Update from Healthcare Committee
Last week, Barbara Burgess, Inger Fyfe and Leigh Cobb were able to set up a conference call with Kate Hunter—the health care specialist in Senator Scott’s D.C. office. The call lasted 35 minutes.
At the outset Kate reminded us that Senator Scott had been elected to the House and later the Senate as part of a wave of new members promising to repeal the ACA. Kate did note that Senator Scott does favor some aspects of the ACA, including the protections for those with pre-existing conditions and limitations on the age rating of premiums.
She stated that the Senator had been meeting with constituents throughout the state many of whom were urging repeal. She said that the Senator was hearing that employers cannot afford the mandate (note: mandate only applies to employers with more than 50 employees), that premiums are unaffordable, and that the ACA had failed to meet its goal of reducing ER visits. She said that the national media was giving the impression that people had changed their minds about the ACA. She also mentioned that the CBO scoring was not perfect and could not explain all variables.
She would not give a concrete position for Scott vis-a-vis the various versions/amendments that might come up for a vote.
- Arguments in support of providing affordable access for those with pre-existing conditions seem to resonate with Scott.
- He may also be concerned about the impact of doing away with a 3:1 age rating for premiums and the higher costs for the older working population that would entail
- Concrete examples, like those offered by Inger on the cost of diabetes meds, both resonate and are harder to ignore than statistics.
- It is worth sharing local news stories supporting the ACA and/or coming out against the various Republican alternatives.
- Consider compiling a story bank of examples we can use.
Submitted by: Barbara Burgess, Inger Fyfe, Leigh Cobb