State Convention Health Care Workshop

Workshop leader: Cecile Scoon, assisted by Jennifer Flynn

Report submitted by Ethelene Jones

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This report summarizes Cecile’s PowerPoint presentation and includes Jennifer Flynn’s presentation on the “Bird-Dogging 101” technique to pin down politicians’ responses to specific questions.

WHAT DID WE HAVE WITH ACA?

Florida: had the highest ACA enrollment of all states. Uninsured rate fell by 38% (1.6 million people) with ACA.

ACA Bettered Employer Based Health Care Coverage:

  1.     Almost 9 million Floridians have employer-based health care coverage
  2.     ACA removed lifetime limits from policies, benefitting almost 6 million
  3.     Young adults covered until 26 benefitting, almost 132,000
  4.     Free preventative care benefitting more than 7 million Americans:

Flu shots, mammograms, cancer screenings, contraception

ACA Bettered Individual Market Policies:

  1.     About 1.5 million people have individual policies
  2.     Pre-existing illnesses are not excluded
  3.     Tax credits to help pay for insurance are available to more individual plans
  4.     About 1.5 million low-to-moderate income applicants get about $300/month subsidy
  5.     Women pay the same as men
  6.     Greater transparency and often better choice

Medicare Improved By ACA:

  1.     Over 4 million Floridians covered by Medicare
  2.     Lower costs for prescription drugs
  3.     Free preventative care
  4.     Well visits
  5.     Preventative screenings – almost 2 million took part in one free preventive service
  6.     Better hospital safety with incentives to reduce accidents and mistakes. Hospital readmissions dropped 3% 2010 to 2015

Medicaid Expansion Was Proffered, but Refused by Florida

  1.     Florida was offered 5 billion a year for 10 years for expansion
  2.     Expansion would cover about 800,000 Floridians
  3.     28% of those who could have been covered have mental illness that could have been treated (over 300,000)
  4.     9000 deaths a year could have been avoided

WHAT IS REPEAL AND REPLACE?

  1.     Congressional Republicans kicked off the 2017 session by beginning the process of repealing (via defunding) the ACA
  2.     Reconciliation budget requires a majority. This will take many steps – between two to five years to repeal
  3.     The first effort at Repeal hit a wall of resistance the end of March 2017
  4.     Trying again to cut benefits and cover fewer people. To cover pre-existing conditions and elderly causes costs to skyrocket

What Are Some Repeal and Replace Ideas and Concerns?

  1.     If states are rewarded for expansion, will states that did not expand Medicaid be hurt by lower federal funding?
  2.     Will there be block grants for Medicaid?
  3.     Trump and his advisors have made statements that they support this.
  4.     This would allow states to carve up the federal dollars as they see fit.
  5.     A block grant could leave or take away immediate coverage from about 70 million Americans who are now covered.
  6.     Block grants will hurt all states with no Medicaid expansion.
  7.     A block grant could leave or take away immediate coverage from about 70 million Americans who are now covered.
  8. Some fear changes will include a measure to defund Planned Parenthood.

What Are the Most Vulnerable Populations?

  1. People with pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure. It will cost much more to cover them
  2. The elderly – Congressional Budget Office says expect a 500% premium increase for them
  3. The number of uninsured will increase from 14 million to 24 million within 12 months

What Can We Do?

  1.     Educate ourselves about effects of different plans
  2.     Talk with legislators about what we need from our health care
  3.     Stress the financial and medical benefits of preventative care
  4.     Be a part of the discussion and the solution
  5.     Host educational panels and invite the policy makers- legislators and senators
  6.     Invite nationally known and state known experts on the impact of repealing ACA
  7.     Offer solutions based on information from experts
  8.     Educate local policymakers and local citizens
  9.     Talk with public hospital CEO’s find out their concerns
  10.     Talk with Community Health Care Providers – What impacts do they see?
  11.     Talk with County Health departments. Where do they see that the community health system is fragile?
  12.     Talk with County Commissioners
  13.  Write letters to the editor about negative aspects of removing different parts of ACA
  14.  Focus on the positive benefits of ACA that will be lost
  15.  Call two people right now and share.

Summing it up:

“…ACA repeal could double the number of uninsured Americans, reduce access to health services, and increase burdens for health care facilities…. the consequences could extend well beyond the health care system, triggering major reductions in employment and substantial losses in state economic activity and reduced state and local revenues. And these repercussions are likely to reverberate across all states and most sectors of the economy.”