Policy Updates

Health Policy Updates:

  1. CHIP Funding Still in Jeopardy as Congress has not yet agreed on a plan. Both the House and Senate have put forth their proposals with no agreement as to whether or not CHIP funding will be extended and what the stipulations will be. Contact your elected official and urge them to extend funding for CHIP – millions of children’s lives are at stake.
  2. Tom Price Resigns As Health and Human Services Secretary on Friday, September 29, 2017. Price’s resignation comes after his use of private jets for official and personal business becomes public. Price served as the Health and Human Services Secretary for the last nine months. President Trump has designated Don Wright, MD, MPH as Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services. Although there are many named as potential replacements, a few are familiar faces, such as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma and former Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal.
  3. Repeal and Replace Stalled for Now, but Affordable Care Act (ACA) Still Being Dismantled. Although the GOP failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the administration is still doing whatever they can to restrict access to care. Currently, the mandatory certification course for enrollers working with the federal marketplace is experiencing many technical difficulties and support is dwindling from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This prevents many navigators from certifying and therefore, prevents much-needed assistance in healthcare enrollment. Additionally, HealthCare.gov will undergo maintenance on every Sunday of Open Enrollment between the hours of 12am and 12pm, ET. This further limits the window during which individuals can enroll or assist with enrollment, especially as assistance during community and faith-based events is common. Funding for navigators is also being cut, as well as funding to promote the open enrollment season. As a reminder, open enrollment begins November 1, 2017 and in California, will end on January 31, 2018. The administration is quietly restricting the ACA and drastically making changes that would limit access to coverage; the fight does not end because the Graham-Cassidy bill failed. Instead, it must continue.
  4. Federal Budget Passes in House and Senate Finance Committee.On October 4th, the House passed their budget resolution (232-188) and the Senate Budget Committee passed their resolution (12-11), to be voted on by the full Senate in the next two weeks. Both bills are detrimental to the health of Californians, including cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and other entitlement programs.
  5. Administration Limits Contraception Coverage Mandate originally provided under the Affordable Care Act. This will allow employers and insurers to claim religious or moral beliefs to avoid the mandate requiring birth control be covered by insurance through preventive car. More information regarding the policies and other key takeaways can be found here. In response, the State of California has filed a lawsuit against the administration, challenging this latest decision.
  6. Trump to Sign Executive Order Allowing Association Health Plans in another attempt to destroy healthcare. Association health plans would allow individuals to buy insurance outside their states, popular amongst the GOP. President Trump is expected to sign the Executive Order on Thursday.

Upcoming Events:

  1. “Right to Thrive: Immigrant Voices in Healthcare” Video Screening is being held on October 11th from 6pm-8pm at Planned Parenthood on 400 W. 30th Street, Los Angeles CA. Food and refreshments will be served at this event, which will screen Jose’s story: a young immigrant’s journey of battling cancer. The series is produced by CIPC to uplift personal stories of immigrant health, powerful in this current landscape. Please RSVP here.
  2. ITUP Regional Workgroup Meetings are being held across the state in October and November. These workgroup meetings address the effects of changes based on healthcare policies and continues efforts to improve access to care. For more information on these workgroups, or to register for an upcoming meeting, visit their website.
  3. CIPC’s Regional Trainings – Unleashing Our Power: Moving Pro-Immigrant Policies in 2018. Register for CIPC’s Regional Trainings being held on October 16th (Oakland) and November 20th (Los Angeles). These trainings provide basic trainings on immigrant issues and tools to effectively engage in advocacy.
  4. CPEHN’s Regional Meetings on Health Justice – join the dialogue with CPEHN and discuss the current federal health policy landscape, opportunities to support efforts to advance integrated and equitable oral and behavioral health systems, and share ideas to sustain ourselves and our organizations during these trying times. Regional meetings will occur on three separate days, in three different locations:
    • Oakland, November 1, 2017
    • Los Angeles, November 7, 2017
    • San Diego, November 9, 2017

    For more information and registration, please visit their website.

Source: Community Health Councils