ACTION 1: (May Day Action) Urge your MoC to support the bill to raise the national minimum wage to $15/hour.
ACTION 2: Oppose Trumpcare 2.0 because massive loss of coverage and sky high premiums for the most vulnerable is unacceptable
ACTION 3: Defend Net Neutrality because the internet is a universal public good
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We posted our first action yesterday, to allow people time to attend a May Day protest! Hopefully, you were able to attend. If not, you can still take action to protect worker’s rights by doing some of the other items suggested in yesterday’s May Day post.
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In the waning hours of Donald Trump’s (Slump’s?) disastrous first 100 days in office, the Republican led House of Representatives attempted to push through a vote on Trumpcare 2.0. Thanks to the power of the resistance, the house couldn’t whip up enough votes to support the new bill, which is reportedly even worse than Trumpcare 1.0 in that it gives states the option to apply for a waiver that would allow insurance companies to charge exorbitant rates to people with pre-existing conditions.
In fact, this bill is so bad that its original version included language excluding past and present members of Congress from its provisions. When the issue was brought to public attention, Congressman MacArthur (R, NJ) vowed to fix the language. It is not clear as of this posting whether the language has been fixed and whether this will cause even more defections. Reportedly, the GOP is still committed to working on this bill and bringing it to a vote as soon as possible, so we can’t let up the pressure.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Join the Livestream: Tonight, May 2nd, at 9 PM ET, Indivisible and MoveOn are hosting a FB Live event where the groups will be answering questions about Trumpcare and what you can do to stop it. You can submit your questions here.
- Call your MoCs (script below): Urge them to vociferously oppose Trumpcare or lose your vote when it comes time for reelection. If your MoC is in favor of repealing the ACA, you can remind them that the week after the first repeal vote was scrapped, a poll found that 64% of Americans did NOT support repeal. More information about that, along with many other good talking points, can be found here. Furthermore, recent data from the CBO has debunked the myth that the ACA is unstable.
- Read: Indivisible’s How to Save the ACA (Again)
- Bookmark: Trumpcare toolkit, which lists all the potential swing Republican house votes and their current positions. If you are not in their district, reach out to your friends who might be. They need to hear from their constituents as much as possible!
- Support Single-Payer: 26 states have introduced single-payer health insurance legislation, so ask your legislators to support or introduce this in your state. HR 676 and S1782 are Medicare-For-All bills that have been introduced in Congress.
Script: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I am calling to urge Sen./Rep. _____ to oppose Trumpcare 2.0, which seems to be even worse than the first one. The Congressional Budget Office has projected massive loss of coverage and sky high premiums for the most vulnerable, which is unacceptable. It is also unconscionable to allow states to apply for waivers that would result in surcharges of thousands of dollars for the most sick and vulnerable among us. A majority of Americans are in favor of keeping the current health care law, which recent data from the CBO has proven as stable. If you truly want to reduce health care premiums, you should work on a bipartisan solution to amend the current ACA law in a way that assures that health care remains accessible and affordable to all Americans. I will be watching Sen./Rep. _____’s vote very closely on this issue.
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Net Neutrality preserves your right to “communicate freely online.” It prevents internet service providers from deliberately blocking, slowing down or speeding up connections for reasons of politics or profitability. It is essential for equalizing the playing field in allowing equal access to obtaining information and providing information. Without Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) could give certain websites preferential treatment for higher fees. They could block sites they disagreed with, or those of their competitors.
In 2015, under President Obama, the F.C.C. approved net neutrality rules, thereby classifying it as a public good. The following year, the decision was upheld by the courts. In January 2017, former F.C.C. chairman Tom Wheeler (a proponent of net neutrality) stepped down and was replaced by Trump’s nominee, Ajit Pai, an outspoken opponent of net neutrality.
Here’s where we are now:
- In March 2017, the Republican controlled congress voted to end Obama-era internet privacy rules. This paved the way for their next target, Net Neutrality.
- Last week, F.C.C. chairman Ajit Pai introduced a new set of rules, which, if enacted, would effectively end neutrality and leave the industry to police itself.
- According to WIRED, on May 18th, the F.C.C. will have an open meeting to address the chairman’s proposed rules. This will then kick off a 60-day public comment period (though you don’t have to wait until then to leave your comment – see below), followed by another 30 days for the F.C.C. to respond to critics. The feedback will then have to be morphed into a final resolution to be voted on by the F.C.C. ETA: This could take months, but the time to act and voice your public comment is now!
At heart, this is a First Amendment free speech issue. We rely on the open internet as our primary tool for communication and mobilization. Not only does it affect you and me, but it is also essential to the business community in promoting open competition, one of the pillars of our economy.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Contact the FCC: Submit an official comment here or at Battle For the Net.
- Join/Follow: these leaders advocating to defend net neutrality:
- Global Net Neutrality Coalition, organizations and users who believe that we must protect the open internet, which has enabled countless advances in technology, health, education, and business.
- Fight For The Future, a nonprofit working to expand the internet’s power for good.
- Contact your MoCs (see script below): Can congress do anything? Yes, they could pass a broad law protecting an open internet. In fact, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), has publicly stated his intention to draft bipartisan legislation to codify net neutrality into law. On the flip side, just last night Sen Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an explicitly anti-net neutrality bill. It’s worth noting that this issue hasn’t always been partisan. Research your MoCs’ public position and then call to urge them to do everything in their power to protect net neutrality.
- Write a Letter to the Editor: Use this handy guide to get a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.
- Read: Net Neutrality is a complex issue. Here is a primer on the topic and here is a detailed history guide.
Script: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m extremely concerned about the FCC Chairman’s plans to limit net neutrality and I urge Sen./Rep. _____ to do everything possible to make sure we have a free and open Internet, in which Internet Service Providers cannot control speed of access or general accessibility to content. We need to make sure these providers are strongly regulated, as these regulations prevent them from deliberately blocking, slowing down or speeding up connections for reasons of politics or profitability. Please ask the Sen./Representative to do everything possible to maintain current net neutrality rules.
but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.
‘Tracking how House Republicans have acted to hide the truth about the Trump presidency.’
If your MoC is on this list, what are you waiting for? You have some calls to make!
‘Automatically answer tweets from @realdonaldtrump with contributions to progressive candidates and causes.’
‘Record a voice message anytime, anywhere. Stance will send it directly to your representative’s phone.’
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