There are currently 13 men in the Senate working on crafting a new healthcare policy bill as a replacement for the ACA. Two of those thirteen are Utah senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. As you may have read, a big piece of the Senate health care bill focuses on cutting Medicaid spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. While Mike Lee has not traditionally supported any government spending to help the poor of our state, Senator Orrin Hatch has had a long history of helping children with healthcare access and has pushed for good bipartisan healthcare policies in his political past.
Anti-poverty group, RESULTS, is meeting with the Senator Hatch’s tax aid today. Why? Because 215,000 Utah children rely on Medicaid and CHIP for healthcare, particularly at-risk and vulnerable children. Let’s support RESULT’s efforts with 100 calls by Wednesday reminding Senator Hatch exactly who will be impacted by cuts in Medicaid funding — people that the senator has worked to protect in the past.
CALL TO ACTION
- Call Senator Hatch using the script below, or craft your own message. The more you can personalize the call the more effective it will be. Calling is easy, and it only takes a minute! (Note: if you get voicemail, be sure to leave your name and address with zip code to make sure your call gets tallied).
- Ask someone else to call to — the more calls, the bigger the message to Senator Hatch. Let’s get to 100 calls together!
- Let us know that you called by commenting to this post on Facebook or Twitter or by emailing us.
Sample Script you can use (or modify):
Hi, My name is _____________. I am a (stay at home mom, a lawyer, a pediatrician, etc) and I care about kids. I am calling today to ask Senator Hatch to please protect Medicaid for kids here in Utah. Many at-risk children rely on Medicaid: kids living in poverty, kids with disabilities and kids with chronic illnesses. Medicaid also helps many children get preventative care such as immunization, well-child check ups and vision and hearing screening. If the proposed cuts to Medicaid go through then Utah will face impossible choices: they will either need to raise taxes substantially or more likely the state will need to cut the number of children who can enroll in Medicaid and their benefits. Will you please ask Senator Hatch to protect cuts to the vital Medicaid program?
215, 000 Utah children rely on Medicaid and CHIP for healthcare, particularly the most vulnerable children.
71% of enrollees in Medicaid/CHIP in Utah are children.
45% of federal funds received by Utah is for Medicaid.
The American Health Care Act would shift $1 billion in Medicaid costs to Utah, leaving Utah to raise taxes, cut budget programs like education or cut Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and/or payments to hospitals and physicians. (Urban Institute/Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
Medicaid helps children grow up to reach their full potential. Children enrolled in Medicaid miss fewer school days due to injury of illness, do better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, grow up to be healthier as adults, earn higher wages and pay more taxes.
These are the percentages of at-risk Utah children who rely on Medicaid and CHIP:
- 58% children living in or near poverty
- 24% Infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers during the early years that are key to their healthy development and school readiness
- 29% Children with disabilities or other special health care needs such as juvenile diabetes, congenital heart conditions, or asthma.
- 100% Children in foster care who face poverty, family dysfunction, neglect, and abuse that result in high rates of chronic health, emotional, and developmental problems.
- 31% Newborns in low-income families to assure a healthy delivery and strong start during their critical first year of life.
(Source: Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the American Academy of Pediatrics)