Colorful Commentary

Federal Budget Watch, April 5

Posted April 5, 2017 by Samantha Curran

binoculars-954021_1280We, like you, have been regrouping on the health care front after the House GOP’s efforts to repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid astoundingly imploded. While Republicans found it exceedingly difficult to reach an agreement on their health care repeal efforts, it is clear we are not out of the woods in terms of federal health threats this year.

 The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ legislative team has put together a memo that walks through the legislative and administrative vehicles in which we could continue to see more efforts to move ACA changes and weaken Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion. The operative word for the coming months is vigilance. The full memo can be found here.

It is completely possible that House members try yet again to move the AHCA in the coming weeks, particularly given that many GOP members are feeling nervous about returning home to constituents during the upcoming April recess without having made good on their campaign promises to repeal the ACA. It’s vital that we all keep up the drumbeat against the GOP’s healthcare plans.

We hope you will continue to put pressure on Colorado’s moderate House Republicans and senators via direct outreach and social media in the next two weeks to get them on the record pledging to:

  • Stand firm in protecting both the Medicaid expansion and the underlying Medicaid program, including by opposing proposals that phase out expansion over time, or cap Medicaid spending via a “per capita cap” that shifts costs and risk to states.
  • Oppose any bill that would result in millions of people losing coverage or face higher costs.
  • Oppose any effort that would destabilize the marketplaces.
  • Move on from this partisan effort to repeal the ACA and instead work together in a bipartisan way to improve our health care system.

The upcoming April recess, the week of April 10, is a particularly vital time to make this public push on members. We need to continue to push those who publicly came out against the AHCA and make sure they stand firm against the principles listed above. Below are the House moderate Republicans who were confirmed NO votes on the AHCA for reference.

In short, we need to do all that we can to ensure that the AHCA is truly dead as dead.

Confirmed NO votes from moderate R’s

FL-27     Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – Press Release  – Thurs. March 23rd
IA-3        David Young – Press Release – Wed. March 22nd
NC-3      Walter Jones – Statement to the Press – Friday March 24th
NJ-2       Frank A. LoBiondo – Press Release – Wed. March 22nd
NJ-4       Christopher H. Smith – Statement to the Press – Wed. March 22nd
NJ-7       Leonard Lance – Statement to the Press – March 14th
NJ-11     Rodney Frelinghuysen – Press Release – Friday March 24th
NV-2      Mark Amodei – Tweet –  Thurs. March 23rd
NY-11    Dan Donovan – Press Release – Wed. March 22nd
NY-24    John Katko – Press Release – March 17th
OH-14   David Joyce – Tweet – Friday March 24th
PA-8      Brian Fitzpatrick – Press Release – Wed. March 22nd
PA-5      Glenn Thompson – Statement – March 18th
PA-15    Charlie Dent – Press Release – Thurs. March 23rd
VA-1      Rob Wittman – Statement – Monday March 20th
VA-10    Barbara Comstock – Press Release – Friday March 24th
WA-3     Jaime Herrera Beutler – Press Release – Thurs. March 23rd

Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer Letter to President Trump

Last week, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to President Donald Trump, insisting the administration meet its responsibility to implement the law and not sabotage the Affordable Care Act. The letter also urges President Trump to work with Democrats to strengthen health care and further reduce costs for the American people.

As Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer write, “Democrats have always been ready to work across the aisle to improve and update the Affordable Care Act. It is our hope that we can work together to prevent the increase in premiums and other health care costs for hard-working Americans, including the soaring cost of prescription drugs — a vital issue you have raised in the past.”

Read the full letter here.

Senate Democrat Letter to President Trump

Also last week, Senate Democrats released a new letter to President Trump urging him and his administration to abandon their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and undermine the United States health care system so they can work in a bipartisan fashion to improve the law and lower the costs of health care for all Americans.

The letter, signed by 44 Senate Democrats, also requests — as a first step — that the Trump administration rescind the executive order signed on Jan. 20, 2017, which severely undermined the Affordable Care Act and sparked the efforts to unravel the law, thereby undermining the health care system and increasing costs, hurting patients, providers and families. Senate Democrats also expressed concern with President Trump’s recent statement indicating it would be a good thing to make the ACA “explode” — despite the fact that would mean hurting millions of Americans.

Read the full letter here.

Contact info for Colorado congressional delegation:

Sen. Cory Gardner – 303-391-5777 Email here.
Sen. Michael Bennet – 303-455-7600 / 866-455-9866 Email here.
Rep. Diana DeGette (CO District 1) – 303-844-4988 Email here.
Rep. Jared Polis (CO District 2- 303-484-9596 ) Email here.
Rep. Scott Tipton (CO District 3)- 970-241-2499 Email here.
Rep. Ken Buck (CO District 4)- 970-702-2136 Email here.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO District 5)- 719-520-0055 Email here.
Rep. Mike Coffman (CO District 6)- 720-748-7514 Email here.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO District 7) – 303-274-7944 Email here.

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