A Dark Cloud Over the Hudgiks
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. It's not as hard as you might think. All it takes is a short call. Whether you live in a red state or a blue state, your voice is so important right now. It is especially important that you urge your friends and family in red states to call their representatives. Let the Hudgiks know that you made your calls. It will mean a lot to them!
“As our nation debates changes to the health care system, it’s important to take stock of the historic progress in recent years,” said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Whether they get their coverage through an employer, Medicaid, the individual market, or Medicare, Americans have better health coverage and health care today as a result of the ACA. Millions of Americans with all types of coverage have a stake in the future of health reform, and it’s time to build on the progress we’ve made, not move our system backward.”
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David and his family have struggled for the last 5 years to tackle and conquer the physical, psychological, and financial challenges that come with quadriplegia. David can't move his legs or use his hands. He is unable to cough or to sweat, important functions that protect the body. He is under constant threat from pneumonia, bed sores, autonomic dysreflexia, and more, and now the Hudgik family is facing a new threat. Every day they are faced with the very real possibility that David will lose his health insurance.
Because David does have health insurance, he is able to get the essential services, medication, and equipment that he needs. His parents buy health insurance for him through his father’s employer. They pay for the insurance. They do not receive a government subsidy (monetary reimbursement.) In addition to paying their monthly premiums, they also pay significant out-of-pocket expenses for medically related services and equipment that improve David’s quality of life but that are not covered by insurance.
What would losing David's health insurance mean for the Hudgiks? It would mean that Paul and Barbara would have to pay $30,000 MORE a year out of their pocket for essential medical expenses. It would mean that David’s quality of life would be significantly diminished because it is very likely that they wouldn’t be able to cover costs. They might have to choose between medication and whether or not to repair his wheelchair. David would likely become more housebound and cut off from the world.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, David's parents can buy health insurance for David through an employer. Because of the ACA, David can stay on his parents' health insurance plan until he turns 26. Because of the ACA, he cannot be denied coverage due to his pre-existing condition. If the ACA is repealed David will lose his current coverage, and he will have no access to buy health insurance at all. That would be catastrophic. The possibility of losing David’s health insurance weighs heavily on his family every single day. It’s overwhelming.
Telling them that it will be okay is well intentioned, but does little to ease their worries because no one knows if it will be okay. So what can you do to lift that dark cloud and help the Hudgiks have fewer sleepless nights?
Don't forget to call party leaders!
LISTEN. Listen with the intent to understand. Reach out to Paul, Barb, and David and let them know that they’re not alone. You can be an outlet for them to share their feelings and their concerns.
My name is <______>. I'm calling about the Affordable Care Act. Every American deserves access to affordable health care. Please ask <Senator/Representative ______> NOT to repeal the ACA. Millions of Americans depend on the ACA for their health care coverage and it is <Senator/Representative ______'s> duty to protect their ability to obtain affordable care.
Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan - (202) 225-3031
Senate Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell - (202) 224-2541
Health Care (Republican Party Leadership)
My name is <______>. I'm calling about the Affordable Care Act. The Republican party is prepared to launch an offensive against The ACA and I need <Senator or Representative _____> to block these efforts. Americans are depending on our legislative leaders to stand up against attempts to repeal the ACA.
Senate Minority Leader: Chuck Schumer - (202) 224-6542
Democratic Leader: Nancy Pelosi - (202) 225-4965
Health Care (Democratic Party Leadership)
1. Find your representatives. Both the Senate and House have web pages where you can search by zip code or state and immediately get the name, address, website and phone number for the lawmakers who represent you. Click the links below.
3. Call. You will sometimes be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member's office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member. Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
Call your own senators and representatives, as each is primarily concerned with residents from his or her district. You can also call party leaders since they are in a position to act on this issue. The phone numbers for party leadership are included below.
IF REP IS A SUPPORTER
My name is <______>. I'm a constituent calling to let <Senator/Representative ______> know that I want <him/her> to stand up for the Affordable Care Act. Millions of Americans depend on the ACA for their health care coverage. I want the <Senator/Representative ______> to vote against repealing the ACA. Affordable health care is a priority issue for me and I will be paying close attention to how <Senator/Representative ______> votes.
My name is <______>. I'm a constituent calling to thank <Senator/Representative ______> for supporting affordable health care and ask for continued support. Millions of Americans depend on the ACA for their health care coverage. If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, they will lose access to healthcare. I want the <Senator/Representative> to block attempts to repeal the ACA.
IF YOU USE A SUBSIDIZED PLAN
My name is <______>. I'm a constituent calling to thank <Senator/Representative ______> for supporting affordable health care and ask for continued support. I'm one of 20 million Americans who count on a marketplace plan for insurance. If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, I will lose access to healthcare. I want the <Senator/Representative ______> to block attempts to repeal the ACA.
IF YOU DO NOT USE A SUBSIDIZED PLAN
IF REP IS AN OPPONENT
IF YOU USE A SUBSIDIZED PLAN
My name is <______>, I'm a constituent calling to ask <Senator/Representative ______> to support affordable health care. I'm one of 20 million Americans who count on a marketplace plan for insurance. If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, I will lose access to healthcare. I want the <Senator/Representative ______> to vote against repealing the ACA.
IF YOU DO NOT USE A SUBSIDIZED PLAN
Here are some sample scripts that you can use as is or expand on.
2. Write down what you want to say. There are some sample scripts provided at the bottom of this page.
Barbara and David