Democrats won elections across the country - grabbing crucial Governorships in Virginia and New Jersey, scoring important victories in the Virginia and Washington state legislatures and crushing the first ever popular referendum on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Maine. These elections are the fruit of our nationwide Resistance to Trump. Now, forward!
Affordable Health Care Act
The vote in Maine showed that public support for an active government role in health care is alive. More than 600,000 people signed up for Obamacare in the first four days of open enrollment, far outpacing last year's rate. Nearly a quarter were enrolling for the first time, while the rest renewed coverage despite Trump officials slashing open enrollment advertising and support. Consumers have only six weeks to sign up for coverage instead of three months. Call your friends and neighbors and tell them the ACA is alive and well. Remind them to sign up for the health care they have a right to have. Spread the word now!
The election results should pressure Republicans to broker a tax plan with more benefits aimed at the middle class. Democrats are asking - to no avail - to be included in working on the plan to create bipartisan tax reform. House and Senate Republican bills take money from the middle class and our children’s future to line the pockets of the wealthy and corporations. We’ve laid out the talking points for your call in last week’s post.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
While Republicans fight over which billionaires should get the biggest tax cuts, they are slowly strangling health care for 9 million children. Tell your Senators and Representatives to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) now. Congress must take action soon or coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as for pregnant women will end. Across the country states are trying to find funding, shutting down programs or reallocating spending. The damage has already begun. As states run through their reserve funds children are unable to see a doctor for sick visits, routine checkups, immunizations, and other services. Speak up for the children who could not vote in the election and get Congress to extend funding for CHIP and make it permanent.
Arctic Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic Wildlife Refuge is at imminent risk. Polar Bears, caribou and moose can’t vote so we need to speak up for them. Republicans are trying to buy Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) vote on a bad tax cut by opening the pristine wilderness area to oil and gas development. By making the oil drilling legislation part of the so-called “tax reform” it requires just a simple 51-vote majority. Experts agree that oil and gas development in this area would permanently and irreversibly disrupt the ecological integrity of the refuge. ANWR is the last intact landscape in America, and home to 37 species of land mammals, eight marine mammals, 42 fish species and more than 200 migratory bird species. Tell your Senator that ANWR should not be sold or destroyed for any price.
The 800,000 young people protected by DACA couldn’t vote in this election. Their lives are still in limbo as Congress stumbles along. The Dreamers are part of our community. They deserve legal protection and a path to citizenship. More information is here.
Call To Action - Clean up the Congressional ToDo List
Pick one (or more) of these issues and call ALL your members of Congress. Each issue is “live” now. Tell them to
- Reauthorize CHIP now and make it a permanent funding stream.
- Protect the Dreamers and provide them a path to citizenship.
- Demand fair tax reform that primarily benefits middle and low income taxpayers and does not raise the deficit.
- Protect ANWR by removing it from the tax reform bills.
Finally, remind family and friends to sign up for the Affordable Care.