As Senate Republicans release their health care bill today, June 22, HIV organizations are mobilizing in preparation for what many are calling a “national community emergency.” Below is the full text from an action alert issued by Positive Women’s Network–USA (PWN-USA). It spells out what you can do to help defeat the bill. Check back with POZ.com for more details about the Senate’s health care bill. We will include more coverage and community responses as the story develops. For a roundup of POZ coverage on the U.S. House version of the health care bill, which was passed May 4, click here.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY.
URGENT: The U.S. Senate is likely to vote next week to decimate healthcare for people living with HIV.
The result will be unnecessary death and suffering.
That is why today, Thursday, June 22, we, the undersigned, are issuing this urgent emergency call for a nationwide mobilization to defeat the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans’ plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) and replace it with their deadly “American Health Care Act” (AHCA, or “Trumpcare”).
We implore people living with HIV (PLHIV) and everyone who loves us to take IMMEDIATE ACTION to contact your Senators to kill the AHCA. PWN-USA has put together a #KillTheBill Resource Center to provide you with the tools you need to make an impact.
This is not exaggerated rhetoric. This is not a rehearsal. This is for real. The AHCA is so catastrophic that 6 members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned in protest late last week. If you get insurance through Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act (an insurance exchange), you personally are at tremendous risk. 23 million Americans may lose coverage over the next decade; 14 million may lose it next year.
While much of the media is focused on the various investigations underway, the real right-wing agenda—leaving tens of millions uninsured by replacing the ACA with the so-called “American Health Care Act”—has moved ahead at an alarming rate. If you value the lives of PLHIV, others with preexisting conditions, and of those who rely on Medicaid for health care, take action this moment, right now, before you check your next email.
These Republican Senators are especially high-priority targets as they have not yet committed to vote for the AHCA, or have expressed serious reservations about it: Sen. Murkowski (Alaska), Sen. Flake (Arizona), Sen. Gardner (Colorado), Sen. Paul (KY), Sen. Cassidy (LA), Sen. Collins (Maine), Sen. Heller (Nevada), Sen. Portman (Ohio), Sen. Graham (SC), Sen. Cruz (TX), Sen. Lee (UT), Sen. Capito (West Virginia), Sen. Johnson (WI).
What we are asking of you:
- Contact your Senators’ in-district office today to set up a meeting with people living with HIV (PLHIV), especially if you are in Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Ohio, Nevada, or West Virginia. If you aren’t there but know someone there, forward them this email now.
- Mark your calendars now for the National HIV Call-In Day, Monday June 26, and organize everyone you know to make calls (add graphic for call in day)
- Forward this email to alert other PLHIV, our loved ones, our families and our allies and mobilize them into action, especially anyone you know who lives in AK, AZ, CO, ME, NV, OH, or WV
- Submit letters to the editor or an op-ed article to your local newspapers and online media immediately. Here is a link to talking points you can use. We will also have an op-ed template available soon on the #KillTheBill Resource Page
- Call your Senators every day and demand they vote NO on this terrible bill. You can use the HIV Hotline, 866-246-9371, to be connected to your Senator’s office. You can find more info here. National HIV Call-In Day is Monday, June 26, but you can and should call every day.
If the Senators or their staff will not agree to an appointment, go to their offices, go to their homes, go to where they shop for their groceries, go anywhere you can make your voice heard.
There is no graver or more immediate threat to people living with HIV in the U.S. than this proposed deadly “American Health Care Act.”
We need all hands on deck to persuade these uncommitted Senators to oppose the AHCA when it comes up for a vote next week.
To do this, we must work together, immediately.
Help us mobilize nationally to convince uncommitted Republican Senators that for many of us, our lives depend upon their vote. You can find resources here, including a guide to setting up a meeting with your Senators, talking points, additional information and how to customize your message specific to the targeted states.
We must defeat this bill. Our lives depend on it.
Yours in solidarity, anger and action,
Positive Women’s Network—USA
HIV Modernization Movement Indiana
National Working Positive Coalition
Positive Iowans Taking Charge (PITCH)
Prevention Access Campaign (#UequalsU)
U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus