ACTION ALERT: Health care is on the line, again.

Health care is on the line, again. The clock is ticking on new threats to health care at the state and federal level, and we need Ohioans to raise their voices to protect affordable health care access. Learn more about what’s at stake for women and families and then find out how you can take action!

1. A last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act
Last week, U.S. Senate Republicans introduced new legislation – known as the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This “new” plan is being framed by supporters as a compromise, however, it would have essentially the same dangerous consequences for women and families as previous ACA repeal bills. It would:
    • Result in the loss of insurance coverage for millions of people;
    • Create drastic changes to the Medicaid program and repeal Medicaid expansion;
    • End subsidies for low-income individuals purchasing insurance in the individual marketplace, increasing out-of-pocket costs;
    • Undermine protections that have made coverage affordable for people with pre-existing conditions;
    • Jeopardize the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) standard provided under the ACA, which has made groundbreaking advancements for women in healthcare such as maternity coverage; and
    • Block access to preventative and primary care for millions, particularly low-income women, women of color, and women in rural areas relying on Planned Parenthood for their care
This bill would have a devastating impact on Ohio. And as public health policy expert, Allison Russo, explains in her guest blog post on our site, Ohio’s rural women and families will be hit the hardest by this assault on health care. Find out more here.

2. Looming deadline to renew CHIP funding
At the same time that Senate Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA, almost nine million children – and nearly 210,000 Ohio children – receiving health coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are depending on Congress to take action to reauthorize the program funding before the September 30th expiration deadline.
The Senate Finance Committee announced a bi-partisan compromise last week, but it still has to be taken up and passed by the Senate and the House before the end of this month.
Health care advocate and activist, Crystal Lett, recently traveled to Washington D.C. with her family to meet with members of Congress about the importance of CHIP (her son Noble is pictured above during their meeting with Senator Sherrod Brown). In a guest blog on our site, Crystal shares her family’s story to demonstrate why it is so crucial for Congress to take action. Read her full blog post here.

3. Ohio state lawmakers still considering Medicaid expansion freeze
Threats to Medicaid access may reemerge at the state level as state lawmakers make it clear that they are still considering overriding Gov. Kasich’s veto of the Medicaid expansion freeze.
The House and Senate did not take up the Medicaid expansion freeze during their votes on veto overrides earlier this summer, but the House could come back as early as October to take a vote. If they succeed, the Kasich administration estimates that over 500,000 Ohioans could lose coverage over 18 months. Stay tuned for more information and calls to action on this issue!

We must act fast to defeat the harmful, last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal the ACA – known as the Graham-Cassidy bill. We’ve received word that they are very close to reaching the votes needed to pass the bill before the September 30th procedural deadline.
Further troubling is the news that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will not be able to provide a full analysis before the September 30th deadline. That means that senators will be voting on the proposal without knowing the number of people who would lose coverage under the bill or the impact on premiums.
TAKE ACTION: Senator Rob Portman is a crucial vote on this bill and has hinted that he is leaning towards supporting the proposal. Contact him and urge him to publicly reject the Cassidy-Graham proposal, which dismantles critical protections for women and families. Ask him to move away from repeal and come together in a bi-partisan effort to improve health care, not destroy it. 
Email Senator Portman your message using this email contact form
Call his office using the contact information below:
Cincinnati (513) 684-3265
Cleveland (216) 522-7095
Columbus (614) 469-6774
Toledo (419) 259-3895
Washington D.C. (202) 224-3353
Use our updated Healthcare Advocacy Toolkit for more resources on the bill and ways to take action.