What’s next after ACA repeal in the House?

(Short answer: A lot…)

Yesterday’s vote was depressing, but not shocking. After 7 plus years of campaigning to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and now 3 presidential elections where ACA drove voters towards one candidate and against another… the Republican Party has made good on it’s promise. Sorta…

While it can feel like campaigns never end, they do and then our newly elected or re-elected representatives must begin the business of governing. It may seem easy. Write a bill, get it past the House and the Senate, and then poof, the President signs it into law.

Oh, if only (well after yesterday, thankfully it isn’t that easy.)

Our founding fathers never intended for the federal government to function like a business. This is not a for-profit game. They intended on one branch — the House of Representatives — to derive it’s powers directly from the people (hence, the 2017 election and why the House just voted to repeal ACA.) But they created the Senate to foster reflection and stability.

And so the ACA repeal bill heads to the Senate where it will go through a process of debate, amendments, and final passage before being sent back to the House of Representatives and over to President Donald Trump for his signature.

We urge you to begin calling the Senate and explain to them how the House version will hurt adolescent and young adult cancer care and delivery. Tell them your story about how:

  • One day you were an invincible adolescent or young adult and then the next day you were diagnosed with cancer leaving you with a pretty huge (wink wink) pre-exisiting condition for the rest of your life which will likely be six to eight times longer than the “typical” cancer patient;
  • Patients and loved ones were not able to afford or receive care through a high-risk pool before the Affordable Care Act;
  • Medicaid was the only way you, your patients, or your family was able to afford cancer treatments and follow up care; or
  • As an adolescent or young adult you don’t qualify for tax credits and you can barely pay your rent let alone put money into a health savings account.

We’ve said it time and time again — this isn’t about protecting the Affordable Care Act. We welcome changes that will reduce premiums and make private, quality coverage more affordable. But this is not the way to do it. We do not protect the healthy at the expense of the sick. Not in the United States.

You and I both know, we’re that population that isn’t supposed to get sick and yet every year 70,000 of us between 15 and 39 hear: “You have cancer.” Your Senator needs to hear your story and you can call him or her today using the Critical Mass Action Line: 1–855–636–9777.

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