Sunday, March 19, 2017

Set Up A Visit At Your Congressional Representative's Office to Discuss Healthcare & Oppose the AHCA

I encourage citizens who are opposed to the GOP health plan to set up lobby visits with their Member of Congress's Chief of Staff or District Director in their district office about it. 

Constituent lobby visits are one of the most effective ways to communicate with Representatives. It has been shown that as few as seven visits from constituents on a single issue to a single Representative really influences how they feel they need to vote to be re-elected. We need the Congress to hear from a diverse group of constituents who would be impacted by the bill and from community leaders who clearly have influence - we need clergy, senior citizens, people with disabilities, doctors, nurses and families who need mental health treatment to visit. 

Setting up the visit takes persistence and follow up. 

At your visit, you politely explain your problems with the bill, let them know you do not want them to vote for it and that we need them to work for a better bill and leave behind a relevant fact sheet for them to read. It is not helpful to ask for things it is unrealistic to expect your Representative to support like universal health care with a conservative Member. You have to present yourself as someone whose vote they can win. 

Here is something you could revise and add to and use as a fact sheet if it reflects your concerns:

Oppose The American Health Care Act
·      The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 14 million Americans would lose health insurance within the year under this bill and that 24 million would lose coverage by 2026.

·      The AHCA is opposed by the AARP due to the impact on Medicare and Medicaid access and stability.

·      The AHCA would result in Medicaid cuts that would put at risk the health and safety of 17.4 million children and adults with disabilities and seniors by eliminating much-needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities.

·      The AHCA would  re-instate, but under-fund,  high risk pools for people with chronic and complex health care conditions which were used and  have been proven ineffective prior to the Affordable Care Act.

·      The AHCA would restrict access to critical mental health services.

·      The AHCA would greatly eliminate income-based subsidies, replacing them with age-based subsidies which would price many working families out of adequate health insurance for their children and price disabled individuals out of comprehensive coverage that they need to survive.

·      The AHCA’s  gap surcharges and wellness program “incentives” would also disproportionately impact individuals with disabilities who may lose employment due to hospitalizations and who may not be able to reach wellness benchmarks due to their conditions.

·      The AHCA is  opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Hospital Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Lung Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Essential Hospitals, National Nurses United, the National Physician’s Alliance, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

·      Instead of supporting this dangerous legislation, please listen to the expertise of doctors and nurses and experts on the health care needs of children, the elderly and people with disabilities to craft a bill that protects the progress we have made and takes American health care forward instead of backward.

Protect disabled, elderly, and sick Americans – Vote against the American Health Care Act.

The Republicans are trying to get the bill through fast so please try to visit right away if you can.  

It is also not too early to start visiting Senators if you can.


Lone Star Ma

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