Toolkit for Congressional drop-offs
Last week, key committees in the House of Representatives passed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, and it’s as bad as we feared. 24 million more people would be uninsured. Medicaid will no longer be required to cover key healthcare benefits for women, such as maternity and newborn care or birth control. Patients on Medicaid will be banned from using it at Planned Parenthood clinics–even if it’s the only healthcare provider nearby. Even basic healthcare requirements, including hospitalization, prescription drug coverage, chronic disease management, mental health, or rehabilitation services will no longer be mandatory under the Republicans’ new bill.
If the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is successful, millions of women–especially low-income and middle-class women–will lose their health insurance coverage.
But there’s hope: polls show just 31% of people support repealing and replacing the ACA, and last month, tens of thousands of outraged citizens showed up at town halls. Now even some Republicans are running away from their commitments to repeal the ACA. This week, let’s flex our muscles and show up at the doorstep of our members of Congress. We’ve got this.
What you can do
While your representative may “recycle” petitions and letters, and even let phone calls go to voicemail, they cannot ignore a person standing in front of them. So let’s show up in person and hand our members of Congress a “medical bill” for all the crucial services Trumpcare WON’T cover. The more we show up, the more pressure they feel–and that’s a good thing.
If you’ve never visited your representative’s office before, don’t worry–it’s really easy.
How to do it
- Print out this “medical bill” to deliver. Our message is this: If your representative won’t ensure that every insurance plan covers basic medical needs, perhaps they should pay for it themselves. Be sure to sign it and include your full name and address so the office knows you are a constituent.
- Go to their local office–most are open 9-5–and ask to speak to a staff person about the Affordable Care Act.
- Share why you care. Whether you’re talking to a legislative staff person or the receptionist, hand them their “bill,” and share why you support the Affordable Care Act. Here are some talking points to guide you:
- I urge my representative to vote AGAINST repealing the Affordable Care Act.
- The Affordable Care Act matters to me because [share a personal story or reasons why.]
- Trumpcare is a series of tax cuts for the wealthy and giveaways to insurance companies that will cause 24 million more Americans to go without health insurance. Independent experts agree: The GOP plan will cover less and cost more than the Affordable Care Act.
- Under the ACA, Americans like me can rely on guaranteed benefits, like no-cost preventive screenings and birth control. Under the GOP plan, Americans will once again be subject to the whims of the profit-driven insurance companies.
- Under Trumpcare, Medicaid patients would be BANNED from accessing care at Planned Parenthood–even if it is the only provider in the area. That’s immoral. What’s more, Medicaid would no longer even be required to cover essential benefits like maternity care and birth control.
BONUS POINTS: Get a photo of yourself or your group handing over the bill to the staff person and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Remember: It’s their job to listen to you. Your elected official has a local office for the sole purpose of meeting with and hearing from members in your community. It is the job of the staff members in these offices to field your comments and concerns.
- Be polite, but persistent. The person you speak with may tell you that it’s not their decision and that it’s up to the representative. But rest assured–he or she will deliver this message to your representative. The staff at your representative’s office is key to getting your message to your member of Congress, so it’s best to be polite!
- Ask a friend or family member to join you. Going alone is certainly effective–but there is power in numbers so ask someone else to come as well.
- 7 takeaways from the GOP healthcare plan to replace Obamacare, Politifact, March 7, 2017
- The GOP’s Obamacare repeal plan is out–and it’s even worse than anyone expected, Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2017
- 9 Crucial Areas Of Healthcare Trumpcare Conveniently Forgot About, Bustle, March 7, 2017
- The American Health Care Act: the Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare, explained, Vox, March 6, 2017
- Poll: Majority of Americans want to keep Obamacare, USA Today, March 7, 2017
- G.O.P. Health Bill Faces Revolt From Conservative Forces, New York Times, March 7, 2017
- GOP healthcare plan clears first hurdle, debate continues in committee, CNN, March 9, 2017
- American Health Care Act, Congressional Budget Office, March 13, 2017