Thursday, January 3 - Public Comment on Abortion Coverage / Questions for Aldermanic Candidates / Donate to Help Immigrant Families

Actions You Can Take Today

 

Action 1: Public Comment Against Abortion Coverage Change (Deadline 1/8)

On November 7, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule on exchange program integrity. The proposed rule is largely technical in nature, but proposes significant changes to the way that insurers and consumers must offer and pay for abortion services in qualified health plans (QHPs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Ostensibly intended to protect the intent of the Hyde Amendment and keep public money from funding abortions, instead this rule creates significant administrative burdens for insurers and consumers when accessing coverage for abortion services. The rule reverses prior guidance on how the health insurance exchanges intersect with the Hyde Amendment.

The rule requires that insurance companies bill separate premiums for health plans with abortion coverage: one bill for the comprehensive coverage and one for the abortion service coverage (regardless of the actual apportioned cost and regardless of whether the insured has ever had an abortion or sought coverage for one). Consumers must not only pay the bills separately, but their entire insurance coverage will be canceled for failure to pay either bill.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 3 million people would be affected by the rule. If accepted, the new burden of separate invoices and billing for this rule would cost about $1.6 million annually.

The deadline for public comments on this rule is Tuesday, January 8. Leave a public comment today.

Suggested comments [please personalize]: I am completely against the Trump-Pence administration’s new proposed rule to force people to pay twice for basic reproductive healthcare. Abortion is already prohibitively difficult to access for many. If this rule takes effect, it could strip abortion coverage from 1.3 million women in 24 states, having disproportionate effects on low-income women, women in rural areas without reproductive health services, and states with severe restrictions like mandatory waiting periods.

This rule is an obvious ploy to further stigmatize a common and safe medical procedure and deny abortion coverage to as many women as possible. I demand HHS not adopt this new rule and respect women's autonomy and dignity.

Script via NARAL

Action 2: Submit a Question for Aldermanic Candidate Forum (Deadline 1/7)

She Votes Illinois is a statewide political action committee aimed at highlighting the importance of women’s voices in elections, government, and policymaking. Their work focuses on three things: voting, education, and getting more women involved in politics.

She Votes Illinois will be showcasing women's voices in the 2019 Chicago Aldermanic race through a social media series leading up to the election on February 26. Women running for alderman will have the opportunity to answer questions by She Votes Illinois and YOU in the form of video, audio, or written responses that will be showcased on their social media sites (She Votes Illinois uses an inclusive definition of “women” to include trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who identify as femme).

She Votes Illinois will select a few questions submitted by Chicagoans to ask the candidates - and it might be yours!

Please submit your question for the candidates by Monday, January 7. Please make sure your question is applicable to be answered by candidates in ALL 50 wards.

Action via She Votes Illinois

 

Action 3: Donate to Help Immigrant Families

Since last year the United States Border Patrol (PB), Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are operating under revised policies for the handling of refugee families: If local NGOs (non-governmental organizations such as churches and shelters) are at capacity and unable to receive the refugees, those families are being released, en masse, unannounced, into US city streets. In the desert summer it was without water, now it is without winter clothing. The US will not assist families in contacting relatives or friends, nor will they transport the families to bus stations or airports. The US is leaving all of those functions to NGOs, churches, shelters.

The problem has only gotten worse this winter, leading up to Christmas Eve, there were three days of releases directly into the streets of El Paso. Hundreds of immigrants, including unfed children, were dropped at night in 42 degree weather.

Our government is continuing these procedures in 2019. Charities are already beyond capacity, so have had to pay to put up refugees in hotels. Any donations you can give are put to use right away.  

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Daily Actions Editor