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LAST CHANCE – Call to Save Health Care!

TODAY’S THE DAY – Tell your House member not to support Trumpcare

TOMORROW, the House of Representatives will vote on “Trumpcare,” the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The House is fractured – many members are undecided or have expressed concern about the bill. It’s our LAST CHANCE to tell house members not to support the ACA repeal bill. Your member of the House of Representatives MUST hear from you before the vote on Thursday.

TODAY, Wednesday, March 22, call your member of the House of Representatives and tell them NOT to vote for the bill to repeal the ACA.

Click here to find your member of the House.

Under Trumpcare:

  • Older adults are hurt by the rise in premiums, the cuts to Medicaid, and the cuts to Medicare funding.
  • Low-income working people would have less help with premiums, higher cost of insurance, and would lose help with health care expenses.
  • Cuts to Medicaid would hurt health care for older adults, children, and those with disabilities, shift costs to states, and hurt people affected by addiction.
  • People with gaps in insurance coverage will be penalized after they get coverage, creating an additional barrier to coverage for people who are uninsured.

Before the House votes on this bill, you must tell your representative that Trumpcare would be a disaster that would make health coverage more expensive, hurt health care for the most vulnerable Americans, and take away critical rights, all to fund tax cuts for wealthy Americans. TODAY, call your House member and tell them not to vote for the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

TODAY: National Call-In Day to Protect Health Care and Medicaid

TODAY: National Call-In Day to Protect Health Care and Medicaid

Congressional leaders are rushing to take health care from millions of Americans and harm Medicaid with extreme cuts to health care for children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Trumpcare would change Medicaid to “per capita caps” so that states must either find billions of new dollars or cut coverage and care.

Today, March 16, join the National Medicaid Call-In Day to protect our care. Call 866-426-2631 (or 877-736-7831 for Spanish) to be connected to your members of Congress. To reach your members of Congress directly, call Senator Portman at 202-224-3353 or click here to find your Representative.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Vote “NO” on the Trumpcare bill. We can’t afford for health care and Medicaid to be taken away from children, seniors, and people with disabilities and for monthly premiums and co-pays to go up for all Americans. We want healthy communities for all of Ohio.

Don’t forget to share your story of how you, your patients, friends, neighbors, and loved ones would be affected if Congress guts Medicaid.  If you don’t know anyone that has been on Medicaid, let your member of Congress know why you believe health care is important to everyone.

New Legislation Could Reduce Trend of Too Few Dentists and Too Much Decay

New Legislation Could Reduce Trend of Too Few Dentists and Too Much Decay

Today, Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) introduced Senate Bill 98 (SB98), legislation that would allow dental therapists to practice in Ohio’s underserved communities. Dental therapists are specially trained professionals who can provide a limited number of treatment services like filling cavities. Allowing dental therapists to work for dentists would address the significant shortage of oral health professionals throughout Ohio.

New data from the Ohio Department of Health show that we continue to fail our children when it comes to oral health care. According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), 51 percent of Ohio’s third graders have a history of tooth decay, and 17 percent have untreated tooth decay. Children from low-income families and those without private insurance have about two times more untreated cavities and toothaches. This new legislation could dramatically increase access to care in Ohio’s underserved communities.

“Access to oral health care has been Ohio’s number one unmet health need for children and low-income adults for more than two decades,” said Steve Wagner, Executive Director of Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio (UHCAN Ohio). “This should be the last generation of children who suffer needlessly from lack of access to dental care.”

Nearly a third of the children did not get dental care because they had no insurance or Medicaid/insurance was not accepted by the provider. Another 30 percent could not afford care, 16 percent had to wait too long for an appointment, and eight percent had no way to get to a dentist.

The access problem is worsened by the lack of dentists in many communities. As of February 2017, ODH reports that Ohio has 88 dental health professional shortage areas, up from 56 in 2009 and 85 in 2016. The shortage areas are counties or communities where there are too few dentists to meet the communities’ needs.

“The expertise and experience of dentists are needed to provide complex care, but not all dental services need to be delivered by a dentist,” said Wagner. “Ohio would greatly benefit by having practitioners who can provide basic restorative care—the care that is most needed in underserved communities – and who can refer patients with more complex needs to a dentist.”

“Despite more than a decade of success in the U.S., out-of-date laws prevent dental therapists from employment in most states, including Ohio,” said David Maywhoor, Project Director of UHCAN Ohio’s Dental Access Now! campaign. “By allowing dental therapists to practice in our state, we can ensure that more children are not suffering from untreated tooth decay.”

Dental therapist programs are designed to help expand access to dental care in underserved communities. In Alaska, they have increased access to 45,000 Alaska Natives who could not get regular dental care before. In Minnesota, dental therapists have significantly increased care for underserved patients.

SB98 improves the dental care workforce to expand access to care in underserved areas by:

  • Reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on dental hygienists so they are able to provide their services to the full benefit of their education and training under general supervision of the dentist. This will allow hygienists to provide cleanings and preventive care in settings where a dentist may not be physically present.
  • Allowing dental therapists to practice under the supervision of a dentist in Ohio.
  • Allowing hygienists to take additional education and be licensed to practice as a hygienist and a dental therapist.
  • Ensuring that the new providers are working in communities with the greatest need by focusing the practice of dental therapists to dental health professional shortage areas and with dentists who have 20 percent or more of their patient caseload from the Medicaid population.

“We hope Senate Bill 98 will quickly make its way through the legislature,” continued Maywhoor. “Ohioans cannot wait any longer to get the care they need.”

Trumpcare Takes Health Care From The Poor And Old, Gives Tax Breaks To The Rich

Trumpcare Takes Health Care From The Poor And Old, Gives Tax Breaks To The Rich

Congress continues to move forward with its bill to repeal health care for millions of Ohioans. That bill, formally called the American Health Care Act but popularly referred to as Trumpcare, is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of Trumpcare on Monday, March 13th, and they show that millions of people would lose coverage.

According to CBO analysis, 14 million people would lose their health care coverage in 2018, increasing to 24 million in 2026, to finance tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  In Ohio people  are at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage (especially those in the expanded Medicaid population), the ability to afford coverage as individuals, small business coverage, and employer coverage.

Cuts to the funding Ohio receives to care for low income older adults, children, those with disabilities, and the working poor would place a large burden on the state. An analysis released by the Center for Community Solutions showed that the cuts under Trumpcare would cost Ohio between $19 billion and $26 billion in funding between 2019 and 2025.  Loss of the health care funding to the Medicaid program would hurt the health of over 700,000 Ohio residents and impair our ability to fight the opioid epidemic.

Trumpcare would cut premium tax credits for working Americans by an average of nearly $1,700, reducing support for rural, older, and low-income Americans. The bill also would repeal income-based cost sharing reductions, the small business tax credit, and the shared responsibility provisions.

Trumpcare would repeal around $575 billion in taxes on high-income individuals, according to figures from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  The bill would reinstate a tax break for insurance company CEO pay above $500,000; eliminate taxes on health insurance companies, drug corporations, and the medical device industry; and delay the insurance company “Cadillac tax.”

Call Senator Portman (202-224-3353) and your member of Congress and tell them not to vote for this bill that will cause millions of Americans to lose or pay more for coverage.

Donate to Celebrate 20 Years of Advocacy

Donate to Celebrate 20 Years of Advocacy

This week, Republicans in the House of Representatives released their bill to repeal (do away with) the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. They did not set aside any time to ask the public how this bill would affect their lives. They did not set aside time to find out how many people will lose coverage or even how much coverage will cost if this bill is passed.

UHCAN Ohio leads the fight to protect the health care rights we gained for all Ohioans and especially the most vulnerable. We must continue to build the voice of consumers, educate legislators to reduce unintended harm in decisions, and fight for health equity and access to quality care for everyone.
We have named our campaign “Protect Our Care.” Many people are already supporting this campaign in Ohio and across the nation. Learn more at http://uhcanohio.org/actioncenter/.

We can win this fight! Will you “fight” beside us?

Our goal is to raise $10,000 by midnight on April 15, 2017.

A key component of Protect Our Care is listening to people in communities across Ohio. We have been travelling the state to hear and collect stories about the impact of the ACA, both good and bad, on Ohioans’ lives. We explain the current health care law and ask participants to tell us how their lives would be affected if the ACA is repealed. We share these stories with elected officials and the media to help everyone understand why it is important to provide access to quality and fair health care for everyone.

We only need 500 people to donate $20 to reach our goal.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. We need YOU to “join the fight” and donate $20.
  2. Ask 5 of your FRIENDS to “join the fight” and donate $20 as well.
  3. Share this note on your Facebook page and with the rest of your family & friends and help us reach other “fighters” across the state who care about health care.

Please, click here to make your donation now and “JOIN THE FIGHT!

Thanks so much for your support to Protect Our Care!

Sincerely,

Steve Wagner, Executive Director

Call Your Representatives – Republican Health Care Proposal Threatens Health Care for Seniors

Call Your Representatives – Republican Health Care Proposal Threatens Health Care for Seniors

Under House Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act many people will lose coverage or pay more for care, and cuts will be especially devastating for seniors.

The AARP recently sent a letter to Congress explaining the ways this plan will hurt seniors. Cuts to Medicaid put care at risk for the 6.9 million seniors who rely on the program for health care and long-term supports. For those who purchase insurance, a rule change lets insurers charge older people five times the amount they charge younger people, creating an “Age Tax” that will make insurance unaffordable for many older adults. The financial assistance with cost-sharing that many seniors depend on to help cover deductibles, copays, and coinsurance will also disappear under this bill.

Instead of giving tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, Congress needs to protect older Americans. Call your member of Congress today and ask them not to support this bill that threatens the health care and financial stability of seniors.

Click here to find your member of the House of Representatives. All Ohioans should also call Senator Portman at 202-224-3353 and ask him not to support this bill that puts the health of Ohio seniors at risk.

To see how much your premiums might go up under this bill, look at the infographic below from Families USA.

Sr_Premiums_Skyrocket_House_GOP_Plan_Infographic