send to your Senators. There will be many amendments that are yet to be announced.
This has been a marathon campaign and we need to keep fighting the changes being proposed that would harm our work as clinical social workers and our patients' access to treatment.
PO Box 10, Garrisonville, Virginia 22463 | firstname.lastname@example.org