ACTION ALERT: Your members of Congress need to hear from you
Congress may hold critical votes this week that impact American workers and healthcare consumers. You can help determine the outcome.
Action 1. “Working Families Flexibility Act”
Last week, the deceptively-named Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1180) was passed out of a U.S. House committee with a party-line vote. The dangerous and harmful bill could be on the House floor as early as Tuesday.
Pitched as giving workers more flexibility over their schedules, this smoke-and-mirrors bill actually creates a false choice between paid time off and pay. In reality, workers are left with less time, less flexibility, and less money. HR 1180 would:
- Allow employers to offer workers paid time off — known as comp time — in lieu of time-and-a-half pay for working overtime, but without a guaranteed right to use that time off when they need it
- Allow supervisors to deny a worker’s request to use the paid time off they’ve earned, even in the case of a personal or family emergency
- Jeopardize a worker’s planned time off by allowing employers to unilaterally decide to cash workers out for comp time that has been banked beyond 80 hours
- Create a new right for employers to delay paying overtime wages for as long as 13 months
- Eliminate a financial disincentive to employers to assign excess work by providing an alternative to paying time-and-a-half
HR 1180, the so-called Working Families Flexibility Act (learn more) would hurt working families, especially women and people of color who disproportionately make up the low-wage workforce and who would lose scheduling flexibility. Lawmakers need to know this bill is bad for working families.
Ohio’s David Joyce voted ‘NO’ on similar legislation in 2013, and has been identified as a possible ‘NO’ vote on this bill. Read our letter of opposition to H.R. 1180, which was submitted to Representative Joyce’s office this week. No matter who represents you, they need to hear from their constituents.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224–3121 to be connected with your member of Congress, and tell them that a vote for the Working Families Flexibility Act is a vote against working families. Let your Representative know that working families need true family-friendly policies such as paid family and medical leave, not ones that take us in the wrong direction. Tell them to vote NO on HR 1180 when it is brought to the floor for a vote.
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Action 2. The Return of Zombie Trumpcare
Last week in Congress also saw the resurrection of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), the GOP bill, backed by President Trump, that would repeal and replace Obamacare and is estimated would result in higher premiums and 24 million Americans losing coverage. The bill was shelved last month after failing to secure enough right-wing votes, but it’s gotten a makeover.
Like its predecessor, the new AHCA still:
- Makes coverage less affordable by reducing subsidies and allowing seniors to be charged more
- Phases out expanded Medicaid, a critical component in addressing Ohio’s addiction crisis
- Cuts funding to states and gives big tax cuts to the wealthy and to insurance companies
But, to appeal to right-wing members, the new AHCA grants states new, potentially harmful options:
- Eliminate coverage for essential health benefits like prevention, hospitalization and maternity care
- Allows insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, asthma and cancer more for their healthcare as long as they set up so-called “high risk” pools where insurance is offered at greatly increased rates
Changes made to the bill to appeal to conservatives have many moderate Republicans nervous. Some, like Ohio’s Dave Joyce and Mike Turner, who opposed the bill in March remain potential “NO” votes for round 2. Others are still on the fence. No matter who represents you, they need to hear from their constituents. Use our fact sheet on how women and families are impacted by the bill for more guidance.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224–3121 to be connected with your member of Congress, and tell them to vote NO on the American Healthcare Act. If they thought it was bad last month, the new version is even worse. Tell them to vote NO on the bill that would cause millions to lose coverage or pay dramatically more for health coverage, especially if they are one of the 130 million Americans with a pre-existing condition.