Take Action: September 18, 2017 Advocate for healthcare legislation you support

The next two weeks will be big ones for healthcare, and action has never been so urgently needed! Without advocacy, we could begin October having sealed our fate of being 100,000 physicians short and seriously underinsured as well within the next two decades.

Ensure Enough Residency Placements for Qualified Medical School Graduates: Popular bipartisan bills HR 2267, HR 3394, S 1301, and S 1754 all are crucial legislation that would maintain or add to the existing number of residency spots for medical graduate students in the U.S. Last year, more than 15,000 qualified medical school graduates were unable to secure residency spots. By 2030, the U.S. is predicted to be short 100,000 physicians; if we are not able to maintain funding for the residencies that already exist (S 1301/HR 2267) and create new ones to supplement them (S 1754/HR 3394), millions in our country will be unable to access medical care when they need it due to a widespread physician shortage, particularly in rural and traditionally underserved areas. The deadline for these bills to pass Congress is September 30th.

Express concerns about the Cassidy-Graham Bill: Likewise, Senate Republicans only have until September 30th to try to pass insurance reform via the reconciliation process (which allows them to skirt normal Senate procedure and dodge Democratic filibusters) before their reconciliation bill expires for the year. As a result, the GOP is making a last, desperate push to pass the Cassidy-Graham insurance reform bill, which would dissolve most of the Affordable Care Act, take all money raised by ACA taxes, and block-grant it to states to do with it as they will, without placing adequate guardrails to make sure that the money is spent ensuring healthcare access for the oldest, sickest, and poorest members of a state’s population.

Like earlier attempts, this bill has been

  • written behind closed doors,
  • not sent to Senate committee hearings, and
  • not scored by the CBO.

While state-controlled healthcare has many substantial advantages, a plan like Cassidy-Graham would indisputably bring great harm to many of society’s most vulnerable, due to its lack of coverage requirements; states would be able to choose to allow insurers to charge substantially more to sick or elderly citizens, or to sell them plans that don’t cover their pre-existing conditions.  More information here.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives as often as you can this week! Make sure they know the crucial importance of increasing the number of residency spots in the U.S., as well as voting against the Cassidy-Graham plan.

Possible Scripts:

Calling Senators:
Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [City, state, zip]. I’m asking Senator ___ to support Senate bills 1301 and 1754, which provide funding for vital residency spots to medical school graduates. By 2030, the U.S. is expected to be short 100,000 physicians. Allowing more residency spots will ensure that our physician workforce is adequate for our population for decades to come.

I am also calling to ask Senator ___ to vote against the Cassidy-Graham healthcare reform bill, and to state publicly that he/she will vote against it. I feel it is unethical for so many senators to be committing to a bill that has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

Thank you, and have a good day.

Calling Representatives:
Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [City, state, zip]. I’m asking Representative ___ to support House bills 2267 and 3394, which provide funding for vital residency spots to medical school graduates. By 2030, the U.S. is expected to be short 100,000 physicians. Allowing more residency spots will ensure that our physician workforce is adequate for our population for decades to come.

Thank you, and have a good day.