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Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Spurred by this thread, as well as the fact that Baucus and Kennedy are now crafting the finer points of what will emerge as healthcare reform, I'm posting this thread for those who have asked what they can do to pressure politicians to pass meaningful reform this year.

Before we start what I hope will be a goonrush on lawmakers, let's clarify some nomenclature: Single-payer healthcare refers to plan like the one John Conyers has proposed; it would be similar to every American being covered by Medicare or a progam like Medicare. The public option proposal would allow Americans to either keep their private health insurance or join a public program like Medicare. Universal Health Care (UHC) at this point is a fairly meaningless term in discussing healthcare reform, because it can be (and has been) distorted to mean everything from Medicare-for-all to mandates to purchase private insurance. For this reason, I suggest shying away from using the term UHC when contacting legislators.

Where we stand: Committees in both the House and the Senate are crafting healthcare-reform legislation, with an eye toward releasing plan details by early summer. The White House has publicly stayed out of the fray, preferring that Congress craft a plan on its own; the worrisome aspect is Zeke Emanuel's appointment as White House health policy adviser. (Emanuel is not only opposed to single-payer, but has stated he'd like to eradicate the public health programs currently in effect--Medicaid and Medicare--and replace them with vouchers for private insurance.)

Dem party leaders have declared single-payer to be "off the table" for the purpose of healthcare reform. Healthcare-reform advocates are now split between advocating for single-payer or pushing for a strong public option in any healthcare-reform plan. PNHP believes that only single-payer will make a meaningful impact on the current system while advocates like Howard Dean are saying "nahgonnahappen" so the best we can do is make a strong public option the dealbreaker. 70 members of the House agree with Dean, and have said they won't back healthcare reform unless the public plan is strong enough to serve as competition to private plans.

What I suggest, as far as contacting key legislators, is stating that while you support single-payer healthcare (if you do), you absolutely insist that healthcare reform include a strong public option, such as Medicare for those who want it--and that if the Dems do not include it, you will not back alternative plans such as a mandate to purchase private insurance.

As usual, the House members' approach is more liberal/in favor of public/single-payer healthcare than the Senate, so the Senate is where you want to concentrate your calls, letters, and emails. Following is a list of those to contact:

The White House. Leave a message for the president on the comments line that you expect him to fulfill his campaign promise of a strong, robust public option like Medicare and make it affordable for and available to all Americans.

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

The two senators from the state you live in. Lawmakers are most responsive to those who can deny their reelection. Here's a list of senators for each state, along with their contact info. Please note that emails or webform contacts are the least effective way to express your concerns, so instead try to call their offices, send them a fax, or write a snail-mail letter. If you would like to contact your House rep as well, you can find contact info by clicking on your state here.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee, the committee Baucus is chairing to craft healthcare reform. This is particularly important if one of your state's senators is on the committee, but even if that's not the case, you can send a fax to Baucus or other members of the committee asking them to include a strong public option or to give single-payer a hearing. Finance Committee: Russell Sullivan 202-224-4515 Staff Director

Caya Lewis is Sen. Kennedy's healthcare staffer; his D.C. office no. is 202-224-5374, fax 202-228-5044. This is particularly important if you're one of Kennedy's constituents; i.e., a Massachusetts resident. Frederick Isasi, a staffer for Jeff Bingaman, is another key contact; his no. is (202) 224-5521. And again, if you live in New Mexico, your contact will carry more weight.

Other key senators who could be swayed by your input (most staffer names listed are Chiefs of Staff; if they're not available ask to speak to the staffer who's handling healthcare reform):

Ben Nelson (NE): He's getting a lot of deserved flack for coming out against a public option last week; it's time to show him which party he belongs to.

Olympia Snowe (staffer: John Richter--202-224-5344) and Susan Collins (staffer: Steve Abbott--202-224-2522 (ME): With around 70 percent of Americans in favor of a strong public option, these moderate Republicans could be swayed into supporting it.

Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh (IN). Bayh Staffer: Tom Sugar 202-224-5623.

Mary Landrieu (LA). Staffer: Jane Campbell--202-224-5824

Claire McCaskill (MO). Staffer: Chani Wiggins--202-224-6154

Ron Wyden (OR): Particularly important because he's been promoting a weaksauce reform plan that precludes a public option, and needs to come around.

Arlen Specter (PA): He needs to know that PA Dems will organize to challenge him in next year's primary unless he starts voting as a Dem should, and that while he may have become a DINO for political expediency, it's not enough to sustain Democratic support.

Michael Bennet (CO): Another weaksauce Dem (he was appointed when Salazar joined the administration) who's up for election next year. If you live in CO, make sure his office knows that strong healthcare reform will be a dealbreaker in whether you support his returning to the Senate next year, or end up supporting a primary challenger for his seat. Staffer: Jeff Lane phone 202-224-4431.

Bill Nelson (FL). Staffer: Peter Mitchell 202-224-5274

Mark Begich (AK). Staffer: David Ramseur phone: 202-224-3004

Blanche Lincoln (AR). Staffer: Elizabeth Burks phone 202-224-4843

Mark Warner (VA). Staffers: Luke Albee or Jonathan Davidson--202-224-4024

Activist groups that you can follow or sign up to receive action alerts:

Stand with Dr. Dean. Howard Dean has rightly said that a bad healthcare reform plan--such as mandating the purchase of private insurance--would be worse than no healthcare reform plan at all. Dean is holding a web-based video conference on Monday, May 4, at 9 pm Eastern time; you can watch it here when it airs.

Physicians for a National Health Plan. PNHP's a single-payer advocate, and has tons of info on its website about healthcare reform and is the leading physician's group involved in the issue.

California Nurses Association, another single-payer advocate that has been instrumental in the fight for national reform.

Healthcare Now, a coalition of single-payer advocates that organizes grassroots action for national healthcare reform.

Healthcare for America Now, not to be confused with the single-payer coalition directly above, H-CAN is a more mainstream coalition advocating a public option. Someone suggested I add this link, so I did, but after watching the group's online communications director defending Schumer's bullet points all over the net, I decided to strike it; ymmv.

Progressive Democrats of America, which has been championing healthcare reform.

Gul Banana's excellent info thread, "Why Universal Health Care Is Unambiguously Necessary for America", in case you want some handy talking points, or need to educate yourself or others. Cannibal Ninja reprinted Gul's OP here, formatting and links included, for those of you who don't have access to archives, and here's a PDF archive of the entire thread, thanks to goon Some Random rear end in a top hat.

This month is the most important month in which to take action if you're concerned about healthcare reform, since it's the month when the committees are drafting plans for legislation. Even if you live in the deep South, and/or in a state that reliably votes red, it's worth it to take 5 minutes to call your senators and let them know how important the issue is.

If anyone has any other handy links or knowledge that would be helpful, I'll add them to the OP.

5/14: Just found this cool tool that allows you to send multiple letters to your members of Congress, members of the senate finance committee, the president, and letters to the editor in one fell swoop, and offers a look at the last 25 user letters if you need ideas.

Willa Rogers fucked around with this message at May 14, 2009 around 07:16

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PyongyangPlayazClub
Aug 22, 2006

Cops give a damn about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
one less hungry mouth on the welfare


I voted for nader, already did my part Willa.

gently caress Off.

Tars Tarkas
Apr 13, 2003

Rock the Mok


Hooray!

Nog64
Aug 26, 2007

Dogs Own


Some info that would be useful, although I am not sure where to get it, would be to find a lobby group and see if they are planning an event for people to go and lobby for them. I know there the gay marriage groups in NY planned a lobby not too long ago and I'm sure that Health Care Reform groups as well as Senators would be receptive to this sort of thing.

e: Of course, if they're not planning one, we can help them with that.

POTUShead
Sep 23, 2006



thanks willa this is good stuff

gon' be writin' tomorrow

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


Should I be calling, faxing, or mailing letters to these dudes

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Nog64 posted:

Some info that would be useful, although I am not sure where to get it, would be to find a lobby group and see if they are planning an event for people to go and lobby for them. I know there the gay marriage groups in NY planned a lobby not too long ago and I'm sure that Health Care Reform groups as well as Senators would be receptive to this sort of thing.

e: Of course, if they're not planning one, we can help them with that.

click the Healthcare Now link toward the end of the OP, they're organizing a national day of action at the end of May

Nog64
Aug 26, 2007

Dogs Own


Another thing people can do is try and organize rallies. If properly advertised I'm sure a big turnout will be had

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Vivian Darkbloom posted:

Should I be calling, faxing, or mailing letters to these dudes

all 3

Nog64
Aug 26, 2007

Dogs Own


Willa Rogers posted:

click the healthcare now link in the OP, they're organizing a national day of action at the end of May

welp that'll teach me to not read the op

T-Paine
Dec 12, 2007

by Lowtax


PyongyangPlayazClub posted:

I voted for nader, already did my part Willa.

gently caress Off.
yeah this is all well and good but the best thing you can do is this poo poo right here

don't want to derail this thread though

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


I'll send a letter to a bunch of the senators because I'm a sperglord but maybe I'll get around to calling Mary Landrieu at least

my other senator is Vitter, I have a feeling he's not gonna be too chatty

platzapS
Aug 4, 2007

Imagine


You kick rear end! I live in Florida, so I'll start working on Bill Nelson (moderate/DLCer). And it's probably worth a shot to see if Mel Martinez (R, not particularly horrible) can do as little damage as possible (vote closure, or abstain, etc.) considering he's retiring in 2010.

e: on Stand with Dr. Dean, I think there's a spelling mistake:

"Our position is that even in those countries, like Brittan and Canada, citizens are allowed to purchase for-profit insurance -- if they want it." I don't see a way to contact them about it. Just want it to look as professional as possible.

platzapS fucked around with this message at May 3, 2009 around 23:01

Invisible Minority
Jan 11, 2008

by Peatpot


This is a bad idea and further example of how the elite are basically draining this country dry of money before flying off to China where the rabble are treated like they deserve. First Bush gets all the idiots to pay off the military industrial complex, then Obama gets all the naieve suburbanites to pay off the pharmecutical companies. You're also all aware that the banks are getting several billions too, right? Where do you think all this money comes from?

Ches Neckbeard
Dec 3, 2005



Emails away to both Senators Hagan (hey she might actually care and Burr (who the hell am I kidding) and my house rep Virginia "Matthew Spedard was killed for money not because he was gay" Fox. It's funny her website said it would take a few weeks to get back to me and he offices are 10 minutes away.

coolhockey
May 3, 2005

let's party like it's 1994

Thanks for this, Willa.

Would it be more effective if I physically went to my Senators' home offices, or sent a snail-mail letter to them in Washington?

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Oh, and if anyone gets a response from their legislators, or can report on how a phonecall went, please post about it!

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


coolhockey posted:

Thanks for this, Willa.

Would it be more effective if I physically went to my Senators' home offices, or sent a snail-mail letter to them in Washington?

Please do both, if you can. I'd suggest following up a home-office visit with a letter re-stating your commitment to the issue and reminding them that you took time to visit their office.

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Invisible Minority posted:

This is a bad idea and further example of how the elite are basically draining this country dry of money before flying off to China where the rabble are treated like they deserve. First Bush gets all the idiots to pay off the military industrial complex, then Obama gets all the naieve suburbanites to pay off the pharmecutical companies. You're also all aware that the banks are getting several billions too, right? Where do you think all this money comes from?

what's even a worse idea is our rolling over for the plan that the elites come up with in conjunction with their lobbyist sugar daddies

Willa Rogers fucked around with this message at May 3, 2009 around 23:05

Cannibal Ninja
Jan 27, 2006

by DocEvil


CommunistMojo posted:

Virginia "Matthew Spedard was killed for money not because he was gay" Fox.

it was actually "Matthew Shepard was killed in the process of an armed robbery"

while his mom was sitting there

T-Paine
Dec 12, 2007

by Lowtax


Willa Rogers posted:

Oh, and if anyone gets a response from their legislators, or can report on how a phonecall went, please post about it!

alright triop report: i called my senator but i wasnt expecting anyone to pick up so i just stammered a few pleasentries and hung up the phone. will try again later when that receptionist has gone home

T-Paine
Dec 12, 2007

by Lowtax


alright i just tried again but this time my voice cracked relly bad as i recited what i was going to say so i hung up after seven rings.

Nog64
Aug 26, 2007

Dogs Own


I really wanna help with this but alas I will be doing pretty much the same thing with my summer job . I doubt I'll have the time/resources to deal with two seperate campaigns.

Retromancer
Aug 21, 2007

Every time I see Goatse, I think of Maureen. That's the last thing I saw. Before I blacked out. The sight of that man's anus.

live in WI, have 2 liberal senators.

*sits on rear end*

Optimus Subprime
Mar 26, 2005

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?


what should we do if our congress people are some of the worst kinds of republicans?

edit: n/m i will try to write those finance committee members

POTUShead
Sep 23, 2006



Retromancer posted:

live in WI, have 2 liberal senators.

*sits on rear end*



I'm in NY and I'm writing everyone mentioned tomorrow regardless

I'd like to avoid a second medical bankruptcy in my family if at all possible

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Nog64 posted:

I really wanna help with this but alas I will be doing pretty much the same thing with my summer job . I doubt I'll have the time/resources to deal with two seperate campaigns.

goongratulations, in the time it took you to write this post, you could've sent a free fax to max baucus

beejo
Mar 11, 2004

F5 F5 F5

lol nah, health care is a privilege not a right

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


Optimus Subprime posted:

what should we do if our congress people are some of the worst kinds of republicans?

Lobby them anyway

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


Willa Rogers posted:

goongratulations, in the time it took you to write this post, you could've sent a free fax to max baucus

those are fun but form letters do zilch

Retromancer
Aug 21, 2007

Every time I see Goatse, I think of Maureen. That's the last thing I saw. Before I blacked out. The sight of that man's anus.

POTUShead posted:

I'm in NY and I'm writing everyone mentioned tomorrow regardless

I'd like to avoid a second medical bankruptcy in my family if at all possible

protip: don't put a return address on your letters.

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Optimus Subprime posted:

what should we do if our congress people are some of the worst kinds of republicans?

1. contact them anyway

2. send faxes to members of the senate finance committee (link in OP)

3. contact the kennedy and bingaman staffers listed in the OP

4. move to a better state

Willa Rogers
Mar 11, 2005

THIS SPACE FOR RENT: $10/DAY WITH MAD DISCOUNT FOR MODS


Vivian Darkbloom posted:

those are fun but form letters do zilch

alternatively, s/he could've left a voicemail message for one of his/her senators

Cannibal Ninja
Jan 27, 2006

by DocEvil


Retromancer posted:

protip: don't put a return address on your letters.

add some coffee stains and a few copper wires sticking out to let them know how electrified this subject has made you

Baser Instinct
Oct 18, 2004
No title necessary

thanks for the thread willa. im writing Boxer and Feinstein now. where do they stand on the issue?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


the white powder symbolizes that the issue is more exciting than snorting cocaine

B. HUSSEIN OBAMA
May 11, 2008

PIG MOSES FOR CHRISSAKES!


remember if health-insurance lobbyists start astroturfing, the literally most ethical thing to do is to fly to their houses and burn them down, because otherwise millions of people will die

POTUShead
Sep 23, 2006



a tea bag because I'm tea'd off about health care heyooooo

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004
Generic poster who whines about the mods to get attention.


B. HUSSEIN OBAMA posted:

remember if health-insurance lobbyists start astroturfing

if they start doing that, hypothetically?

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B. HUSSEIN OBAMA
May 11, 2008

PIG MOSES FOR CHRISSAKES!


Vivian Darkbloom posted:

if they start doing that, hypothetically?
when they start astroturfing

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