ACTION ALERT: Tell Senators to Preserve Protections for Chronic Disease Patients

Contact your Senators to ask them to support critical patient protections during Senate healthcare reform effort  

6/12/17

The US Senate is deciding how to handle healthcare reform and potentially crafting legislation to “repeal and replace” or otherwise modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At this crucial time, it is important to reach out to the two Senators from your state, educate them about unique challenges faced by individuals with chronic conditions, and ask for their support in maintaining patient protections in the Senate healthcare reform bill. A proposal may be coming together over the next few weeks so your timely outreach in June could have an impact on any legislation that is put forward.

The House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) removed many existing patient protections. The AHCA would bring back pre-existing condition discrimination by allowing insurance companies to charge substantially more to individuals with pre-existing health conditions and costly chronic diseases. The Senate has indicated it will not take up the House bill, but is crafting its own measure.

Your voice is needed to ensure that Senators actively maintain patient protections in any legislative proposal. Any package that the Senate agrees on and passes has the potential to become law, so your action now is important to make sure that Senators understand the value of supporting the key pillars of patient protection. If you reach out to your Senators, they will listen to your story and work to accommodate your requests.

ACTION STEPS:

•    Find contact information for your Senators by visiting www.Senate.gov and using the “Find Your Senator” query tool in the upper right corner.

•    Call the office and ask for the Health Legislative Assistant. You can either leave a voicemail or request their e-mail address and send them a message using the template below.

•    Politely and occasionally follow up on your request. You should have an expectation that the office will respond to your specific concerns.

•    If you would like to do more, you can request a brief meeting with the staff at your Senators’ local offices (the location office information is on their websites).

EMAIL TEMPLATE:

Dear _______,

My name is _________ and I am a constituent from _________. I am also an advocate for the community of individuals impacted by dystonia. I write to urge you to maintain stability for chronic disease patients as you and your colleagues consider healthcare reform. It is my hope that you and your colleagues in the Senate will preserve key patient protections and respect the circumstances of those combatting chronic illnesses.

Please make sure any proposal maintains crucial patient protections that promote access and prevent financial hardships. Specifically, please ensure any Senate proposal:

•    maintains essential health benefits
•    prohibits pre-existing condition discrimination
•    prohibits lifetime and annual caps on benefits
•    limits out-of-pocket costs for patients in a meaningful way
•    allows young adults to stay on family coverage until they are 26

[Add a paragraph of brief information about your dystonia journey. Briefly share your story.]

Thank you for your time and your consideration of this letter. Please tell me how you have responded to my request.

Sincerely,
[Name]
[Address]

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