Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
Today's Congressional Alert Updates:
(1) NOT AGAIN: A New ACA "Repeal & Replace" Bill - May Be Just 2 Votes Short in the U. S. Senate
Congressional Legislation has been developed by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to
repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. It currently has 48 GOP votes, with 3 undecided
Republican Senators. This means, the GOP-controlled Senate only needs 2 of the 3 undecided votes to reach 50 for
and 50 against - so that the Republican Vice President can cast his tie-breaking vote, making it 51 in favor of "repeal &
replace" of the Affordable Care Act. A final vote will likely be taken by the end of September because Congress needs
to pass its legislation under budget reconciliation rules that expire at the end of September.
The Wall Street bond rating agency, Fitch, is warning that if "Repeal & Replace" should pass, it would drastically
change the way health care is paid for and administered around the nation, forcing some states like Wisconsin to
immediately absorb deep funding cuts and eventually leaving every state with new budgetary challenges.
CWAG is opposed to this bill and we are encouraging you to, please call Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson at
(202) 224-5323 and ask him to VOTE AGAINST the "Repeal & Replace" Bill, because it would substantially lower
heath care benefits and cost Wisconsin hundreds of millions in additional heath care costs.
(2) Democrats Rally Around U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All Bill
Following through on last year's presidential campaign promises, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) last week
introduced his Medicare-for-All single payer legislation, S.1804.
With Republicans in control of Congress, Sanders's bill has no chance of becoming law anytime soon. But it will likely
be seen as a major political focus during the 2018 Congressional Elections. It may also help Democrats regain
control of the U.S. Senate. In the House, about 60 percent of Democrats have endorsed a "Medicare for all" bill, which
is growing in popular support by frustrated Americans - who pay the highest price healthcare costs in the world for
basic health care services.
CWAG has and will continue its support for "Medicare For All Legislation."
(3) Senate Committee Announces Deal on
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee last week announced that they have agreed to a five-year funding extension for
the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) made the announcement as the end of
September deadline to extend federal funding for a program that covers roughly 9 million low-income children gets
closer. The proposed legislation would maintain the ACA's 23 percent increase in the federal matching rate to states
for 2018 and 2019 and begin to decrease the funds in 2020 according to sources.
CWAG supports this Congressional bi-partisan Agreement and is in favor of the
Congressional Reauthorization of the "Children's Health Insurance Program. "
(4) CWAG Supports our Hospital Coalition Partners:
Wisconsin Hospitals and CWAG Urge Members of Congress to Stop the Cuts to the U.S. Dept. Of Health & Human
Services Budget - Specifically DSH Cuts!
CWAG, Wisconsin hospitals and those hospitals throughout the country that care for "uninsured and vulnerable
populations," teamed up last week and sent letters urging Members of Congress to stop the proposed cuts to
Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. CWAG and more than 250 hospitals and health systems -
informed House and Senate Committee Leadership - warning that the pending cuts could "limit their constituents'"
access to health care.
Congress has previously delayed these cuts, but the latest extension runs out on Sept 30th and CWAG is
encouraging members of Congress to continue their funding for the Medicaid Expansion Program.
(5) The Trump Administration Is Undermining the Affordable Care Act Plan to Innovate Health Care.
If left alone, the current provision in the ACA would help Americans pay less for better healthcare outcomes. But
tragically, the anti-ACA Trump White House, is rolling back a "bipartisan" provision of the Affordable Care Act.
One of the many upsides of the Affordable Care Act is that it encouraged government agencies to experiment with this
kind of pricing, with the goal of lowering health care costs in the bigger picture someday. Unfortunately, unless
Congress intervenes and stops the Trump Administration from eliminating this provision of the ACA, we will now see
Hospital and Healthcare Costs continue to rise. CWAG is opposed to Trump's undermining of the ACA Innovation
Healthcare Plan and is encouraging Wisconsin's Congressional Representatives and Senators, to raise objections to
the Trump White House's "penny wise and dollar foolish" attacks on the ACA.
A.J. Nino Amato