Weekly Actions: October 25, 2017

Action 1: Speak out against tax reform plans that skew benefits for the one percent and cut essential services. 

Action 2: Take actions to protect healthcare.

Action 3: Protest the new HHS policy that panders to the religious right and discriminates against women and the LGBTQ community. 



Action 1: Speak out against tax reform plans that skew benefits for the one percent and cut essential services.

Recently, both the Senate and the House passed a budget resolution that would allow them to pass tax reform with a simple majority, avoiding a potential Democratic filibuster. While we might agree that simplifying the tax code could be desirable, early reports suggest that the main beneficiaries of the tax plan they’re looking to pass would be – surprise, surprise – corporations and the 1%, with the rest of us seeing little, if any, benefit.  According to Bloomberg news, Trump himself and many of his cabinet members stand to gain millions. Even more alarming are the substantial cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in the Senate’s budget, a move which functions as a backdoor way to gut funding for healthcare after failed Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

 

For a more detailed analysis, check out the latest report by Americans for Tax Fairness, who have laid out the worst aspects of the tax reform proposal. And the next time you hear someone say, “Cutting taxes will pay for itself with economic growth,” just remind them that Kansas already tried that experiment and it failed. So this isn’t just greed talking; it’s bad economics. Read more about the Kansas experiment here.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

 


 Action 2: Take actions to protect healthcare.

We are syndicating several calls to action from our Action Alliance partners related to health care.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

 

 

 

 


Action 3: Protest the new HHS policy that panders to the religious right and discriminates against women and the LGBTQ community. 

The new strategic plan released by the department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  contains 40 references to religion and faith (the former plan had 3). While religious beliefs can certainly inform personal health care decisions, they certainly shouldn’t dictate public health policy. In fact, this HHS plan is a clear violation of the separation of church and state, especially since the plan contains statements of religious doctrine that are not agreed upon by all Americans.

 

According to Vox’s Senior health correspondent, Julia Belluz, “The draft document also repeatedly mentions ‘removing barriers for health care providers with religious beliefs or moral convictions,’ which would empower nonprofits and clinics that receive federal dollars to discriminate against patients or employees whose values or beliefs conflict with them.”  It also removes all mentions of the LGBTQ community and their health needs.

 

Unfortunately, this assault on women’s health is nothing new. Earlier this month, the President rolled back contraceptive coverage. Codifying the HHS plan, which paves the way for people to discriminate against women under the guise of religious liberty, will only make things worse. It’s little wonder that over 560,000 members of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association have stated that “Contraception is an integral part of preventive care and a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives. Access to no-copay contraception leads to healthier women and families. Any move to decrease access to these vital services would have damaging effects on public health.”

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

 

  • Submit a public comment on the HHS draft plan. Here’s how:
    • View the plan here. As you click on each goal, there’s a comment box at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts.
    • You can also email HHSPlan@hhs.gov, fax your comments to (202) 690-5882, or sending mail to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Strategic Planning Team, Attn: Strategic Plan Comments, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 415F, Washington, DC 20201.
  • Contact your MoCs: Express your concerns. See the script below. Also ask them to support H.R. 3222, the Do No Harm Act, which would prohibit practice of “religious liberty” if it does harm to third parties (more information is available here from the ACLU) and HR 4082, Protect Access to Birth Control Act.
  • Push the Do No Harm Act to the Congress floor: It’s currently in the Subcommittee on the Constitution & Civil Justice. Contact Chairman Steve King @ (202) 225-4426 and Ranking Member Steve Cohen @ (202) 225-3265  and ask them to move the “Do No Harm Act” out of committee. 

 

BILLS: HR 3222 Do No Harm Act; HR 4082 Protect Access to Birth Control Act

 

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m very concerned about the HHS strategic plan which is using religious beliefs that are held by some but not all Americans in this diverse country to frame health policy. Our constitution guarantees the right to separation of Church and State, and we need to have a health policy that will allow people to make very personal decisions based on their own beliefs, not the beliefs of a particular religion. In light of this, I would like Sen./Rep._____ to support the Do No Harm Act (HR 3222) and the Protect Access to Birth Control Act (HR. 4082) in order to assure that no person can use religious beliefs as an excuse to infringe on the rights of others.

 


The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.



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