What just happened?
With the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) last week, we know many of you are wondering, “Where do we go from here?”
First, it is important to let your member of Congress know how you feel about the way they voted.
If you support their vote, thank them.
If you disagree with their vote, let them know, respectfully, why you are concerned.
— Kristi Holcomb (@Kristi1967) May 5, 2017
— Lisa J (@LisaJooste) May 5, 2017
— Stacy Hurt (@stacy_hurt) May 5, 2017
Second, remember that this process isn’t over.
Our attention should now turn to the Senate, where a number of Senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about several provisions of the House bill, such as the changes to the Medicaid expansion, the structure of the tax credits that subsidize insurance and language affecting patients with pre-existing conditions.
Several senior senators have already clearly said that the Senate will not simply pass the House bill, but rather will put together its own package.
As a first step, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has organized a working group of Republican members to review various policies and discuss how to proceed.
Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, told reporters,
“We’ll be informed by what the House did, and I’m sure if they worked the issues out, we’ll borrow their ideas wherever we can. But we’ll write a Senate bill….”
Unlike in the House, according to a senior Republican aide,
“The Senate isn’t going to put a deadline on handling repeal and replace. Getting it right will set the date, and once the Senate Republican conference is ready to go, then it will move.”
This gives us time to reach out to our senators, share our concerns and discuss ways we can work together to ensure that the needs of CRC patients are heard in this debate.
We know they’ve taken notice of us.
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) May 8, 2017
We can’t lose hope
While we are disappointed in the House passage of the American Health Care Act, it is important that we remain engaged and focus forward.
Fight CRC will continue to work with its partners in the cancer community to be a resource for senators, to explain what these policies will mean for cancer patients and to ensure that our voices are heard.
Thank you for all of your efforts thus far and keep an eye out in the coming weeks for updates and action alerts. Don’t lose hope. We need you to stay engaged!