July 27, 2017
In today's email:
- Action alert: ACA repeal effort
- The state budget: labor savings vote
- In case you missed it: early childhood report
Last week, the Senate effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seemed all but dead. Several key “moderate” senators remained opposed to a bill that would have left 22 million people without health insurance and slashed funding for Medicaid; leadership postponed the bill. We warned, however, that the fight was far from over – the bill had suffered setbacks in the House and the Senate before, only to come back for a vote at a later date.
After some last-minute negotiations, it looks like Senate leaders will try again to vote on the repeal this week, with a “motion to proceed” as early as tomorrow. This means that the ACA is again at risk of being repealed.
There are currently two versions under consideration: a full repeal of the ACA (or at least elimination of all parts of the ACA that are budget-related to comply with reconciliation rules), and a repeal-and-replace bill, similar to the one that was approved in the House. The former would leave 32 million people uninsured by 2026 compared to the ACA; the latter would leave 22 million without coverage.
It is troubling that we do not know what repeal proposal the Senate will be voting for yet; Senate leadership has not disclosed either the language of the bills or which bill they intend to bring to the floor. There are also questions regarding what can be included in the repeal-and-replace bill after the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that several of its key provisions cannot be passed using the current legislative procedure. It is unclear if either proposal has the votes to pass, and it is disturbing that no one (Senators included) seems to know what is happening – but the ACA is again at risk.
What can you do to help stop this bill?
- Connecticut’s U.S. senators are opposed to the repeal efforts. We encourage you to call them to share your story about why the ACA is important and thank them for their support. You can find their contact information here.
- Do you have any friends or relatives who live in states represented by Republican senators? Call your friends and family, reach out to them through social media, email them, and urge them to call their senators. Tell them to share their stories, and to urge the senators to oppose the repeal. This is going to be a very close vote; every single call helps.
Want More Action Alerts?
As the budget negotiations continue, we will start sending more action alerts to our “Voices from the Capitol” mailing list. Make sure you are subscribed here.
The General Assembly is in session today, with two items on its agenda. First, they will try to override the Governor's veto of some of the bills they passed during the session. Second, the House intends to vote on the $1.57 billion labor savings package.
The labor savings package is one of the many moving pieces in the budget negotiations. If the General Assembly ratifies it, Connecticut will still face a $3.5 billion budget gap. Still a huge challenge, but less daunting than the $5 billion deficit without the agreement. You find more information on the specifics of the agreement here.
What happens if the General Assembly doesn’t approve the agreement? If they vote it down, it goes back to the drawing board. If they do not take it up for a vote, the agreement will take effect 30 days after the next legislative session begins – that would be March 1st, 2018. This would mean that the savings included in the agreement would be lower, as the current, more expensive contract would remain in place until then. If the House votes on the agreement today, the Senate is expected to vote next Monday, July 31st.
Meanwhile, the ripple effects of not having a budget are reaching municipalities. Nearly half of cities and towns participating in a recent survey have frozen spending or cut services.
Action Alert: A Budget that Puts Families First
Connecticut’s children and families need your help. Call your legislators today, and tell them that Connecticut needs a budget that puts families first, with a balanced approach that includes new revenue.
In our new report, we assess the quality of Connecticut's early childhood system.
Every child deserves a strong start in life: children need to enter kindergarten healthy, happy, and eager to learn. That requires high-quality early care: research shows that early childhood represents a window of explosive learning that can set the course for a lifetime.
Providing quality care for young children benefits parents, children, childcare workers, and the state economy. In the first issue brief in this series, we estimated that if all young children who need child care were in high-quality settings, the state would gain $13.4 billion in long-term returns.
In this second brief, we delve deeper into the question of what is meant by "high-quality" settings. We review the literature analyzing the components of high-quality early care and education (ECE), assess the extent to which Connecticut's center-based early care programs meet those standards, and make recommendations for how Connecticut can continue expanding both quality and access.
You can download the report here.
What We Are Reading
- Trump Effect’ Could Cost States Lost Tax Revenues, The Hill.
- Foster Care as Punishment: The New Reality of ‘Jane Crow’, New York Times.
- Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown.
- UConn Study: When State Pays for ACT Exam, More Poor Youth Reach College, CT by the Numbers.
- Some Schools Much Better than Others at Closing Achievement Gaps Between Their Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students, Brookings.
- Single Payer, Meet All Payer: the Surprising State that Is Quietly Revolutionizing Health Care, The Intercept
- Report: Medicaid-expansion states, led by CT, reduce per-person costs, CT Mirror.