Health Care huddle

Looking Ahead

Marching Forward

Summer is waning, and the Administration and Congress have a very full schedule for the next few months.  That means that we at Marching Forward do as well.  Pay attention to the issues that matter most to you, and contact your members of Congress, and also Congressional leaders and committee chairpersons.  We have all heard that the involvement and feedback from citizens all over the country has made a real difference in Washington.  Let's keep it up!

More specific news about Marching Forward actions and events will be posted in the coming weeks, including meeting dates, political action opportunities, and the Film Festival in late October. 

From our hardworking HealthCare Huddle is this update on ACA.  
GOP ability to Dismantle ACA may expire, possible bipartisan effort to shore up insurance markets.  New York Times,  September 1, 2017

Looking Ahead to 2018 and 2020

2018 elections are coming, and are very important.  Do you want to play a role?  Search our Political Action resources on the web site, and stay tuned for local initiatives. 

How progressive activists are leading the Trump resistance - with or without the Democratic Party.  
Rolling Stone, August 24, 2017

Trump resistance groups look beyond Washington for victories.                                       Washington Post, September 3, 2017 

This behavioral phenomenon is one of the reasons Trump will probably win re-election in 2020.

This week from Indivisible

Your weekly Indivisible to-dos:

  1. Defend DACAmented youth. Media reports this weekend indicate that Trump is getting ready to eliminate the DACA program -- and yank the American Dream from 800,000 young immigrants who are living in the U.S. lawfully. Congress can prevent this. You can make them.  Ask your representative and two senators to co-sponsor S.1615 in the Senate and H.R. 3591 in the House to permanently protect these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands. Here’s an explainer to get you started.
  2. TODAY show up with DACAmented youth and allies. In cities and states across the country today, thousands of immigrant youth and allies, led by United We Dream, will take to the streets to demand the protection of DACA and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs. Find an event near you, RSVP, or register your own.
  3. Respond to Hurricane Harvey. The communities affected by Hurricane Harvey need immediate disaster aid and we could see a package as early as Wednesday. Make sure your member of Congress (MoC) is working to provide it using our new explainer.
  4. Stop Trump’s tax scam. The next big legislative priority for Republicans is to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations at the expense of critical social programs and working families. It’s time to fight back against tax giveaways to the rich. Use our new comprehensive that has everything you need to hold your MoCs accountable.
  5. Stop Trump from starting war with North Korea. Impulse-prone Trump is the last person we want playing a game of nuclear brinksmanship. Tell your MoC that you don’t want him starting a war with North Korea using our explainer and questions you can ask when you make your calls and district office visits this week.
  6. Stay vigilant on ACA. On Friday, we got news that the Senate Parliamentarian ruled Republicans only have until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, to use the Fiscal Year 2017 reconciliation bill to pass TrumpCare. There’s nothing to act on yet, but this could mean a renewed push to jam TrumpCare through the Senate while they still can. Keep your eye on this over the next couple of weeks.
  7. Tune in to Facebook Live to plan for this September in Congress. Join us tonight at 8:30 PM ET when we’ll be joined by tax experts from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) to talk about the upcoming tax fight.

Dear Indivisibles,

Consistent with his white supremacist agenda, news broke this weekend that Trump will likely announce the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program has provided relief from deportation to 800,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, who passed rigorous background checks, who paid a fee, and who met several other requirements. Trump has affirmed that he has no regard for the promise of safety made to immigrant youth by our government five years ago. But let’s be clear: it is on Speaker Ryan and Congress to pass a permanent legislative fix. Many Republicans, including Ryan, have voiced their support of DREAMers. Now it’s time to make sure their actions match their words. It’s not enough for your MoCs to disapprove of the decision. Words are empty if not followed up with immediate, decisive action.

Say it with us: We will not stand idly by while this White House tramples on the civil rights of members of our communities. There are two things you can do right now to support DACAmented young people:

First, tell your representative and senators to co-sponsor a legislative fix for DACA. Like so many other issues, Congress has the power to remedy this situation. Congress doesn’t have to—and should not—sit on the sidelines. Removing DACA protections from these hundreds of thousands of young people would turn their lives upside down, and harm the communities where they live, work and study. The only beneficiary would be the for-profit private immigrant detention complex and Trump’s runaway deportation machine, which would embark on a new taxpayer-funded mission to apprehend, process, detain and remove these young people. Congress can pass legislation protecting these immigrant youth. Ask your representative and two senators to co-sponsor S.1615 in the Senate and H.R. 3591 in the Houseto protect these young Americans and take their future out of Trump’s hands. Here’s an explainer to get you started.

Second, show up in your community TODAY for DACAmented youth. Today is the deadline that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 9 other right-wing politicians have given Trump to end the DACA program. In cities and states across the country today, thousands of immigrant youth and allies, led by United We Dream, will take to the streets to demand the protection of DACA and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs. DACA recipients, immigrants protected under TPS and our allies have a message to the Trump administration: We have won before, we will win again, and we are #HereToStay. Find an event near you or register your own.

Congress is back for a big September. Congress returns to Washington this week with a long to-do list and not much time to do it. Here are just a few agenda items Congress must attend to this month:

  • Pass a critically needed aid package for communities affected by Harvey
  • Raise the debt ceiling
  • Reauthorize the national flood insurance program
  • Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Agree on a plan to fund the government by the end of the month.

For more, read our preview of what to expect in September.

Tune in to Facebook Live TONIGHT 9/5 at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT
Due to Labor Day, this week’s Facebook Live will be tonight, 9/5. We’ll be joined by tax experts from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) to talk about the upcoming tax fight and what’s on deck on Capitol Hill this September. Tune in at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT!

Help Wanted! Tad Devine/Scott Lang event recap. Health Care.

The Political Action huddle needs you!  

We are beginning to work on our August 30 event with Representative Bill Keating.  We need a few folks who are willing to help with planning and logistics.  The rewards are rich indeed and are sure to include the endless gratitude of Pattie and others, along with the great feeling that comes from doing good work!  Email us at to volunteer.  
And thanks!

Devine/Lang Event Recap

Tad Devine and Scott Lang gave illuminating and inspiring presentations at our June 14 event.  Many thanks to both of them and to UMD professor Doug Roscoe for moderating the discussion.

Tad Devine gave us a fascinating overview of the Bernie Sanders' ad campaign, complete with video clips of ads from all phases of the campaign and an insider's perspective on what it takes to put together a successful media campaign. 

Scott Lang, a former lawyer for the Democratic National Committee and 3 term mayor of New Bedford gave us an in depth look at the inner workings of the Democratic Party, from the late 1960's to present. Key to his presentation was an explanation of party rules, and how they can affect debates, primaries and conventions, for better and for worse.  

Key takeaways from the evening:

2018. 2018. 2018.
Electing Democrats to the House and Senate in the 2018 mid-term elections is very important. It could be a watershed year for the Democratic party.   If Democrats do poorly, it could foreshadow a weak Democratic party for many years to come.  
On a local level, we can help to tip the balance towards Democratic candidates by:
- Working with the local and state Democratic Committees to re-energize local, grass roots political action within the Democratic Party organization.  
- Participating in the efforts of Swing Left, New Politics and other organizations that are already working to elect progressive candidates. Now is the time to find and cultivate new voices. 
- Encourage the national DNC to give state and local committees the tools they need to cultivate, educate and inspire Democratic and potentially Democratic voters. 

Health care update and weekly action from Indivisible

Let’s not waste any time: your work this week is what will win the TrumpCare fight. Senate Republicans are planning to vote on their still-secret bill in the next two weeks. We still don’t have text. Or a CBO score. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is too busy twisting arms and cutting deals with your Senators to meet with patient groups like the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association. But none of that will matter in the end: if they get the votes, they’ll pass it in the dead of night, without any public input, and without knowing its full impact on your family. McConnell will schedule this bill for a vote as soon as he secures enough support. So If you wait until a vote is scheduled to act, you’ve waited too long.

Whether you have a Democratic or Republican Senator, it’s time to step up our constituent power game and win this thing.

  1. Use our new Stop TrumpCare June toolkit to plan your coordinated visits and sit-ins at your Senator’s office. 
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  2. Use our new state-by-state map of the impact of TrumpCare to inform your calls, letters to the editor, and conversations with your Senators on how this disastrous bill will impact you and your neighbors—and find the right staffers in their offices to direct your calls and emails (we’ve done the work for you).
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  3. Turn up the heat on your Senators daily using the right resources:
    1. For Democrats: Use our script to demand that they slow down Senate business by withholding consent on all regular Senate business, and prepare to filibuster by amendment until and unless there are public hearings on TrumpCare. After your visits and calls, use these great social media shareables from Indivisible Data to hold your Democrats accountable and demand they #WithholdConsent. 
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    2. For Republicans: After you’ve planned your visits (see #1), make sure they hear from you that oppose TrumpCare, on both substance and process. Use this script to call them and demand that they protect our care.
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    3. For constituents in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia: Visit and use the daily call scripts and information to email Chiefs of Staff and Health Staff.
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     You can help grow the Indivisible movement by forwarding this to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Or, sign up to get Indivisible updates delivered directly to your inbox here.

Thanks to Indivisible for permission to reprint their content.


About our Health Care Huddle Group

Healthcare Touches Everyone

Healthcare touches everyone. The current administration’s attempted destruction of healthcare, ACA, as we now know it was just plain wrong.  The tsunami of citizen phone calls to members of Congress helped stop the dismantling of the ACA.  Democracy worked in this instance.  The ACA is a success not a disaster.  The parts that are not working right, from a cost or coverage angle, need to be addressed and fixed.  That could be done if Congress wanted it done.  It took more than a few changes to get Social Security right back in its creation.  We feel strongly that full coverage of all citizens, like all other industrialized countries (except South Africa) have is an essential goal.  We can, indeed, make healthcare better and less expensive.  But it must be for all.

Women’s Health is a special target

Women’s Health is a special target.  Pregnancy, birth control, labor and delivery care and pregnancy termination have at various points been selected as options not needed in an insurance plan.  Lower income women are often put under the most severe restrictions through control of Medicaid or Title X expenditures from the Federal government.  This will remain a target of the Right. Limiting this coverage will initiate a Wall of Resistance from Progressives.

Our Health Care Huddle Group’s Focus

Our Health Care Huddle Group has met once in person (as of 4.1.17).  It a is large, passionate group willing to stand up or sit down and resist changing the Affordable Care Act.  If changing it takes people out of insurance or reduces what is covered, it simply must be stopped.  Improving it is a goal.  We will keep you up to date with:

·      Action needed to protect health care for all

·      Action needed to specifically protect women’s healthcare rights

·      Clarifying the complexities of what is going on in healthcare legislation and the status of bill in MA State House and in Congress

·      Current literature on the organization of healthcare, the public health impacts, the pharma issues.  Sort of a news review.

It is going to take an active team, all pulling the wagon, to get to our goals for this vital and volatile political and social arena.

Carole Ferguson