It’s shaping up to be another big week in the fight against the AHCA, or the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) as the Senate has called it. We hope you were all able to enjoy Pride events this weekend, and Eid Mubarak to those who celebrate! Those are two of the reasons we’re fighting so hard for our country, a place where equality and freedom are the law of the land. Let’s get to work!
Useful resource for finding your elected officials (save the numbers in your phone!!): myreps.datamade.us
Tips on effective communication with elected officials, see Chapter 4 Opportunity 4: Indivisible Guide: Local Advocacy Tactics that Work
1. Call and email your Senators’ health care staffer every day for a NO vote on the AHCA/BCRA
The Senate released their version of the AHCA last week, and it is bad. Really bad. It rolls back Medicaid, ultimately fixing the funding that states get – but not tying funding to actual costs of health care. It allows providers to offer bare-bones insurance plans that don’t cover essential health benefits. It defunds Planned Parenthood. It eliminates ACA taxes on the wealthiest Americans. It removes requirements for large employers to provide insurance to employees. It allows insurers to cap lifetime benefits, meaning even folks with employer-provided insurance can be impacted. It will leave millions without health care coverage and WE the people do not want it to pass. A vote is scheduled in the Senate this week.
- List of Health Care Staffers by State: Indivisible Guide: Contact Information By State
- Houston: Cornyn: Beth Nelson, Legislative Assistant email@example.com 202-224-2934, Cruz: Joel Heimbach, Legislative Counsel firstname.lastname@example.org 202-224-5922
- For more: The Atlantic: Senate Puts Medicaid on the Chopping Block
- Summary: NPR: Who Wins, Who Loses with Senate Health-Care Bill
- Read: Indivisible Guide: Senate Bill Fails People with Pre-Existing Conditions
- One more: Politifact: What’s in the Senate Health Care Bill – 5 Key Provisions
- Script for Democrat Senators: Indivisible Guide: Withhold Consent Script
- Script for Republican Senators: Indivisible Guide: Transparency Script
2. Send Senators your amendment for the AHCA/BCRA to bury TrumpCare in amendments
Because the bill is being voted on under reconciliation, it only needs a majority of votes to pass and there is no opportunity for a filibuster to stop it. But, the Senate Democrats can offer up as many amendments as they want to, which can delay voting until they run out of amendments to introduce. Help them have enough amendments to delay a vote until after the 4th of July recess! Here’s your chance to have a Senate amendment of your very own. Take advantage of this opportunity!
- Submit an amendment: ouramendments.org
3. Show up to a Day of Health Care Action near you!
Because losing health care coverage means bankruptcy or death for many Americans, it’s all hands on deck to show the public how harmful the Senate’s health care bill is. Find an event near you and show up!
- Find an event near you: www.resistandprotest.com
- Houston: Day of Healthcare Action Tuesday!
4. Share your story
Stories matter, because they highlight how legislation impacts actual, real life people. And even though we may not like our Senators’ policies, at their core, they are caring human being too – well, most of them. So get your story out there, and make sure your friends and family understand how you, their loved one, will be impacted if the AHCA passes.
- Share your story and read other’s stories here: ProtectOurCare.us (we recommend you have a box of tissues nearby)
And for our Texans:
Because of YOUR calls, rallies, and testimonies, the Houston City Council voted last week to join the lawsuit against SB4, the “show me your papers” law. We’ve shown our friends and neighbors that we stand with them, and that Texas has no space for hate. Keep up the good work!
1. Join Indivisible TX Lege
Texas’ 85th Legislative Session brought some truly awful legislation with it. From state-sponsored racism (SB4), to state-sponspored discrimination (HB3859), to even MORE legislation that puts women’s health at risk (SB8), the Texas legislature did a lot to hurt the lives of Texans. Indivisible TX Lege is taking the principles of the Indivisible Guide and applying them at the state level. Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott, and many of our State Senators and Representatives are not serving the will of the people, and we will hold them accountable!
- Browse: txlege.indivisible.blue
- Sign-up for alerts: Email or Text Alerts
- Join: Facebook Group
- Follow on Twitter: @indvsbleTXLege
- Get a T-shirt, tote or mug!: Shop Indivisible TX Lege Order by Wednesday to get your order by July 18’s Special Session start date
2. Join a huddle group to focus on one of five issues for the TXlege Special Session
The Special Session that Greg Abbott’s called is scheduled to start July 18, and there is a lot of awful legislation on the docket. From transgender rights to women’s access to reproductive health care, to school vouchers, to property taxes, there aren’t many topics that go untouched.
Indivisible TX Lege has created 5 issue huddles to coordinate actions and strategies to combat harmful, hurtful legislation. Here are the 5 groups. Join the one (or multiple!) that is a priority for you.
- LGBTQ Rights Huddle
- Voting Rights Huddle
- Education Huddle
- Local Regulation Huddle
- Reproductive Rights Huddle
3. Keep learning about bills that are on the Special Session Agenda
In the special session, bills start from the very beginning of the legislative process. So although no bills have been filled yet, (and can’t be until Abbott officially files his special session proclamation) we have a pretty good idea of what each is about. For example, “Privacy” is the bathroom bill that requires people to use restrooms that match their birth certificate gender (fka SB6), and “pro-life insurance reform” is the bill that requires women to pay extra for a health insurance plan that covers abortion and allows employers to deny abortion coverage (fka SB20). To fight this legislation, we all have to understand to what each bill is actually about, instead of listening to the spin (and outright lies) that Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott want us to believe.
- Summary of bills: Texas Tribune: Gov Abbott Calls Special Session on Bathrooms, Abortion, School Finance
- For more: Texas Tribune: Gov Abbott Plots Aggressive Approach To Special Session
- Have questions?: kut.org: Ask Questions about the Special Session
4. Join a TX Lege group focused on your State MoCs
We each have 1 State Representative and 1 State Senator. Some of them are great and work to improve the lives of Texans. Some…not so much. With voter turnout relatively low in state elections, it won’t take many votes to flip many of the state legislature seats in 2018. Let’s work together to vote out legislators who push through hurtful, harmful laws, and vote FOR candidates who will work for us, the people of Texas.
- Who Represents Me? – If you’re not sure who your State MoCs are, find them here
- State Representative Indivisible Groups – Existing groups have a Facebook page linked in the Rep’s info box. If your Rep doesn’t have a group yet, start one!
- State Senator Indivisible Groups
As always, your feedback is encouraged and welcome. Keep up the great work everyone!