Weekly Action Recommendations: Week of July 9, 2017

ACTION: Submit comments on Regulations.gov regarding EO weakening ACA

Until Wednesday (7/12), you may comment on Regulations.gov regarding the repeal of the ACA (Obamacare).

Review the talking points below and submit an informed comment by clicking on the “Comment Now!” button.  For maximum effectiveness, personalize your comment rather than copy and paste. You also don’t need to include every point: focus on the ones you feel most strongly about.

  • The best way to ensure affordable coverage for the most Americans is to fund the subsidies, enforce the mandate and keep the regulations requiring high quality insurance.
  • The President’s Executive Order (EO) directs the Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Human Services (HHS) to minimize the “economic burden” of the ACA. (Read more here and here.)  In fact, the EO is designed to accomplish the following:
    • It would destabilize exchanges and markets by decreasing subsidies, making policies harder to compare and allowing cheaper options for healthy, well off people. This would leave the the vulnerable with unaffordable options.
    • It could destabilize exchanges by allowing healthy people to buy short-term policies off the exchanges, leaving the exchanges only with the high costs of those already sick.
    • It would cause any plans that become cheaper as a result of the rescinded regulations to have skimpier coverage for those now healthy and leave them at risk if they have a major accident or illness.
    • It would add more “flexibility” to states without full funding, which is likely to reduce access to Medicaid for the most vulnerable patients and result in higher deductibles for those most in need.
    • It would add more “flexibility” in defining essential benefits, which would allow bigger profits for insurers by decreasing the quality of coverage for those who need it most.

ACTION: Thank Senator Susan Collins for her support of reasonable healthcare legislation

Susan Collins, a Republican who has long understood the importance of healthcare, is a leader in opposition to the destruction of the ACA. Let’s thank her for her commitment to the citizens of Maine and the United States. We need those senators opposing the BCRA to stay strong!

Read more here (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/22/us/politics/senate-health-care-whip-count.html) and then let’s send Senator Collins a thank you postcard.  Comment below if you act!

Senator Susan Collins

413 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

ACTION: Ask that a chair be put into place in Government Oversight and Reform who will do their job

We cannot expect the Oversight and Reform committee to do its job when it is run by a member — Trey Gowdy — who has a proven record of the most unproductive forms of partisanship.

Call Speaker Ryan (202) 225-3031 and demand a chair for House Oversight and Reform who will do the job, who will investigate Russian interference, ethics violations, corruption and conflicts of interest in the white house and beyond.  Ask Ryan to put a member of congress with a proven record of non-partisan interest in our nation’s future as opposed to a history strewn with partisan witch hunts as chairman of oversight and reform. Charlie Dent, Elise Stefanik, and Fred Upton would be excellent choices.

In addition, you can contact the House Oversight and Reform (202) 225-5074, the Chairman’s office: (202) 225-5074, and Minority Leader Elijah Cummings: (202) 225-5051.  Bonus points if Ryan (WI-1), Gowdy (SC-4), or Cummings (MD-7) are your representatives.  However, they may also be contacted by others due to their leadership positions.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/house-oversight-no-russia-investigation-trey-gowdy-239904
ACTION: Demand Trump, Jr. testify about his dealings with Russians

It is now clear that Donald Trump, Jr., Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner agreed to meet with a Russian government attorney with the explicit purpose of discussing information that the Russian goverment thought would help the Trump campaign. On June 9, 2016, they met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with long standing ties to the Kremlin.  As Trump, Jr.’s emails have now revealed, Trump, Jr. deliberately sought out information obtained by a foreign government to interfere with the United States presidential election, an act of possible treason. Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort must publicly testify under oath about the details of this meeting and any other similar meetings they had with Russian nationals.

More information at 5calls.org (also NYT and National Review), which suggests calling

  • the Senate Judiciary Committee (202-224-5225),
  • the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (202-224-1700),
  • the House Select Committee on Intelligence – Minority Staff (202-225-7690), and
  • the House Select Committee on Intelligence – Majority Staff (202-225-4121).

Though not suggested on this particular 5calls script, this also merits, once again, telling our Members of Congress that we still need an independent Congressional committee or an independent commission of experts to look into unethical behavior by Team Trump.

POSSIBLE CALL SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [  ].

[IF COMMITTEE, ADD]: I’d like to pass along a message for the Chairman and committee members.

I’m calling to request that the committee call Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort to publicly testify about the details of their June 9th meeting with a Russian lawyer, and any other similar meetings with Russian officials they have failed to disclose. I am deeply concerned that Trump, Jr.’s participation in this meeting reflects the Trump team’s possible collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.  Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

ACTION: Share personal healthcare stories

If you live in these states — AK, AL, AZ, CO, KY, LA, ME, NV, OH, PA, WV:  A Washington DC-based volunteer group, Herd on the Hill, is collecting family photos for these states to blitz the senators from this states with photos of families whose healthcare may be in jeopardy.   http://herdonthehill.org/about/    If you are in these states:

1) Get a family photo or old holiday card.

2) In red permanent marker, circle the people who would be affected by the AHCA (“Trumpcare”) On back of the picture write how the AHCA would affect you (eg: pre-existing conditions, reliance on Medicaid, pregnancy, any other ACHA issue that matters to you

3) Write your own name and address on the back too.  This is a necessity. Without a verifiable constituent name and address, your submission will not be counted.

4) Send ASAP to: Herd on the Hill, c/o Outrage, 2439 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20009, Attn: Senator _____ (put your Senator’s name here).

Here are the same directions on the Herd website: http://herdonthehill.org/noahca/  The Herd volunteers will be delivering bags of our photos to our Senators.  If we’re in the states they are focusing on with healthcare, let’s help them out by contributing.