Thursday Actions: SNAP, Space Force!, Drug Prices, and More

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8 mins read

Open Enrollment for Federal Healthcare Deadline:

[Borrowed from WNCT] Governor Cooper is reminding North Carolinians that the open enrollment deadline for healthcare for 2020 is December 15. Many people who get their insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace get help paying for their premiums and may also be able to get help with copayments and deductibles. At HealthCare.gov, North Carolinians can compare plans based on price, benefits and other features. Importantly, coverage cannot be denied because of pre-existing or chronic conditions like cancer or diabetes. 

Those who had coverage for 2019 through HealthCare.gov, should log in to their Marketplace account as soon as possible to review their options for 2020. Factsheets on the Marketplace are available in English and Spanish. North Carolinians seeking free, in-person assistance with enrollment can also visit the NC Navigator Consortium to find a local application assister or call the toll-free NC Navigator Helpline at 1-855-733-3711.


EVENTS:

NC State Board of Elections:

The NC SBE will be holding a telephone meeting on Friday December 13. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/NCSBE/photos/a.10152239170469882/10157748814354882/?type=3&theater


Message in a Bottle Healthcare Rallies:

[From Piedmont Rising] This Thursday, join concerned North Carolinians in delivering a #MessageInABottle to Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr. Help us ask our senators to support lower drug pricing by attending one of our events across the state:

| RALEIGH |

Where: 310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 122, Raleigh, N.C.

When: 10:00 AM

| HIGH POINT | 

Where: 1840 Eastchester Dr., Suite 200, High Point, NC

When: 10:00 AM

| WINSTON-SALEM |

Where: 2000 West First Street, Suite 508, Winston-Salem N.C.

When: 10:00 AM

| HENDERSONVILLE |

Where: 1 Historic Courthouse Square, Suite 112, Hendersonville, N.C.

When: 10:00 AM

One in four Americans can’t afford their prescription drugs, forcing them to stretch their budgets, ration medication, or forego medication altogether. This is a health care crisis — and our leaders have the opportunity to address it. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R.3, is expected to pass the House this week and will head to the Senate next. This legislation could lower patients’ prescription drug spending by thousands of dollars and be life-changing for North Carolina families struggling with the high costs of medication.


FEDERAL:

Keep Calling about HR3:

We’re still waiting for a vote on HR3. This bill would take some significant steps toward making prescription drugs more affordable. It would allow HHS to negotiate directly with drug companies for over 250 of the most expensive drugs. It would, for example, save diabetics up to $700 annually on insulin. In fact, at least one recent study has shown that 1 in 4 diabetics have been forced to ration insulin because of the cost. Manufacturers of drugs subject to negotiation would agree to a price no higher than 120 percent of the average price in other industrialized countries. 

Details:

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent caling from ____________ to urge Rep./Sen. ___________ to support HR3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. This bill would go a LONG way toward making prescription drugs more affordable. Diabetics, for example, would see the costs of insulin drop by $700 annually, which would be a life-changing cost savings for them. It would also bring our costs closer to the prices paid in every other industrialized nation. Please support HR3 and lower drug costs for millions of Americans. Thanks.

Federal Contact Numbers:

  • Thom Tillis: DC: (202) 224-6342
  • Richard Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
  • Tim Scott (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-6121
  • Lindsey Graham (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-5972
  • House: https://www.house.gov/representatives/

Restore SNAP Benefits:

[Updated] The Trump administration recently formalized work requirements for recipients of food stamps, a move that will cause hundreds of thousands of people to lose access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. Changes to the rule will take effect April 1. The USDA rule change affects people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled. Under current rules, this group is required to work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps, but states have been able to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment. 

The new rule would limit states from waiving those standards, instead restricting their use to those areas that have a 6 percent unemployment rate or higher. The national unemployment rate in October was 3.6 percent. Approximately 700,000 people would lose their SNAP benefits because of this new rule. This rule, of course, would do nothing to get people back to work. Instead, it would strip away an important benefit that people desperately need while seeking work. Both the Senate and the House have rejected work requirements in the past, usually in massive bipartisan fashion. Trump is trying to engage in a workaround here by changing the rule within the USDA, but that doesn’t mean Congress can’t push back against it. Meanwhile, the House (including a large number of Democrats) overwhelmingly passed a $780 billion defense authorization that includes money for Trump’s Space Force, a giveaway to government contractors.

Details:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nearly-700-000-will-lose-food-stamps-usda-work-requirement-n1095726

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from ____________ to urge Rep./Sen. ___________ to repeal a new USDA rule that would essentially require people to work in order to get SNAP benefits. This rule would take SNAP benefits from nearly 700,000 people, and it will do nothing to reduce unemployment. It’s absurd that you are willing to spend billions for a completely worthless Space Force program, but we don’t have enough money to provide food for people who need it. Thank you.

Federal Contact Numbers:

  • Thom Tillis: DC: (202) 224-6342
  • Richard Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
  • Tim Scott (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-6121
  • Lindsey Graham (SC): Washington, DC: 202-224-5972House: https://www.house.gov/representatives/

Originally published on Indivisible Triangle.
Re-posted with permission.


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