As I write this, 13 senators are writing a health care bill in response to the House bill that passed this year. That House bill would cut 23 million Americans off from their health insurance. It will destroy Medicaid as we know it, particularly hurting seniors, children and those with disabilities. Those with pre-existing conditions will be priced out of the possibility of insurance. These sad details were reported recently by the Congressional Budget Office. The House passed this bill without waiting for this report.
Now senators from Texas, Arkansas, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Ohio are writing a “softer” version of the House bill. They are writing in secret, so there is no clear indication of what their bill will do to our current health care. Rumors have it being little better than the House bill, on a slower pace to end health insurance for millions and continuing to dismantle Medicaid. The Senate bill can’t be voted on before the Congressional Budget Office weighs in.
The one thing that is true: we can write, call, or visit our senators and let them know about what we want. Is it affordable health care for all? Then that is what we need to tell them. Sharing our stories about the difference health care insurance makes in our lives is a good way to start. We can also thank Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for working hard to make sure all of us have affordable health care. By sharing our stories with the Senators, we give them the content they need to speak out about the importance to everyday Americans of having affordable health care. At the same time, we can ask our friends and relatives to do the same. This will be especially helpful if they live in the states named above.
The Congressional Management Foundation recently reported their findings in a 12-year study: the most powerful influence on our elected representatives’ decisions is constituent input. That means right now we can help the Senate pass a bill that gives affordable health care to all Americans. So pick up the phone or a pen and let’s speak out, while the writers are still in the process.
Willie Dickerson is a former Tacoma resident where he taught school for 16 years (and he still visits family often). Retired now, he is a volunteer with RESULTS (results.org) working to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty in America and our world.
The Declaration of Peace
These are self-evident truths:
That all humans are a single family living on a fragile and endangered planet whose life support systems must remain intact if we are to survive;
That the well-being of the planet and the well-being of humanity are one and the same;
That the well-being of each requires the well-being of all – security is common;
That all humans have a natural right to peace and a healthy planet;
That all war is a crime against humanity and nature;
That any war anywhere degrades the quality of life for all of us everywhere;
That we live at the decisive moment in history when we will choose between break down or breakthrough on a planetary scale;
That we here now dedicate our intellectual, spiritual and material resources to the establishment of permanent peace and the conservation of nature, and,
That we are fully endowed by our Creator with the wisdom and the ability to achieve these ends.
17 May, 2017 at Tomidhu Cottage, Crathie, Scotland,
Kent Drummond Shifferd