With so much happening in healthcare policy, it can be challenging to make sense of it all. So, we wanted to update you on three things you need to know about healthcare reform in Congress. Here’s what Fight CRC is doing to ensure the voices of CRC patients are heard.
Healthcare Repeal – What You Need to Know
1. Members with a mandate
For the past seven years, republicans in Congress have been promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Following the November election, many republicans feel they have a mandate to follow through on that promise. As a result, healthcare reform has been their top priority. Little can be done to stop the train from leaving the station.
The House bill was almost universally opposed by hospitals, doctors, patient advocates and others in the healthcare community – including groups that traditionally strongly support republicans – and it passed anyway. This outcome is disappointing and discouraging, but gives you an idea of just how strong the tide is on this issue.
2. This is not your typical legislative process
Before most bills become law, hearings are held, feedback is gathered and amendments are considered before settling on a final product. In the case of healthcare reform, republicans are using an arcane procedure known as reconciliation, which puts certain restrictions on the process, but provides one advantage: it can’t be filibustered, and only requires a simple majority vote in the Senate. (Learn more about budget reconciliation.) This, plus the mandate issue mentioned above, means there won’t be amendments or other similar opportunities to influence the legislation.
3. Republicans want healthcare reform done before August
Every year, members of Congress spend the entire month of August back in their home states, so there is significant effort to wrap up any legislative efforts they are working on before they return home. We expect this year will be no different, and there will be significant pressure for the Senate to vote on healthcare reform by the end of July.
The Good News:
While this may seem disappointing, there is good news for advocates and we must stay focused on this:
- We are lock-step with our partners in the cancer community. We are combining our efforts in every way possible to express our opposition to the AHCA and make sure members of Congress know the negative impacts of this legislation on cancer patients. We won’t stand silent while this happens – members need to know there are consequences and that we’ll continue to fight for colorectal cancer patients and their families.
- There are other opportunities for Fight CRC to have an impact in a meaningful way. Our team in D.C. is working with the Congressional Advisory Committee in the House to identify areas we can work together to support and improve the lives of CRC patients. In addition, we continue to work to develop champions on both sides of the Senate. Working to develop a partnership with Democrats and Republicans.
What you can do
We need active advocates! Keep an eye out for future updates and action alerts. Register to be an advocate so you get notified when it’s time to act. Join our Advocates Facebook Group to get real-time updates and ask questions.
Thank you for your continued commitment. We will keep fighting. We can’t fight without you!