1) We shouldn’t still have to be contacting our members of Congress about healthcare, and yet, here we are. As said on Saturday, in 2016, healthcare costs constituted nearly 18% of the United States’ gross domestic product. Despite spending far more on healthcare than any of our economic peers, the US has worse health outcomes than most other developed countries. High healthcare costs not only prevent people from accessing needed care but also devastate families financially; medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US. On September 13th, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill co-sponsored by 15 other Democratic senators that would restructure America’s insurance system, replacing our patchwork of private insurers with a single public payer by effectively expanding Medicare to all Americans. This universal Medicare program would immediately cover children under 18, while other Americans not already eligible for Medicare would be phased into the program over four years. Much like the current system in Australia, the universal Medicare program would cover all essential healthcare, while private insurers would continue covering elective procedures like plastic surgery. The bill is similar to H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced in the House earlier this year. Like Conyers’ House proposal, Sanders’ Medicare for all bill would be costly and require a significant tax hike, but major reductions in healthcare spending would outweigh tax increases. Individuals would pay dramatically lower premiums and would not pay copays or deductibles at all. As the sole insurer, the federal government could negotiate lower pharmaceutical prices. Hospitals would save money by significantly reducing administrative costs, which currently constitute about 25% of all healthcare spending. With a universal healthcare system, the US could finally end its shameful exclusion of millions from the healthcare system, eliminate medical bankruptcy, and provide more Americans with access to needed care.
- Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
- Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting the senator’s office in support of the Medicare for All healthcare plan. Shifting to a universal healthcare system would save billions of dollars while giving every American the chance to get the care they need and live healthy, productive lives. Thank you.”
2) House Republicans have proposed a budget that dramatically cuts funding for essential services like Medicaid, Medicare, Meals on Wheels, and Social Security disability programs. If this budget is passed, middle and working class Americans will suffer, especially the older adults, children, and people with disabilities who depend on programs like Medicaid. The purpose of the House GOP’s drastic funding reductions? Funding Paul Ryan’s tax cuts, 99.6% of which would go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. During his campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to defend working class Americans by preserving government services like Medicaid and Social Security. However, the House GOP’s budget will make it impossible for many Americans to access the healthcare, food, and housing they need. Instead of cutting people’s access to basic standards of living, we need to build a budget that will create jobs, raise wages, invest in education, and let people work towards a better future. Tell Goodlatte to pursue a budget that supports and protects all Americans and reject any plan designed to enrich the already mega-wealthy.
- Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting Congressman Goodlatte’s office in opposition to any House budget proposal that makes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and other services. Tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of hard working families is unacceptable. Thank you.”
3) EVENT – Postcard Party! – Augusta County Library – 6-8pm
This is part of the Plus3 Initiative to get out the vote. If you are interested in becoming a part of this exciting initiative please visit this link and sign up.
4) We need your help! We’d like to get a volunteer to create these action opportunities once a week. You’d write up some items and send them to a coordinator to edit and publish. If you’re interested, please shoot us a message!