by Carmen Ramos-Kennedy –
Calls to Action for July
Saving Healthcare for Millions
Despite objections by two groups of his coalition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is feverishly working to pressure his fellow Republican senators to sign on to the current Senate healthcare “reform” bill. The legislation was written by 13 white men behind, literally, locked doors, and its effects will include:
Eliminating the tax penalty on people who don’t purchase health insurance, known as the “individual mandate.” This penalty is the incentive for currently healthy (and young) people to buy insurance, and is necessary for any insurance to function. (Life insurance, car insurance, homeowners’ fire insurance—you pay for these and hope never to use them. It’s why your taxes pay for a fire department which you hope you’ll never have to call to put out a fire at your house. But if you do, you’re glad it’s there for you!)
Offering states waivers from the ACA requirements that insurers cover “essential health benefits,” and that they charge the same price to everyone regardless of their health history. They would replace the “pre-existing conditions coverage” with the same, failed “high-risk pools” that Obamacare eliminated (because they don’t work).
Phasing out the ACA’s Medicaid expansion which covers adults making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line ($15,800 for one person, or $32,319 for a family of four). After seven years, federal Medicaid—which also pays for 65% of all elderly people in nursing homes—would be replaced altogether by “block grants,” forcing states to make up the difference (or not, in many cases).
Cutting taxes for the wealthy—a tax of 3.8% that applies only to unearned income from interest and dividends that exceeds $200,000/year per person or $250,000 for couples. (The first $200,000 in unearned income is still taxed a rates lower than working people’s earned income from jobs.) To “earn” that much interest, a person would need a net worth of at least $5,000,000, not counting homes, cars, businesses, and other non-interest producing investments.
Replacing income-based subsidies with age-based “tax credits” for those buying insurance on their own, and allowing insurers to charge five times as much for people in their 60s as for younger people (currently the differential is 3x). Those whose income is too low to benefit from tax credits (because they don’t owe any taxes), would lose all financial support for insurance.
Please call, write & email senators. If the Washington office line is busy, call the senators’ NC offices.
- Email: burr.senate.gov/contact/email
- Mail: 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
- Phone: (202) 224-3154
- FAX: (202) 228-2981
- Asheville office: 151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204, Asheville, NC 28801
- Phone: (828) 350-2437
- Email: tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
- Mail: 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
- Phone: (202) 224-6342
- FAX: (202) 228-2563
- Charlotte office: 9300 Harris Corners Pkwy, Suite 170, Charlotte, NC 28269
- Phone: (704) 509-9087
- Hendersonville office: Phone: (828) 693-8750, Fax: (828) 693-9724
Democracy NC, with the help of the NAACP and other coalition partners, has collected over 10,000 signatures to end gerrymandering in our state. Join us for the Democracy Asheville Coalition Meeting on Monday, July 17, at 6 p.m. at the Wesley Grant Center, 285 Livingston St. 28801. Contact Darlene at (828) 216-3430 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Chaperoned 2017 College Exploration Trip
Positive Changes Youth Ministries is planning to take 14 students on its annual college tour, designed to motivate and inspire local youth to expand their horizons and change their mindsets from “I can’t” to “I can achieve my goals and dreams.”
Dewana Little of PCYM says, “We are still $30,000 away from our goal. With August quickly approaching, we can use all of the support we can get!”
PCYM’s College Readiness Program helps youth to recognize their greatness because the adults positively affirm and realize that all youth have the potential to be great. But, says Little, “Until they do, they will never strive to be more than what their environment tells/shows them.”
To support the 2017 College Tour go to www.gofundme.com/PositiveChanges2017.
Contact Mountain People’s Assembly at PO Box 8052, Asheville, NC 28814, or online at mountainmoralmonday.org.
The Asheville-Buncombe NAACP, Branch #5363, meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Sanctuary of Hill Street Baptist Church, 135 Hill Street in Asheville. For information: 4ward2getherCall2Action@gmail.com; Buncombe County NAACP, PO Box 2881, Asheville, NC 28802; facebook.com/buncombecountynaacp.