With the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) last week, Congress is one step closer to making radical changes to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Medicare that will put millions of Americans at risk of losing affordable health care. The AHCA ends Medicaid as we know it, eliminates insurance protections, raises premiums on older Americans, damages employer-based coverage, and undermines Medicare.
Now, Senate Republicans are weighing what’s next for the AHCA, which makes it all the more important to make your voice heard. Here are five things everyone can do to join the fight to protect our care:
- Go to an event where your Representative or Senator is speaking. Members of Congress need to hear from you about what passing the AHCA would mean for you and your family. Urge them to reject the AHCA and to instead identify bipartisan solutions to protect and strengthen the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid. If they are not holding town halls, find a rally or demonstration to attend. Find an event in your district or state.
- Call Congress. A phone call is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your members of Congress. Call the SEIU Health Care Security Hotline at 866-426-2631 and enter your zip code to be connected to your members of Congress. Tell them what the AHCA bill would mean for you and your family. Demand that they protect the ACA as well as Medicare and Medicaid.
- Stay informed with Medicare Watch. Medicare Rights will provide timely updates on both the process and policies relevant to your health care each week. Read our weekly newsletter to stay informed. And if you’re already reading, share the content! Ask your friends and family to sign up for Medicare Watch. An added bonus: it’s free!
- Spread the word—#ProtectOurCare. Much of the debate about the future of health care is happening online. Follow the Medicare Rights Center on Facebook and Twitter, and use social media to share Medicare Watch articles, news, and other perspectives in real time. A simple way to keep up with the latest is by using and following the hashtag #ProtectOurCare.
- Share your story. More often than not, Congressional debates about the law become disconnected from the lives of the very families those policies impact. That’s why it’s crucial to tell your story about what Medicare, the ACA, and Medicaid mean to you. ACAworks.org and the Families USA story bank make it easy to share your story.
Medicaid helps millions of Americans access affordable health care, including 11 million people with Medicare and over 30 million children. The ACA helps millions of Americans access affordable health care, including people who have lost their jobs or are trying to start a business. Medicare helps millions of Americans access affordable health care, including retirees and people with disabilities.
Together, these three programs help every single American. But we can only protect Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA if lawmakers in Congress truly understand what these programs mean to the people who elected them.
Whether you do one or all of these five things, it’s important to take action to protect our care. Make your voice heard! And don’t worry, Medicare Rights will be right beside you all along the way.