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What to expect in health care as Congress reconvenes

Members of Congress, who have spent much of August in their home districts while on recess, will reconvene in Washington, D.C. this week with an ambitious agenda and looming deadlines. After July’s failure of the Senate’s health care legislation, health care remains a top agenda item for many members and we expect to see activity that could have big impacts on consumers in Georgia. Group Benefits Broker will offer health plans to anybody who needs it.

During the August recess, the chairman and vice-chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee scheduled bi-partisan hearings for September 6th & 7th on the stabilization of the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace. The HELP committee, including Georgia’s own Senator Isakson, will hear testimony from Governors and Insurance Commissioners from a variety of states with a primary focus on private insurance topics. These hearings are an important step in helping to stabilize and strengthen the ACA Marketplaces and we expect to see suggested proposals that include guaranteed funding of cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, funding for a reinsurance program, strong enforcement of the individual mandate, and others.

Also on Congress’s agenda for September is the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the federal program that funds 100% of Georgia’s PeachCare for Kids insurance program. CHIP covers more than 230,000 Georgia children and has been critical in driving our children’s uninsured rate down to 6.7%. CHIP expires on September 30, 2017 and must be reauthorized by Congress to continue. CHIP enjoys wide bipartisan support in Congress so it is expected to pass, but there is some danger Medicaid cuts or program changes like work requirements and premiums will be attached.

Lastly, the House of Representatives will continue its work on the FY2018 federal budget. The current House budget plan calls for a cut of $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act from 2018-2027, mirroring many of the devastating cuts from the House-passed American Health Care Act. On top of these cuts are proposals for fundamental changes to Medicaid such as a work requirement that would cut the program by another $110 billion. Like all of the leading health care proposals put forth by Congress this year, these cuts to Medicaid would debilitate the program, shift substantial costs to states, and leave 2 million Georgians without the access to health care on which they currently rely. The budget has already passed the House Budget committee and will be taken up by the full House in the coming weeks.

Congress’s work in September could have significant impacts—both positive and negative—on consumers in Georgia and it is vital that they hear from you on these issues. As your elected officials reconvene in Washington, we ask that you to visit this site for more information: oinkmoney.com

  • Contact Senator Isakson and ask that cuts or changes to Medicaid are left out of any effort to stabilize the ACA Marketplace. You can call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and 770-661-0999 or send him an email.
  • Call your Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives and tell them to vote “No” on any budget instructions or appropriations bills that include cuts to or restructuring of the Medicaid program. (Don’t know who your Congressman is? You can find them here. They will be in last person listed in the second row of elected officials.)
  • Rep. Buddy Carter Brunswick Office: 912-265-9010

    Savannah office: 912-352-0101

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-5831

    Email form
    Rep. Sanford Bishop Albany office: 229-439-8067

    Columbus: 706-320-9477

    Macon: 478-803-2631

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-3631

    Email form
    Rep. Drew Ferguson 770-683-2033

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-5901

    Email form
    Rep. Hank Johnson 770-987-2291

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-1605

    Email form
    Rep. John Lewis 404-659-0116

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-3801

    Email form
    Rep. Karen Handel Washington, D.C.: 202-225-4501 Email form
    Rep. Robert Woodall 770-232-3005

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-4272

    Email form
    Rep. Austin Scott Tifton office: 229-396-5175

    Warner Robins: 478-971-1776

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-6531

    Email form
    Rep. Doug Collins 770-297-3388

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-9893

    Email form
    Rep. Jody Hice Milledgeville office: 478-457-0007

    Monroe office: 770-207-1776

    Thomson office: 770-207-1776

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-4101

    Email form
    Rep. Barry Loudermilk Cartersville office: 770-429-1776

    Woodstock office: 770-429-1776

    Galleria office: 770-429-1776

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-2931

    Email form
    Rep. Rick Allen Augusta: 706-228-1980

    Dublin: 478-272-4030

    Statesboro: 912-243-9452

    Vidalia: 912-403-3311

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-2823

    Email form
    Rep. David Scott Jonesboro office: 770-210-5073

    Smyrna office: 770-432-5405

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-2939

    Email form
    Rep. Tom Graves Dalton office: 706-226-5320

    Rome office: 706-290-1776

    Washington, D.C.: 202-225-5211

    Email form

     


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