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Friday, January 13, 2017

1/13/17  To-do List                                                            

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  1. While the emphasis on repealing the ACA has been on those getting healthcare coverage through the marketplace, we need to remember that even those who get their coverage through employers will see unfortunate changes.  We’ve gotten used to the coverage for children until age 26, the annual out-of-pocket limit, the coverage on pre-existing conditions, and the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits, to name a few. http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/01/11/get-health-insurance-through-your-employer-aca-repeal-will-affect-you-too/
  2. Let’s contact our legislators and remind them that those are important, too.  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. Here is what Sen. Murphy says about the Sessions nomination, “I fear that Trump-Sessions partnership would not operate as a guardian of equal justice, but instead as a protector of the powerful at the expense of the powerless. I worry that big corporations would feel free to act with impunity in commerce. I worry that immigrant and minority communities will constantly live in fear. I worry that a department that once protected Americans' right to vote would instead open the door to burdensome new barriers for those seeking to register or cast their ballots. And I worry that the government will roll back efforts to keep deadly guns away from dangerous people.”  He is not on the Judiciary Committee, but he wants to know if we feel he is right.  Let’s tell him:  http://action.chrismurphy.com/page/s/stop-sessions

  1. Also, call these Republican committee members to oppose Sessions.  He will only lose the nomination with a lot of public pressure. Jeff Flake - AZ  (202) 224–4521  (602) 840-1891, Lindsey Graham - SC  (202) 224–5972 (864) 250-1417, Michael S. Lee -  UT  (202) 224–5444  (801) 392-9633, Joe Manchin (D) - WV   (202) 224-3954  (304) 342-5855, and Susan Collins - ME   (202) 224-2523  (207) 622-8414.  Also let your senators know:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. Those of you with smartphones may want to consider downloading the Countable app, which is a legislative tracking app. It allows you, as a citizen, to see how certain people vote, browse bill and issues summaries, and track their tendencies and history as well as to communicate with them.  It is available for both iPhone and Android.  For more information:  https://www.countable.us/

  1. Tom Price, Trump's pick for Secretary of HHS, sits for his Senate confirmation hearing next week. Price wants to defund Planned Parenthood, opposes affordable birth control access, and eagerly wants to repeal the ACA.  A majority of Americans support access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and we expect our nation's top health care officer to protect and expand access to care. If he won't do that — and his record strongly suggests he won't — he's not fit for the job. Join Planned Parenthood in making the stand against Tom Price for this position.  https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=21151&s_subsrc=3NALz1705S1N1V&s_src=HHSnomination_1116_Alert_c4_c4web&_ga=1.121370568.1777914382.1484274554

  1. Here are a few reasons why Rex Tillerson is better for Russia and Exxon than he is for the American people: 1) In 2013, Vladimir Putin cemented his bond with Rex by bestowing him with the "Order of Friendship Award," one of Russia's highest honors.  2) After President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sanctioned Russia for its deadly invasion of Ukraine, Rex sided with Russia to have the sanctions lifted. 3) In the Middle East, Rex undermined State Department policies designed to stabilize Iraq in order to cut an oil deal.  And he hired lobbyists to fight the Iran Deal (Iran is a key Russian ally).  Exxon needs US policy to change so it can cash in on Russia.  Where do you think Tillerson’s loyalty will be?  We only need ONE Republican to vote against him.  Contact these Republicans on the committee who may be inclined to not support him. Marco Rubio - FL  (202) 224-3041 (407) 254-2573, John McCain - AZ  (202) 224-2235 (602) 952-2410, Lindsay Graham - SC  (202) 224-5972 (864) 250-1417.  Also let your senators know:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. Call and urge your Senator to oppose Dr. Ben Carson's appointment to HUD secretary. The American people deserve a qualified person to lead the agency. Carson is not that person, especially since he declined a previous federal agency position due to his lack of experience. He has no housing experience whatsoever and is not qualified to lead HUD.  Let your senators know how you feel about this:  Let your senators know:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. Many people are complaining that when they try to contact their legislators that no one answers and that they get a message that the voice mailbox is full.  There is some question whether this is happening on purpose.  Sen. Sander’s office want to hear if getting through has been a problem for you.  If you've had trouble with consistent full inboxes, returned emails, etc. from GOP lawmakers, call Bernie Sanders office and tell them about it. 202-224-5154

  1. Sign here to show that you stand with UNICEF to end trafficking, exploitation, and violence:  https://www.unicefusa.org/pledgetoendtrafficking

  1. AAUW (American Association of University Women) is inviting you to become a “two-minute activist” by signing up here:  http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/public-policy/two-minute-activist/

  1. Over the next couple of weeks, we need to pressure moderate Republicans who have publicly expressed concern about repealing the law without a viable replacement. We need just three votes to stop attempts to repeal the law without a viable replacement. 
  2. Based on public statements, the following are the Republican "pressure point" senators who have expressed concern about repeal without a replacement.  These are the senators we need to contact:  1) Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202) 224-4944 Twitter: @SenAlexader, 2) Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (202) 224-3344 Twitter: @SenBobCorker, 3) Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) (202) 224-2353 Twitter: @SenTomCotton 4) Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) (202) 224-3353  Twitter: @RobPortman, 5) U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) (202) 224-2523 Twitter: @SenatorCollins, 6) Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) (202) 224-5824 Twitter: @BillCassidy 7) Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (202)-224-6665 Twitter: @lisamurkowski.  Here is a sample script you could use or modify:  "My name is X and I am deeply disappointed in Senator X's vote to rush through the repeal of the Affordable Care Act yesterday. The law has saved lives across this country, and repealing it for the sake of scoring political points is shameful. I hope Senator X understands how irresponsible it would be to vote to repeal the law without a viable alternative that ensures affordable health care coverage and life-saving access to care for all. I hope they will be a NO VOTE if the Senate tries to repeal the law without a responsible replacement. Thank you.”  NOTE: If they ask if you are a constituent and you're not, just say "I am not a constituent but the Senator's vote directly affects me and my family, and I will make sure to let voters in his/her state know whether they made the right decision on this issue. Thank you."

  1. Please call Rep Jason Chaffetz, head of the House Oversight Committee and let him know that you agree with Walter Shaub director of the Office of Government Ethics (yes, the SAME Office of Government Ethics that the Republicans tried to gut last week) that Donald Trump's plan to retain ownership of his businesses and have his sons run them, is NOT sufficient to prevent conflicts of interest. Former White House ethics lawyers Norman Eisen and Richard Painter back up Mr. Shaub’s position. As Mr. Shaub said, “"The president is now entering a world of public service.  He's going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He's going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So no, I don't think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the president of the United States of America."  Further, the American people fully expect the Office of Government Ethics to be reauthorized and fully funded in order to protect the American peoples' interests. Follow up with calls to your legislators that you are outraged that the Ethics Office is under attack again. Backstory:  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/jason-chaffetz-federal-ethics-watchdog-trump-233575  Find your legislators here:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. In response to having been asked to have ads relating to Michigan State University taken off the racist Breitbart website, the president of the university, Lou Anna Simon, said,  “MSU does not restrict ad buys on these [online ad] networks based on political persuasion.”  Let’s help Ms Simon understand the difference between political and racist.  Email:  presmail@msu.edu  Phone: (517) 355-6560   Fax: (517) 355-4670  Snail mail:  426 Auditorium Road Hannah Administration Building, Room 450, East Lansing, MI 48824-1046  Let’s let the trustees know, too:  https://trustees.msu.edu/about/index.html

  1. Sleeping Giants is doing a wonderful job helping to make sure that companies and universities know where their advertising dollars are going and to remove their ads from Brietbart.  They can be found on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/slpnggiants and Twitter:  https://twitter.com/slpng_giants?lang=en  They need your help, too!  Here is the current list of companies who have stopped:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1i9o8CR_kjJ6mBd44k6CRZEhlXuZqq-XCCOoj-e8RJ7Q/edit#gid=0

  1. If your state is a Medicaid expansion state (http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/state-activity-around-expanding-medicaid-under-the-affordable-care-act/?currentTimeframe=0), your governor has an interest in protecting some of the coverage provided of the Affordable Care Act, and has some influence, especially if a Republican Governor.  If this scenario fits your state, call your governor and express your support  for preserving the Medicaid Expansion to ensure our most vulnerable citizens receive the care they need.   Backstory:  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/gop-governors-republicans-obamacare-233576  Find your legislators here:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

  1. Please consider joining Americans for Responsible Solutions, a non-profit that supports gun control, in opposing a “federally mandated concealed carry” law:  http://action.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/page/s/ars-concealed-carry

  1. Organizing for Action (OFA--President Obama’s team) has issued a toolkit for writing letters to the editor that gives you everything you need to write a letter and have an impact on the conversation around the ACA.   https://www.barackobama.com/get-involved/lte/


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