IN THE LOOP
The news you need to know this week
Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.
Republicans Are Making a Last Ditch Effort to Repeal Obamacare
In an act of final desperation, Senate Republicans are trying once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take healthcare away from millions of Americans. Last week, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced a bill that represents the Republicans’ last chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act before a September 30th deadline.
Like all of the hideous bills that came before it, Graham-Cassidy would result in worse coverage and increased costs for millions of people. The bill would eliminate federal assistance for private insurance and Medicaid expansion and instead would give funding directly to states in an insufficient block grant. California stands to lose $28 billion a year by 2026, even more than under previous repeal and replace proposals. This is because Graham-Cassidy deliberately shifts resources from states that embraced the Affordable Care Act and expanded their Medicaid programs to states that did not.
We must not let this happen! California’s senators already oppose the bill, but we must contact California’s Republican members of Congress and tell them to stop this bill if it reaches the House. If you’ve never called before, now is the time to start. And if you’ve already called, please call again. Phone numbers for key members and a suggested script are included below. Take a moment to call right now!
Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) — (202) 225-4540
David Valadao (R-Hanford) — (202) 225-4695
Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) — (202) 225-1956
Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) — (202) 225-4111
Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) — (202) 225-5611
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) — (202) 225-2415
Darrell Issa (R-Vista) — (202) 225-3906
“Hello, my name is _______ and I live in [City, Zip]. I’m calling because Representative _______ should absolutely oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill. The bill would increase costs for millions of Americans, destroy Medicaid, and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions like HIV. I want Representative _______ to come out publicly against this terrible bill.”
Call Congress TODAY to Extend Funding for Community Health Centers!
Community clinics like APLA Health’s Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills and our Long Beach Health Center are facing a “fiscal cliff” at the end of September when federal funding for community health centers will expire if Congress doesn’t act. Failure to extend this funding could leave nine million patients across the country without access to healthcare and over 2,800 clinics could be forced to close their doors.
APLA Health’s community health centers provide free or low-cost care to thousands of low-income patients, including LGBT and other marginalized populations. The clinics provide primary care, behavioral health, oral care, STI and HIV testing and treatment, and PrEP for those at risk for HIV. These services are now at risk!
Call your Congress member today and ask him/her to extend health center funding by passing the CHIME Act (Community Health, Investment, Modernization and Excellence Act of 2017). The bill would restore $3.6 billion in funding from the Community Health Centers Fund for five years, with modest increases to ensure the on-going availability of healthcare for the millions of low-income individuals who get their care at community clinics like APLA Health.
Call your member of Congress today. The Advocacy Hotline is toll free and will provide you with a script: (866) 456-3949.
APLA Health’s Government Affairs Team Advocating on The Hill
APLA Health’s Government Affairs team traveled to Capitol Hill last week to meet with Senate and House offices as part of a nationwide delegation from AIDS United, the largest coalition of AIDS Service Organizations in the United States. Our team spent the day meeting with both Democratic and Republican offices, discussing the importance of federal funding for Community Health Centers and a discount drug purchasing program that allows clinics to expand their services and offer patients lower drug prices. That’s exactly what we do at APLA Health clinics where we provide affordable, life-saving drugs for people living with and at risk of HIV (PLWH) and innovative and effective care and treatment that help PLWH achieve optimal health outcomes and reduce the number of new HIV transmissions. The offices we met with were both sympathetic and encouraging, but they need to hear from people like you to remind them that community health centers are a vital link in the healthcare safety net for millions of people in Los Angeles, California and across the U.S.
Stay in the loop!
We will send you regular updates on issues and policies affecting the LGBT and/or HIV communities and urge you to call or e-mail your representatives about key political activity at the local, state, and federal levels.