ACTION ALERT: Calls needed at both federal and state levels
Health care access & basic civil rights at stake!
It’s a busy week for advocates for immigrants and refugees. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court partly upheld the Trump administration’s travel ban, with implications that won’t be entirely clear until the Department of Homeland Security issues new guidance.
At the same time, the Senate Republicans want to force a vote this week on their truly awful bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – and deprive 22 million people of health coverage. We know our two Senators strongly oppose the bill, but while several GOP Senators from other states are on the fence, none has firmly committed to voting “no” yet.
ACTION 1: Fight to stop the Senate health bill!
Even more important, call and email friends and family who live in states with GOP Senators, and urge them to make calls. If they don’t know much about the bill, here’s a good explainer. In short, this bill will hurt LOTS of people, especially if they’re older or low-income, but actually, all of us.
The impact on immigrants is particularly serious. Under Obamacare, lawfully present immigrants who don’t qualify for Medicaid can still buy subsidized insurance on the state exchanges. The Senate bill would shut off that access, leaving many immigrants with no affordable coverage options.
ACTION 2: Protect affordable coverage in Massachusetts!
Last week, Governor Baker released a compromise health care reform proposal that could reduce access to affordable coverage for low-income working families.
First, it would disqualify many non-disabled people from MassHealth if they have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. Some premium assistance and hardship exceptions are built in, but families could still face much higher cost-sharing, or just forgo coverage because it’s too expensive.
The proposal would also move 140,000 non-disabled adults with incomes at 100–133% of the federal poverty line out of MassHealth and into the Massachusetts Health Connector. This could make it harder to access affordable care, and could put dental care out of reach for many adults.
Please contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to urge the Conference Committee members to reject these aspects of the Governor’s plan. You can also contact the Conference Committee directly:
Senator Karen Spilka (Senate Chair): 617-722-1640
Sen. Sal DiDomenico: 617-722-1650
Sen. Vinny deMacedo: 617-722-1330
Rep. Brian Dempsey (House Chair): 617-722-2990
Rep. Steve Kulik: 617-722-2380
Rep. Todd Smola: 617-722-2100
ACTION 3: Stop two wildly xenophobic bills in the U.S. House!
House Republicans have introduced two bills – the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (HR3003) and Katie’s Law (HR3004) – aimed at bolstering the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants.
HR3003 requires local and state jurisdictions to enforce federal immigration detainers, and it eliminates a wide range of grants, including disaster relief, to communities that don’t comply. HR3004 drastically increases penalties for immigrants convicted of unlawful reentry, doubling down on the failed policy of excessive incarceration for immigration violations.
The bills have hearings today before the Rules Committee (Rep. Jim McGovern is a member), and Republicans plan to bring them to the floor this week, under cover of the Trumpcare debate.
Please call your Congress(wo)man right away to urge them to fight against these bills!