Saturday, February 8, 2014

A hidden health tax?

Republican governors like Rick Perry are messing with Obamacare and the lives of millions of Americans by refusing to expand Medicaid. Can you chip in to ramp up our campaign to expand Medicaid, starting with launching billboards like this one in red states?

Billboard: Welcome to Texas. Proudly   denying 1,046,000 of our own people health care for no good reason whatsoever.

Dear MoveOn member,

Republican governors and likely future presidential candidates like Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Bobby Jindal have come up with a new strategy to undermine the Affordable Care Act—and right now they're getting away with it.

It's called the "hidden health tax" and it makes family insurance premiums $1,017 higher than they need to be. Here's how this "hidden health tax" works: When a group of people is kept uninsured, it raises the premiums for everyone else.1

So when Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and their Republican friends dig in their heels to prevent the expansion of the popular Medicaid program in their states, they're not just keeping 5 million Americans without insurance (which is bad enough)—they're creating consequences for the success of the whole Affordable Care Act, which impacts tens of millions more people.

We won't let them get away with it. We're kicking off a national campaign to stop the GOP's "hidden health tax" and expand Medicaid in the 25 states where Republicans have blocked it so far—and we're going to make sure millions of Americans know about it.

Can you chip in $3 to help put up billboards like this in Texas, Florida, and other states where Republicans are denying people health coverage?

These billboards are the shot across the bow, and we'll put them up at busy interstate crossings right away. But we won't stop there. Here's our two-part plan:

1) We go all-in to win Medicaid expansion in the states. Looking at the map, there are another six states where we've got a shot at winning this year—which means hundreds of thousands of people getting health insurance, and momentum for more states to follow suit.

2) And we make sure that Rick Perry and his Republican friends feel political consequences for their actions, so that they never make it close to the White House.

As you read this, decisions are being made in state capitols across the country—if we get these billboards up right away, they'll earn media attention and increase pressure on decision-makers to act. We can win, but we need to raise $150,000 today to launch the these billboards and jumpstart the campaign.

Can you chip in $3?

Yes, I can contribute $3.

MoveOn members are organizing to expand Medicaid in every state where Republicans are holding it up—hundreds of thousands of members have signed petitions to expand Medicaid, and hundreds joined a strategy call this week to plan the next phase of the campaign. These billboards are only the beginning, and they'll send a warning to anyone who dares to block Americans from accessing health care and subject us all to a "hidden health tax."

The "hidden health tax" was first reported on back in 2009 when Congress was debating the Affordable Care Act, and the principle holds true today.2 An uninsured person has trouble paying for needed health services—like treatment for late-stage breast cancer—but someone still needs to pay those costs, so health insurance companies raise premiums on everyone else to make up the difference.

Right now, Republicans are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. By keeping 5 million Americans—largely low-income folks—from getting insurance, they're manufacturing the false notion that Obamacare isn't affordable.

This is a totally winnable fight. Last year, six Republican governors did the right thing and expanded Medicaid in their states. We can use this momentum to win Medicaid expansion in even more states, if we act now.

Click here to contribute $3 to stop the GOP's "hidden health tax" and help more Americans access health coverage.

This is a case of the best defense is a good offense. So we're launching a major campaign to win Medicaid expansion in at least six more states this year, and hold obstructionists like Rick Perry accountable.

Thanks for all you do.

–Victoria, Mariana, Matt P., Nick, and the rest of the team

P.S. 25 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid. But Republican governors and state legislatures in another 25 states are standing in the way, and their actions could undermine the Affordable Care Act. Can you chip $3 in to help us defend Obamacare and expand Medicaid in more states, starting with putting billboards like this up in red states?


1. "Hidden Health Tax: Americans Pay a Premium," Families USA, May 2009

2. "Study: Insured pay 'hidden tax' for uninsured health care," USA Today, May 29, 2009

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