ICCR Advocates Against Medicaid Rollbacks

We urge you to call your Senators this week asking them to vote against this harmful bill which would strip millions of Americans of their healthcare.

You can use the below script when calling your Senator:

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY/TOWN]. I’m calling to oppose the American Health Care Act. I oppose any efforts to cut or cap Medicaid, and no one should lose coverage as a result of any healthcare replacement. Please protect the human dignity of 23 million Americans who would lose coverage and oppose the American Health Care Act.”

And here is the list of Senators and their contact information by state: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Further, we wanted to share this "Trumpcare Toolkit" from the Center for American Progress which provides multiple ways to reach legislators: https://www.trumpcaretoolkit.org/

On Monday, June 19th, ICCR and 74 of its members sent the below letter to U.S. Senators arguing against proposed cuts to Medicaid as part of the American Health Care Act.  Download the letter as a pdf here.


 

Dear Senator:

As faith and values-based institutional investors including healthcare institutions, we share a commitment to prioritize the needs of low-income, sick, elderly, disabled, and vulnerable populations in the health care decisions before Congress. Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of active shareowners holding the companies they own accountable for their social and environmental impacts, believe that health care is a human right and have long-advocated that health coverage should be affordable and accessible to all, especially the economically disadvantaged.

We have grave concerns about the future of the Medicaid program under current proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. We strongly oppose any legislation that repeals or rolls back the Medicaid expansion or converts Medicaid’s financing through a block grant or per capita cap.

Medicaid enables one in five Americans to access quality health care and live with dignity. Medicaid covers populations our scriptures and faith traditions call on us to prioritize and care for: low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Through the Medicaid expansion, 11 million low-income individuals have gained access to quality, affordable coverage.

But proposals to eliminate the Medicaid expansion and to institute a per capita cap would make individuals often in most need of medical care the least likely to get it. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that by eliminating the Medicaid expansion and instituting a per capita cap, the House-passed bill, the American Health Care Act, would cause 14 million people to lose their Medicaid coverage within the decade.

Medicaid is a lean and efficient program: its costs per beneficiary are lower than for private insurance, while providing a more comprehensive benefits package to vulnerable populations.  When adjusting for the greater health needs, Medicaid spending per person is an estimated 25% lower than in the private market.[1]

Medicaid’s Role in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Medicaid, especially through improvements in the ACA, is increasingly a powerful and timely tool in addressing the tragic opioid epidemic around the country. Medicaid and CHIP cover a third of people with opioid addictions, and Medicaid covers a variety of treatment services, including inpatient services and detoxification, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and case management, depending upon the state.[2] The U.S. Surgeon General found that the Medicaid expansion enabled many people with substance use disorders to access health coverage and treatment services.[3] In states that took the Medicaid expansion, the percentage of people with substance use or mental health disorders who were hospitalized but uninsured dropped from about 20 percent in 2013 to 5 percent by mid-2015.[4] Repealing the Medicaid expansion and capping the program would reverse and severely restrict states' ability to respond to the opioid crisis.

Medicaid’s Role in Underserved Communities

Medicaid is especially important to rural communities and in Indian country. Close to 1.7 million people in rural communities gained health coverage under the Medicaid expansion.[5] People in rural areas are more likely to be covered by Medicaid, and Medicaid cuts would disproportionately affect these communities. Furthermore, the Medicaid expansion has been an enormous assistance to rural hospitals’ financial stability. Between 2013 and 2015, uncompensated care costs as a share of hospital operating budgets fell by about half in Medicaid expansion states.[6]

American Indians and Alaskan Natives have some of the worst health disparities and poorest access to health services in the nation, due partially to decades long underfunding of Indian Health Services. Given the disproportionately high rates of poverty among American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Medicaid expansion provides arguably for the biggest opportunity to improve the health of Native Americans and Alaska Natives in a generation.[7] Repealing the Medicaid expansion would reverse these gains. Furthermore, instituting a per capita cap could jeopardize Tribes' access to Medicaid funding as they would become dependent on states identifying and passing through the funding. Tribes often have difficulty in getting states to pass through block grant funds to them.[8]

The Danger of Per Capita Caps and Block Grants

Instituting a per capita cap or block grant would dismantle the federal guarantee and undermine the program in a way it would not recover from. A per capita cap would prevent states from adequately addressing the next opioid epidemic or Zika outbreak. Without addressing the underlying causes of growing health care costs, a per capita cap simply cuts federal funding for the program, compounding dramatically over time. Lower federal contributions shift costs to states which are then forced to cut services, eligibility, and/or provider payments. The only added flexibility given to states through a per capita cap is the flexibility to cut more people and more services from the program. No formula or indexing calculation solves these problems. A vote to institute a per capita cap is a vote to dismantle the program, shift billions of dollars of health care costs to states, leading to rationing care, weaker benefits, and even causing some to lose coverage altogether.

America’s health care system faces real challenges, but the Medicaid program is not one of them. It should remain off the table in any negotiations to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid cuts in the AHCA would make health care less accessible and less affordable for our country’s most vulnerable populations. The AHCA would turn our country farther away from health, farther away from our values, and farther away from a just society. Our faiths call us to expand life-giving health care to all, not to take it away. We call on you to prioritize our country’s most vulnerable populations and oppose any legislation that rolls back or eliminates the Medicaid expansion and institutes a Medicaid per capita cap.

Sincerely,

 

 

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

 

About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
Celebrating its 46th year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of shareholder advocates who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for social change. Its 300 member organizations comprise faith communities, socially responsible asset managers, unions, pensions, NGOs and other socially responsible investors with combined assets of over $200 billion. ICCR members engage hundreds of corporations annually in an effort to foster greater corporate accountability. www.iccr.org

 

 

Adrian Dominican Sisters

AFL-CIO Office of Investment

American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Augustinians

Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

BVM Shareholder Education & Advocacy Group

Congregation of Holy Cross - Moreau Province

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Congregation of St. Joseph

Dana Investment Advisors

Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise

Daughters of Wisdom

Dominican Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary

Dominican Sisters of Hope

Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, Leadership Council

Dominican Sisters of Sparkill

Franciscan Sisters of Allegany NY

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement

Friends Fiduciary Corporation

Health Care Without Harm

IHM Sisters - Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office

IHM Sisters, Immaculata, PA

Institute of Christian Doctrine

Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province

Maryknoll Sisters

Medical Mission Sisters

Mercy Health

Mercy Investment Services, Inc.

Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

Miller/Howard Investments, Inc.

Mount St. Scholastica

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

Progressive Asset Management

Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order

Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment

RENEW International

SC Ministry Foundation

School Sisters of St. Francis

Sisters of Bon Secours, USA

Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul of New York

Sisters of Charity, BVM

Sisters of Charity, Halifax

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

Sisters of St. Dominic Amityville

Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, NY

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell NJ

Sisters of St. Dominic/Racine Dominicans

Sisters of St. Francis Charitable Trust

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Sisters of St. Joseph - Baden

Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood

Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston

Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield

Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Sisters of the Holy Cross

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM

Social Justice Committee, Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock

Socially Responsible Investment Coalition

Society of Jesus (Jesuits) of the Central and Southern Province

SOP - Mother Joseph Province

SSND Atlantic-Midwest JPIC Office

St. Norbert Abbey Corporate Responsibility Advisory Group

Stardust

The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

The United Methodist Church Foundation

Trillium Asset Management

Trinity Health

Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment

Unitarian Universalist Association

Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province

Xaverian Brothers

Zevin Asset Management

 



[3]    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/executive-summary.pdf.

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