Friday, August 18, 2017

Safety Net Clinic Week 2017 is almost here! Are you ready?

This week our colleagues at community health centers (FQHCs) are celebrating National Health Center Week. Our week, Safety Net Clinic Week, is September 11-15, 2017!  I encourage you to use the resources included in the toolkit below to have the most successful Safety Net Clinic Week (SNCW) possible!
  • Short Overview of Safety Net Clinic Week (use as content for your website, blogs, social media, newsletters, email signatures, etc.)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Logo 
  • Letter to the Editor (for submission to your local media)
  • Governmental Proclamation or Resolution (request a proclamation from your city and/or county)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Invitation (consider inviting your city and/or county public officials, and community leaders to visit your clinic during SNCW. *see helpful links below)
  • Open House Invitation (consider hosting an open house or some kind of celebratory event during SNCW! Please let me know if you are hosting an event.)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Fact Sheet (include with any invitation you extend and use, in addition to specific information about your clinic, as speaking points during Safety Net Clinic Week)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Press Release/Advisory (submit to your local media)
  • Social Media Guidelines #SNCW17
I have extended invitations to the Governor, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and all State Legislators and major party candidates for office to visit clinics during SNCW17. I will contact you directly if they are interested in visiting your clinic!  

*Link to identify municipal elected officials for invitation and proclamations: Identify the members of your local governments (city/county) click here or by visiting the website of your local city or county government.

I am available to help with SNCW17 activities and can be reached at 720-233-7375 or brookepowers72@gmail.comPlease let me know if you are hosting an event or have already scheduled or invited an elected official to visit your clinic during SNCW17. I can attend your events and help you get the most out of the week! 
-Brooke Powers


Latest from CO Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF)...or from others about state programs!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Only 1 month until Safety Net Clinic Week 2017!!

Are you ready for the 8th Annual Safety Net Clinic Week, September 11-15, 2017?  I encourage you to use the resources included in the toolkit below to have the most successful Safety Net Clinic Week (SNCW) possible!
  • Short Overview of Safety Net Clinic Week (use as content for your website, blogs, social media, newsletters, email signatures, etc.)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Logo 
  • Letter to the Editor (for submission to your local media)
  • Governmental Proclamation or Resolution (request a proclamation from your city and/or county)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Invitation (consider inviting your city and/or county public officials, and community leaders to visit your clinic during SNCW. *see helpful links below)
  • Open House Invitation (consider hosting an open house or some kind of celebratory event during SNCW! Please let me know if you are hosting an event.)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Fact Sheet (include with any invitation you extend and use, in addition to specific information about your clinic, as speaking points during Safety Net Clinic Week)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Press Release/Advisory (submit to your local media)
  • Social Media Guidelines #SNCW17
I have extended invitations to the Governor, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and all State Legislators and major party candidates for office to visit clinics during SNCW17. I will contact you directly if they are interested in visiting your clinic!  

*Link to identify municipal elected officials for invitation and proclamations: Identify the members of your local governments (city/county) click here or by visiting the website of your local city or county government.

I am available to help with SNCW17 activities and can be reached at 720-233-7375 or brookepowers72@gmail.comPlease let me know if you are hosting an event or have already scheduled or invited an elected official to visit your clinic during SNCW17. I can attend your events and help you get the most out of the week! 
-Brooke Powers


Friday, August 4, 2017

Celebrate Safety Net Clinic Week, Sept. 11-15, 2017 #SNCW17

In an effort to celebrate, highlight and advocate for Colorado's health care safety net, we encourage your clinic to participate in the 8th Annual Safety Net Clinic Week, September 11-15, 2017. The week is devoted to educating the public, policymakers and other community leaders about Colorado’s Community Safety Net Clinics (CSNCs) and federally certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). As in years past we have created a “toolkit” to help clinics participate in Safety Net Clinic Week 2017 (SNCW17). I encourage you to use the resources included in the toolkit to have the most successful SNCW17 possible! Included in the “toolkit” are many easily customizable templates. Click on each item listed below to open:
  • Short Overview of Safety Net Clinic Week
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Logo (use as content for your website, blogs, social media, newsletters, email signatures, etc.)
  • Letter to the Editor (for submission to your local media)
  • Governmental Proclamation or Resolution (request a proclamation from your city and/or county)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Invitation (consider inviting your city and/or county public officials, and community leaders to visit your clinic during Safety Net Clinic Week. *see helpful links below)
  • Open House Invitation (consider hosting an open house or some kind of celebratory event during SNCW!)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Fact Sheet (include with any invitation you extend and use, in addition to specific information about your clinic, as speaking points during Safety Net Clinic Week)
  • Safety Net Clinic Week Press Release/Advisory (submit to your local media)
  • Social Media Guidelines #SNCW17
We have requested a Proclamation of Safety Net Clinic Week 2017 from the Governor and we will be disseminating 2 statewide press release announcing Safety Net Clinic Week 2017 and another recapping the week. Additionally, we have extended invitations to the Governor, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and all State Legislators and major party candidates for office to visit clinics during Safety Net Clinic Week 2017. I will contact you directly if they are interested in visiting your clinic!  

*Link to identify municipal elected officials for invitation and proclamations: Identify the members of your local governments (city/county) click here or by visiting the website of your local city or county government.

I am available to help you with Safety Net Clinic Week 2017 activities and can be reached at 720-233-7375 or brookepowers72@gmail.com. Please let me know if you plan on hosting an open house or if have already scheduled or invited an elected official to visit your clinic during SNCW17. I can attend your events and help you get the most out of the week! 
-Brooke Powers


Latest from CO Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF)...or from others about state programs!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What's next at the national level with health care reform?

"The individual insurance market in Colorado and around the country was already troubled, and this year's debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has left it even more shaken. Now that ACA repeal has been delayed indefinitely in the Senate, the Colorado Health Institute is looking at practical, short-term adjustments Colorado policymakers can use to restore stability to the insurance market. Read about them in our newest publication: Five Band-Aids for the ACA." - Colorado Health Institute, August 3, 2017

From the Protect Our Care Colorado (a coalition managed by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative):
Health Care Issues Going Forward
We know we’re all trying to catch our breath a little following last week's victory in the repeal effort’s dramatic failure, and we want to again thank you for everything you have done over the past many months. ACA repeal failed because you called, tweeted, and showed up time and again to tell our elected officials you overwhelmingly reject the damaging core features of every single version of the repeal bill that would have:
  • Taken health coverage from millions
  • Ended Medicaid expansion and gutted Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and children
  • Raised premiums and deductibles for millions of people
  • Gutted protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
But, it's important to remain vigiland and we also want to bring you up to speed on what may be coming next. Bear with us, there’s a bit to cover, but the most important thing is to stay engaged and be ready to take action.
  • Sabotage: The hot topic this week has been cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), additional assistance available through the ACA that lowers copays/deductibles for low-moderate income people. The President has threatened to end the payments to insurance companies that covers the cost of this additional assistance. If he were to follow through on that, it would lead to spikes in insurance premiums and we would likely see more insurance companies withdraw from the individual insurance market. Early this week it sounded like the President was planning to pull the plug on these payments to insurers, but there has been a lot of pushback against this, including from many Republicans in Congress. There is also a court case in progress that could affect the CSRs. All of this uncertainty is happening while insurance companies are trying to set their rates for next year. We’ve seen CSR funding mentioned by Colorado insurers in their proposed rates (which we are currently analyzing) as a factor in setting higher rates or that they could withdraw from the market if funding of CSRs stops.
  • Repeal bill isn't technically dead...yet: Because of the way the “skinny” repeal failed last week, the reconciliation bill/the American Health Care Act (from the House) is still technically alive and could come back if a new form of repeal gains momentum and were amended onto the bill. The only plan out there at the moment is one from Senators Cassidy and Graham. In some ways, the proposal, that doesn’t have any official language yet, is more extreme than previous repeal iterations. From what we know about it, this proposal would keep many of the proposed cuts to Medicaid and substantially reduce/block grant funds to states instead of providing funding for Medicaid expansion and tax credits that lower premiums. It would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from health care programs, and would again lead to millions losing coverage. At the moment, this proposal doesn’t seem to be gaining the support it needs to progress but it’s clearly being discussed by the White House and some Republicans in Congress. For more on this proposal read this.
  • Budget & Tax Reform Threats: The other potential threat to health care is what comes out of the budget process in Congress or any effort on tax reform. The budget process is in its early phases, but a draft House budget already includes $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid. And, it’s possible Republicans in Congress will use cuts to Medicaid/ACA programs to pay for tax cuts if they move forward with tax reform. Whatever happens in the budget process or tax reform effort, we will have to be vigilant against cuts to health care.
  • Bipartisan reform?: There is a positive development - there is a lot more talk about pursuing a bipartisan bill to stabilize the insurance markets. There are groups forming bipartisan talks in both the House and the Senate. It remains to be seen what comes of these efforts or what a bill might look like, but this is a positive sign that your calls for a bipartisan approach to health care have moved the needle. It’s also a sign that more Republicans are ready to work with Democrats to fix certain issues in the ACA. The more we can encourage this bipartisan effort in the early stages the better.
What you can do:
Call your Senators:
Thank Senator Bennet for voting no on the repeal bills - Denver: (303) 455-7600 DC: (202) 224- 5852
Tell Senator Gardner you're disappointed with his vote, and that he should support a bipartisan reform effort - Denver: 303-391-5777 DC: (202)-224-5941
Call your Representatives
Ask them to support bipartisan efforts to strengthen the individual market
Representative Coffman - Aurora (720) 748-7514, DC: (202) 225-7882
Representative Tipton - Durango: (970) 259-1490, DC: (202) 225-4761
Representative Buck - Greeley: (970) 702-2136, DC: (202) 225-4676
Representative Lamborn - CO Springs: (719) 520-0055, DC: (202) 225-4422
Representative Polis: Boulder - (303) 484-9596, DC: (202) 225-2161
Representative Perlmutter - Lakewood: (303)274-7944 DC: (202) 225-2645
Representative DeGette - Denver: (303) 844-4988, DC: (202) 225-4431
Drive for our Lives event on August 8th at 10am. We won an important battle for health care last week, but the fight continues. Let's get ahead of the next fight and keep up the pressure on our Members of Congress.

Use social media to thank Senator Bennet and to express your disappointment with Senator Gardner for their votes on repeal. Tag @SenCoryGardner and @SenBennetCO. Here are some sample tweets:
  • .@SenCoryGardner Disappointed you voted to take away Coloradans health care. Support bipartisan fix #copolitics #ProtectOurCare
  • .@SenCoryGardner You voted to take away health care from 600k Coloradans 3 times. Unacceptable #copolitics #ProtectOurCare
  • .@SenBennetCO The #ACA has helped 600k Coloradans get health insurance, Thank you for voting no on repeal to #ProtectOurCare
  • .@SenBennetCO Thank you for protecting our healthcare by voting against repeal. #ProtectOurCare #RejectRepeal
Resources & News:

Friday, July 28, 2017

What's next at the national level with health care reform?

A last ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed last night/early this morning in the Senate. So...for the moment...things are over. Find out exactly what happened:
Thank you, you did it!
"As you are no doubt aware, last night the U.S. Senate failed to pass an ACA repeal bill. Congratulations!  You raised your voice. You made phone calls and signed petitions. You showed up for rallies and town hall meetings. You stayed engaged and demonstrated the power of many voices coming together.  You can breathe a sigh of relief that we have salvaged health care for millions of Americans. The proposals that were put forward for repeal would have increased the number of uninsured in this country by at least 15 million, destabilized insurance markets and reduced consumer protections. All the proposals were fatally flawed. But, while we can and should take a moment to celebrate this victory, we do so knowing that there is a great deal of work to be done to improve access, affordability and equity in our health care system. Now, with the repeal votes behind us, we hope that we have the opportunity to pursue thoughtful, well-grounded solutions in a transparent and bipartisan way. Let's move forward to pursue policies that will increase equity, affordability and access and reduce costs in the health care system.
What next?
Thank Senator Bennet for his no votes: Denver: (303) 455-7600 DC: (202) 224- 5852 Attend Colorado Lives on the Line Rally: July 29, City Park, 10AM, RSVP HERE Celebrate milestones! July 30th is the 52nd Anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare