Call Your Representatives re: American Health Care Act
March 21, 2017
Many of ASPEN’s US members have inquired as to the impact of the proposed American Health Care Act on their patients. Though much is still unknown as to the final form this legislation will take, a House vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 23. Now is the time our Congressional representatives hear from us and, most importantly, that they understand the needs of patients requiring nutrition support therapy.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, under the American Health Care Act, as currently drafted, the number of uninsured individuals will increase to 14 million by 2018 and 24 million by 2026. In addition, premiums are likely to increase, particularly for older adults who could be charged five times as much as younger enrollees. Such price increases could make insurance cost prohibitive, leaving many people entirely vulnerable. Regardless of age, individuals requiring life-saving tube feeding or intravenous nutrition may be left without the insurance to cover it.
Again, this bill is far from final. That is why it is critical that ASPEN members make our voices heard immediately so that those crafting changes to the proposed legislation include adequate coverage for nutrition support therapy without increasing premiums or out of pocket costs for patients.
As the House prepares to vote on the American Health Care Act later this week, we urge all ASPEN members to call your Representatives to:
- Emphasize the importance of affordable coverage for all; and
- Let them know that the current bill is potentially devastating to many in need of nutrition support and other critical therapies.
ASPEN wants to ensure that health care coverage is accessible and affordable to all patients. Our ASPEN Public Policy Agenda
objectives include active advocacy for high priority issues pertaining to nutrition support by, among other things:
- Working on patient access to nutrition care through changing reimbursement;
- Advocating for fair reimbursement to ensure that beneficiaries of government funded health programs receive the highest quality nutrition support care;
- Sponsoring the concept of a fair marketplace that does not jeopardize the provision of safe and quality nutrition support; and
- Supporting reimbursement for nutrition clinician services to improve patient care.
The ASPEN Public Policy Committee will continue to advocate to meet these objectives and share our efforts and calls to action with the membership, particularly as the administration and Congress continue to work on health care legislation.
Please reach out to your Member of Congress and let them know what you want for your patients. Identify your Representative and find contact information here.
Please send an email letter to your Legislators
Don't know your elected officials? It's simple:
- Visit www.congress.gov/members
- Search by state or territory
- Click on the elected official
- Click on contact
- Insert your message and submit
Tips for a good letter:
- Make it personal - tell them who you are
- Make it short
- Stay on point - address only one topic
- Cite a specific bill - by number if possible
- Send the letter by email
- Send it to your legislator only - put your home address and zip code in the letter (many legislators will only accept emails from their own constituents)