Category Archives: health care

Feel our wrath, Senators!

SHAME on our US Senators from NC – Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Richard Burr – who hide from their constituents, and put country over party. Senator Thom Tillis refuses to let his constituents near the federal building anymore because we protest. Outrageous. Well, we protest because he won’t talk to us. And we’ll be back.

Thanks to Burr and Tillis the Senate is proceeding to debate an unknown healthcare plan. Just one of them standing up for their constituents would have stopped this horror! The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helps tons of people – and the Republican Senate is intent on destroying it, and destroying these people and more in the process. NC residents -tell Senators Burr and Tillis that you know that they voted against providing life-saving treatment to millions of people in the United States. Tell them that they owe us better than that – improve ACA and use a decent bi-partisan process to do it. Calls are fast and easy!

The Senate voted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, to effectively repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They are working on the repeal today, July 26. According to the Congressional Budget Office, a Senate ‘repeal only’ bill would leave about 55 million MORE people uninsured in just 10 years – adding 32 million to the 22 million the Senate Bill would throw out of health care. Also, average premiums in the nongroup market would double by 2026! Please understand that women are hurt more by the loss of the ACA and of Medicaid. The cruel Trumpcare bills already had targetted women.

SHAME on our Senators, who hide from their constituents, and put country over party. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

The massive growth of people losing medicaid coverage and protection grows to 32 million due to “the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of eligibility for
Medicaid and the elimination of subsidies for insurance purchased through the
marketplaces established by the ACA,” according to the CBO.

As NOW president Terry O’Neill wrote in “Voters Won’t Forget Who Took Away Their Care“,

“Trumpcare would decimate Medicaid coverage and slash funding to Planned Parenthood. The lives of women of color will be particularly imperiled. All of this, so GOP leadership can deliver colossal tax breaks to the billionaires and corporations that support them.” 

“The bill also makes health care inaccessible to people with pre-existing conditions–including women who have survived domestic violence, experienced postpartum depression, or undergone a cesarean section. Millions will be priced out of their health insurance–and thousands will lose lives.”

Health care costs will skyrocket, doubling for many by 2026! According to the 7/19/17 CBO report,

“Average premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by roughly 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in 2018. The increase would reach about 50 percent in 2020, and premiums would about double by 2026.”

The new plan would increase the premiums, especially for those of us over 50 years of age, and return the doughnut hole in Medicare prescription coverage.

The next 48 hours are critical to letting Congress know the wrath that will rain down if they pass a repeal that will force some 55 million people to lose healthcare. Call and/or write your Senators NOW!!

ACA has some issues to be addressed, but it has helps tons of people – and the Republican Senate is intent on destroying it, and destroying these people in the process. 

Tell your US Senators (Burr and Tillis in NC) that you know that they voted against providing life-saving treatment to millions of people in the United States. 

 

Tell them to stop attempting to repeal the ACA and improve it using a decent, bipartisan process.  

NC residents can contact them at “How to Contact US Senators Burr and Tillis.”

Wheel Of Misfortune, Die In at 6/27/17 Tillis Protest

The Wheel of Misfortune was the coolest feature of the last “Tuesdays with Tillis” protest. Citizens have been protesting in front of Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh every Tuesday for a few months at this point, but the protest really grew on 6/27/17.  It was expanded with energy of some other groups – Protecting Progress In Durham and Progress North Carolina Action among others. The message was to tell Senator Thom Tillis to vote NO on any “healthcare” bill that takes away coverage from anybody.

About 160 people went to protest at the Federal Building where Senator Thom Tillis has his Raleigh office, 310 New Bern Ave, in Raleigh. 160 people!

Big Crowd, Federal Building on right Photo Credit: Stacie Borrello

The event had multiple parts. In the beginning was the regular Tuesdays With Tillis program – gathering, and marching in protest. Lots of great signs. 

Sign Collage and crutches Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

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Articles on Harm Trumpcare Would Do to Women’s Health

Read more about Medicaid and the damage that Trumpcare will do in the following articles, among other places. People need to realize the devastation the Senate Trumpcare Bill has on women.  In addition, North Carolina would fare the worst of any states in the country under Trumpcare.

Leaders from Feminist Majority, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Women’s March on Washington came together today in Washington, D.C. to discuss the dangers posed by Trumpcare to women across race, class and age—and to devise a plan to stop it. These leaders are

  • National NOW President Terry O’Neill
  • Feminist Majority’s Eleanor Smeal
  • Janel George, Director of Federal Reproductive Rights and Health at National Women’s Law Center
  • Michelle Batchelor, Deputy Director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
NationalSpeakersatPressConference.SmealONeill.IMG_4720-768x576

Photo Credit: Feminist Majority

The devastation of Senate health care plan on North Carolina needs to be understood.

“If the Senate health care plan becomes law, no state’s residents would fare worse than North Carolina, according to a new study on the proposed bill. That includes 1.3 million people in North Carolina, according to a new study – the fourth-most in the nation, and the highest percentage of people losing coverage in any state.”

According to “1.3 million in NC could lose health insurance under Senate health plan,” 6/28/17, http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article158456069.html.

These articles are on Medicaid and the damage that Trumpcare will do.

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Cruel Senate Trumpcare Bill Targets Women

While even President Trump described the House Trumpcare bill as ‘mean,’ his colorful verdict is an uncommon understatement as it applies to the House and Senate bills’ treatment of women’s healthcare. Trumpcare is ‘cruel’ to women, and especially harsh to North Carolinians.

Trumpcare allows the elimination of women’s access to healthcare, letting insurance companies refuse to provide maternity care, slashing Medicaid payments (by $834 billion in the House bill/$772 billion in the Senate bill), and restricting Title X reimbursement. Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program for people with low incomes, the disabled and the elderly. The Medicaid program covers about 75 million Americans, or 1 in 5, including many with complex and costly needs for care. Seventy percent (70%) of the adults covered by Medicaid are women. Title X is a federal program which provides funding family planning services to people beyond Medicaid, like low-income women who are not Medicaid-eligible. Their recipients? Women.


The Senate Trumpcare bill will cut Medicaid by almost $1 trillion dollars (that’s trillion with a ‘t’). These policies have disproportionate and disastrous consequences for women – young, middle-aged, and elderly, alike – especially in North Carolina. More than half of all births in North Carolina are covered by Medicaid – 54% in North Carolina in 2014, while other states vary from 24% to 72%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Trumpcare allows insurance companies to refuse to cover maternity and newborn care as part of the 10 essential health benefits that insurance companies would no longer be required to cover.
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NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – NC Budget Bad For Women

NC Budget Summary from NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 25Jun17.

A budget has passed and has gone to the Governor, who has ten days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. Governor Cooper is expected to veto the budget since he has been strongly critical of it: http://www.wral.com/cooper-calls-budget-deal-irresponsible-/16774013/, 6/20/17. But if the budget is vetoed, expect an override since Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate.

The budget intensifies the attack on women’s reproductive rights by appropriating $2.6 million to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) over a two-year period. So-called crisis pregnancy centers are religious “ministries” that attempt to persuade women wanting abortions not to have them, often using scare tactics and false information such as claiming that having an abortion will leave a woman sterile or put her at risk for cancer. This appropriation represents an increase of one million dollars per year. See: https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/06/20/ncga-budget-gives-26-million-to-crisis-pregnancy-centers, 6/20/17.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Protest
Photo Credit: Whole Woman’s Health Blog

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Protest Senate Trumpcare/AHCA Bill NOW!

The US Senate is going ahead with another terrible version of AHCA, the so called “American Health Care Act”, aka Trumpcare. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that version would cause 23 million people to lose health care coverage and end protections for many. These are protections like forcing insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.  Multiple sources say the Senate plans to hold their vote before the July 4 recess.

“[T]he plan is opposed by experts across the ideological spectrum, as well as groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, cancer patients, heart-disease patients and many others.” according to “Uh oh, Health Care Edition,” 6/8/17, NYTimes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans (completely shutting out Democrats and Independents) are planning to bring their health care bill to the floor before July 4 and there will be NO DEBATE, and NO AMENDMENTS ALLOWED. Also NO INPUT FROM THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY OR THE PUBLIC is allowed. This is outrageous and we need to let NC’s US Senators Burr and Tillis know that this is absolutely, totally unacceptable. 

“By acting fast, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell hopes to minimize the continuing and mounting evidence of sabotage as insurers file rates in places such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania that explicitly break out the specific impact of Trump’s sabotage,” as Andrew Slavitt says in ‘Sabotage, speed and secrecy in the Senate.'” Andrew M. “Andy” Slavitt is a former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a position he held from March 2015 to January 2017.

Senators for NC – Burr and Tillis must be told again and again how bad this would be, and how they will be held accountable. We include a few ways to do this below.


Above pictures are from the June 13 Tuesday with Tillis protest in Raleigh.
Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

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NC NOW Newsletter – May/June 2017

The NC NOW Newsletter May/Jun 2017 is available online and in print. 

What you will find inside our newsletter.

  • Some of the NC Senate’s despicable actions, page 1.
  • What chapters around the state have been doing (page 2)
  • Why Science is a women’s issue in ‘Women in Science’ on page 3
  • The Feminist 5K event, scheduled for June 17, is on page 3. Note that NC NOW members get a special discount.
  • About a pro-rape Representative from New Hampshire on page 4
  • More problems with Trumpcare on page 4
  • Robin Davis’ insightful summaries of ERA activities (what Nevada did, strategies) and about what really happened with HB2 in April on page 5. These are from Legislative Update #9. NC NOW has 16 Legislative Updates to date (May 20, 2017). Legislative Update #16 talks about the Senate Budget.

Upcoming events for May and June 2017 are posted on the website.

Events and actions are also emailed to members and volunteers. Be sure to sign up if you haven’t already. Enjoy the newsletter!

Input on Medicaid Reform Due by May 25, 2017

Do you know NC is proposing big changes to ‘reform’ Medicaid, and now is the time to give input on it? “The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking additional public input from April 25 to 11:59 p.m. on May 25, 2017, on the Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs transformation (also known as “Medicaid reform”), according to NCTracks notice here.”

From Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015

DHHS also held four public input sessions around the state during May. Dates are listed in same NCTracks notice.  It says “Pre-registration is not necessary; please review speaker guidelines”. The last of those is Tuesday, May 16.

As always, NC Policy Watch is a great source of information on this issue. Learn more about so called “Medicaid Reform” changes at

See more on giving input at https://www.nctracks.nc.gov/content/public/providers/provider-communications/2017-announcements/Medicaid-Request-for-Public-Input.html.

Upcoming Events for Charlotte NOW members – May to June 2017

1. May 22 at 6:30 pm: Come hear Margaret Flowers, MD and founder of HOPE (Health Over Profit for Everyone) speak about “national improved Medicare for all” for every person regardless of age or income. HOPE advocates tactics ranging from traditional lobbying to civil resistance. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/262411800898116/

2. Jun 7, 2017 – Charlotte NOW Meeting. Topic is Gender Inequality.

The June 7 meeting will continue our discussion of Gender Inequality with a look at some research and data from other areas. In May, Charlotte NOW looked at inequality for women in the media via the Miss Representation documentary. There will be a general business meeting with updates and a call to action. The last 30 minutes will be a social time to get acquainted. Please plan to join us!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1131793233633404/

Action: Stop AHCA/Trumpcare NOW! Here is how..

Did you write NC (US) Senators Burr and Tillis about stopping the AHCA (Trumpcare) bill yet? The AHCA bill that the Republicans forced through the US House on May 4, 2017  is devastating

“This bill will put women directly in harm’s way by making health care inaccessible to people with pre-existing conditions–including those who have survived domestic violence, experienced postpartum depression, or undergone a cesarean section. ” As NOW.org wrote in their suggested email action at http://now.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AHCAEmailYourSenators.pdf.

Congress’ own Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million people would lose health insurance from the plan. This estimate is from the March 2017 version of the bill that was not put up for a vote (due to expected failure), and the current plan (May 2017) is only worse. Read more about the harm this plan would do at https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/americanhealthcareact.pdf.

Make America Sick Again Sign

A more readable description of the damage this bill does is at Vox.com, “These are all the people the Republican health care bill will hurt,” 5/4/17, at

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