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Fight Trumpcare, September 29 Update

Call your senators and oppose Trumpcare by asking them to keep working on bipartisan efforts to stabilize the ACA, and to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) before it expires on September 30–the same day Trumpcare hits its deadline. Also call your MoCs and ask them to continue to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On Tuesday, September 26, Senate GOP leaders abandoned plans for a vote on the latest Trumpcare bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-gop-effort-to-unwind-the-affordable-care-act-faces-critical-test-tuesday/2017/09/26/097b2dc2-a25f-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html?utm_term=.cc20c2b13d3f

This is good news. But! Past experience has shown us that we can’t trust the GOP as far as we can throw them, and it’s not worth the effort to pick them up and throw them.

The deadline to pass Trumpcare is supposedly September 30. Today, September 29, is the last day (at least for now) that we’ll ask you to call and fight this bill.

But today it will take the form of asking your MoCs to reauthorize CHIP, a program that insures children. If Congress doesn’t re-up the 20-year-old law, funding will stop, and about nine million children will lose their health coverage.

Read about CHIP and its importance:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/childrens-health-insurance-program-congress/526008/

http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/september/ada-aapd-urge-congress-to-reauthorize-chip

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/352863-governors-to-congress-stabilize-insurance-markets-reauthorize-chip

 

Scroll down for an updated script for your MoCs that addresses Puerto Rico, the USVI, and reauthorizing CHIP.

 

 

Many people deserve thanks for staying strong on fighting Trumpcare. The activists of ADAPT should appear at the top of the list. They literally put their bodies on the line to stop it. A total of 117 of them were arrested Monday, September 25 and more were arrested Tuesday, September 26 during a protest outside the Health and Human Services (HHS) building in favor of community integration–a policy that lets disabled people stay in their homes and neighborhoods rather than a nursing facility.

See ADAPT’s press release about the HHS protest:

http://adapt.org/20170926-press-release-disabled-activists-call-on-health-and-human-services-to-make-community-integration-a-priority/

 

You can help ADAPT by honoring their request for citizens to call the HHS and ask that its head, Tom Price, meet with the organization about community integration.

Here’s the number for Tom Price’s comment line: 202.205.5445

 

The link below is not explicitly labeled as a bail fund, but the money raised “will be used by ADAPT to cover the costs of activists from across the country as they continue to fight for civil rights and freedom for people with disabilities and older adults.”

Click it and give generously, please. As of 8:30 pm EST on September 26 they’d collected almost $62,000 against a goal of $80,000.

https://www.gofundme.com/u2jc4-adapt

 

You can also donate directly to ADAPT here:

http://adapt.org/donate

 

 

…On to part two, which features updated information on the efforts to help the American victims of Hurricane Maria.

Good news! After an initial refusal, followed by a heap of pressure, the Trump administration agreed to temporarily suspend the section of the Jones Act that had been needlessly delaying aid shipments to Puerto Rico:

The bad news is the suspension only lasts for 10 days. Be prepared to call on this again if we get to day eight or nine and the need is still severe.

In general, and not just for Hurricane Maria-related activism, you need to follow Celeste Pewter on Twitter. She’s on top of …damn near everything happening that you’ll want to yell at your MoCs about, and she provides call scripts to boot.

Her Twitter handle:

@Celeste_pewter

…also know that the updated call script below cribs from a recent script that she wrote.

To stay on top of Puerto Rico, specifically, follow Nydia Velazquez, a House rep from Brooklyn who’s been all over this for a while now:

@NydiaVelazquez

In particular, she’s seeking a one-year suspension of the Jones Act, which can complicate the timely arrival of aid via ship, and she’s seeking waivers of federal laws that require matching funds from disaster-afflicted areas. (Update: As of September 27, Trump agreed to waive these financial demands.) Puerto Rico cannot muster the funds because it is deeply in debt and cannot obtain credit.

See Velazquez’s letter:

https://velazquez.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/members-congress-push-recovery-plan-puerto-rico

 

And check out Diasporicans, a website for Puerto Ricans who live off-island. It has scripts for calling your MoCs to request help:

http://www.diasporicans.com

 

Also on the ball is Lin-Manuel Miranda, he of the Broadway hit Hamilton. Miranda is of Puerto Rican descent and is a solid champion of the island.

His Twitter feed will have faster updates on specific things you can do to help Puerto Rico:

@Lin_Manuel

Pinned to the top of his Twitter page is a link through which you can donate to the Hispanic Federation:

https://hispanicfederation.org/donate

 

Another venue for donating to help Puerto Ricans is Puerto Rico Strong, which is a wish list of items that islanders need:

https://puertoricostrong.myshopify.com

 

The One America Appeal has widened its scope to cover Maria, Puerto Rico and the USVI:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/09/21/give-to-the-one-america-appeal-and-help-victims-of-hurricanes-harvey-and-irma/

 

…and here is a piece from ColorLines that lists charities and organizations that assist Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or both:

https://www.colorlines.com/articles/how-help-residents-puerto-rico-and-us-virgin-islands-recover-after-hurricane-maria

 

Lastly, if you are in a position to consider planning a vacation off the U.S. mainland, think about taking a trip to Puerto Rico or the USVI once they’ve had a chance to recover. Tourism is vital to the economies of both. Going there to relax and spend money will help these places out.

 

Now here’s your updated sample script that bundles Hurricane Maria relief with fighting Trumpcare 3.1:

“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I want to (thank you/express my opposition) to your position on Graham-Cassidy. I realize the bill is not likely to come up for a vote after all, but I am not willing to stop calling to ask you to say no to it until the September 30 deadline passes. I would also ask you to support the bipartisan talks to shore up the Affordable Care Act, which have been restarted by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, and to reauthorize CHIP, the program that provides health insurance to roughly nine million children. As you are probably aware, CHIP will expire on September 30 if Congress does not take action. Please take action!

I would also ask you to support efforts to aid Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Maria. I am pleased that the Trump administration finally agreed to suspend the part of the Jones Act that was slowing down aid shipments, but the waiver is only good for 10 days. I would like you to ask for a longer waiver, or better yet, see what you can do about striking that aspect of the Jones Act entirely.

In addition, I am asking you and your colleagues in Congress to pursue a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico and the USVI–right now, it is only partial. I am also asking you all to send more military personnel to the afflicted areas to rebuild infrastructure and generally help them get back up and running. Thank you.”

 

…now on to a larger point about fighting Trumpcare, which we first articulated a few days ago.

This is work. This is stressful. This is definitely not normal. And as noted above, the Republicans might not let September 30 be the actual deadline for Fucking Zombie Trumpcare.

The way to make this stop–really stop–is to vote out these asshole Republicans who are making us beg for our lives every couple of months. 

Voting out these asshole Republicans means you have to do more than show up and vote when the time comes. You have to reach out to other people who know you and trust you and convince them to vote, too.

You’re going to want to start reaching out now, right now, in September 2017, so the pro-voting groundwork is well and firmly in place by the time the midterms come.

For more on this, read our past post, Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/09/17/smoke-out-your-friends-who-didnt-vote-last-year-and-cultivate-them/

Prepping to vote out these asshole Republicans also means taking breaks from your activism, and not just catch-as-catch-can breaks. Figure out what helps you recharge, figure out how often you can do that happy recharging thing in a week, schedule it, and stick to it. Come hell or high water or wolves at the door, stick to it. Claim your time, or reclaim it, as the case may be.

We still need to call about Trumpcare until the week ends, but please think about how you will give yourself some rest. No one can do the protest/activist equivalent of running flat-out for days on end, and no one should–that’s a recipe for burnout. Please manage yourself to avoid burnout. We need you to stay here and carry on the fight.

If you need more, or need a refresher, read the OTYCD post, Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/09/16/take-a-break-every-now-and-again-itll-help-you-stop-trump/

 

And… sing along if you know the words…

The answer, as always, is:

Call.

Call, call, call.

Call, call, call, call, call.

Call like your life depends on it. Your life might not literally depend on it, but many others definitely do.

And yes, you have to call every day until Zombie Trumpcare 3.whatever is dead. That might mean calling every day from now until Saturday, September 30.

Call even if your senators are solid, front-line Democrats who get it and have always gotten it. Tell them thanks and tell them to keep holding the line.

Call even if your senators are brick-headed no-hoper Republicans. Be unfailingly polite, but make it damn clear you want them to vote against the new GOP health care bill. Yes, they’re not going to do what you want, and you know they’re not going to do what you want, and they know you know they’re not going to do what you want. But it’s worth it to tie up their phone lines with a deafening, all-encompassing wave of NO.

 

 

And if you’re not following the folks below, start. They will have news faster than we will, and will have instructions on how to fight back faster than we will:

@TopherSpiro

@BenWikler

@Aslavitt

@Celeste_Pewter

 

Here’s the Trumpcare Toolkit, via Topher Spiro:

https://trumpcaretoolkit.org

 

 

 

Read about Senator Graham’s quest to repeal Obamacare somehow, anyhow:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article171778757.html

 

Read a Washington Post piece on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-bill-to-block-grant-major-parts-of-the-aca-unveiled/2017/09/13/bdcd1872-988b-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9_story.html?utm_term=.66c65863f13b