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February 2010 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

Fighting Poverty Can Help Our Economy!

Engage: Investing in programs that reduce poverty not only helps those in need, it provides a significant boost to our economy.

Problem: The U.S. unemployment rate is 10 percent. Yet key legislative proposals that would help put people back to work are currently stalled in Congress.

Inform: Expanding Medicaid as part of health reform is a way to cover millions of uninsured. But health reform will also create jobs; a new study estimates that if health reform passes (with a Medicaid expansion), between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs can be created annually over the next ten years. Furthermore, programs that encourage consumer spending like the Earned Income Tax Credit create more economic activity in local communities than what the government spends on benefits. Investing in programs like Medicaid (via health reform) and low-income tax credits are smart economics.

Call to Action: I urge you to work with your House/Senate colleagues to complete work on health reform and get it passed, including expanding Medicaid to 150 of poverty, and increasing Medicaid doctor reimbursement rates and federal financing of the expansion. Also, please urge House Ways and Means/Senate Finance Committee members to include expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit in tax legislation this year. These investments will help millions of individuals and families struggling in poverty, help create jobs, and revive our economy.

What Is a Laser Talk?

A laser talk serves as a useful starting point for your advocacy work, whether as a talking points during a town hall meeting or as a primer for face-to-face meetings with candidates and elected officials. Follow up with more information and evidence supporting your points. And of course, adapt a laser talk to reflect your own experiences and why you care about the issue! For more on how to create your own laser talk, see the RESULTS Activist Toolkit: Create and Deliver Your EPIC Laser Talk and our Health Care for All campaign page.