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Domestic Weekly Update March 16, 2010

Get the bill. Go for it.

— Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-8) on passing health reform this week

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

  • It All Comes Down to This Week! Call Congress and Tell Them to Pass Health Reform!
  • Ask Everyone You Know to Call Congress in Support of Reform

Organizational Updates

  • Announcements
  • Upcoming Events
  • RESULTS Contact Information

 

It All Comes Down to This Week! Call Congress and Tell Them to Pass Health Reform!

It has all led down to this. After weeks, months, and years of planning, writing, calling, lobbying and all other manners of advocacy, the biggest step forward on our campaign for Health Care for All is likely this week. The White House, the House, and the Senate have all indicated that a vote on passage of the final health reform bill could come any time between March 17 and 20. The key vote will come first — the House vote on the Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Since the Senate bill is the foundation of reform (the reconciliation bill that will be passed after it only amends the Senate bill), failure to pass it will doom reform for this year and possibly years to come. As of right now, the vote is too close to call.

This is THE time to act! House and Senate members must hear from us. With millions being spent to oppose reform, it is going to take a huge groundswell of grassroots support to push reform over the finish line. That means contacting members of Congress all week (and more than once) telling them to pass health reform. In addition, contact everyone you know and urge them to call as well (see below).

We’ve worked too hard for this moment. It’s now up to us. Let’s finish the job!

TAKE ACTION: Call representatives and senators toll-free at (888) 797-8717 TODAY and tell them to pass comprehensive, meaningful health reform! Start with House members, as they will be voting first. When calling the House, simply say:

I am a constituent and an activist with RESULTS and I want health reform. In our country, too many people die, too many people stay sick, too many people go bankrupt for us to ignore the health care crisis any longer. Please tell Representative __________________ to vote YES on the Senate health bill, as well as the companion reconciliation bill. The American people will stand behind those who stand up for all of us. Pass reform now!

When calling the Senate, say:

I am a constituent and an activist with RESULTS and I want health reform. In our country, too many people die, too many people stay sick, too many people go bankrupt for us to ignore the health care crisis any longer. Please tell Senator __________________ to vote YES on the reconciliation bill to complete health care reform. The American people will stand behind those who stand up for all of us. Pass reform now!

You can use our on-line Call-in Alert for your calls. Remember, because Congress is expected to be flooded with calls this week, you may not get through on the first try. Keep trying. You can also call members’ of Congress local offices and give them your message. See our Elected Officials page to find contact information for their state and district offices.

If you cannot call, please send an e-mail in support of reform (but remember that calls carry more weight than e-mails).


Ask Everyone You Know to Call Congress in Support of Reform

This week is all about votes. The policy aspects of reform are essentially done (if they are not, we will let you know). To ensure members of Congress vote the right way, not only do we need to make calls ourselves, we must convincing others to call as well. Please activate the grassroots networks you developed last fall and urge them to call Congress now! Also, encourage family, friends, work colleagues, including your contacts on Facebook and Twitter, and urge them to call. Reach out personally to as many people as you can. Be sure to have contact information for members of Congress readily available.

In your conversations, if you are asked what reform will actually do, use these talking points from our March Action Sheet to tell people that reform will:

  • Cover more than 30 million uninsured people through Medicaid and private insurance. Medicaid will be expanded to cover everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Families up to who do not qualify for Medicaid will be provided tax credits and premium subsidies to help them purchase insurance.
  • Expand access to health care through community health centers. Community health centers will receive $11 billion in new funding over the first five years. Reform also invests more money in training doctors and nurses to serve in low-income areas.
  • Protect Americans from insurance company abuses. Reform will outlaw insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and rescinding policies once someone gets sick. Reform will also require companies to spend the majority of the money the collect in premiums on actual patient care.
  • Give Americans the same kind of health insurance members of Congress have. The bills create health insurance exchanges that help individuals and small business pool their resources to buy quality affordable insurance. This is similar to the plan members of Congress currently use to purchase their health coverage. In fact, the bill requires members of Congress to buy their insurance through the same exchanges as everyone else.
  • Reduce the federal budget deficit. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate health bill will reduce the federal budget deficit by $118 billion over the next ten years. It is also expected to reduce the deficit by substantially more in the following decade.

Also, thanks to Linda Walling of Faithful Reform in Health Care for helping inspire us to finish health reform on last Saturday’s conference call. She shared great information about the current status of reform and why it is so important to pass it now. To learn more, listen to the conference call on the RESULTS website or download the podcast from iTunes (search RESULTS Musings at the iTunes Store). Also, learn more about RESULTS’ priorities for health reform in our Health Reform Summary Chart.


Announcements

Please Submit Your Group Planning Forms. Please complete your Group Planning Form and e-mail, mail or fax a copy to Meredith Dodson at the RESULTS DC office.

International Conference Registration Online This Week. The registration form for the RESULTS 2010 International Conference (June 20–22 in Washington, DC) will be online later this week. Please visit our RESULTS International Conference and register to join us in DC in June!

Child Tax Credit Laser Talk Now Online. The laser talk from last Saturday’s conference call on strengthening the Child Tax Credit for low-income families is now online.


Upcoming Events

(Click to see a complete calendar)

March 29–April 12: Congressional Spring Recess.

April 10: RESULTS national conference call 12:30 pm ET.

April–May: New Activist Orientation. Four sessions: April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. Contact Lisa Marchal to sign up and for more information.

June 20–22: RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund International Conference, Washington Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC.


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 750 First Street NE, Suite 1040, Washington DC 20002.

Domestic Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff: Meredith Dodson, x116 (dodson@results.org); Alan Gold, x106 (gold@results.org); Jos Linn, (515) 288-3622 (jlinn@results.org).

The RESULTS Domestic Update is sent out every Tuesday over e-mail to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our domestic campaigns. A special welcome to those new to RESULTS who heard about us through our board member Marianne Williamson!


Please note that because of the importance of passing health reform in RESULTS’ legislative agenda, we focused our actions and information this week exclusively on that issue, which explains the abbreviated Weekly Update. We will return to our normal Weekly Update format next week.