U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | September 19, 2017

“My mother is not a lazy person; she works two jobs. It is the same with others in America. People work hard, but our economy does not afford everyone access to health care, due to low wages.”

RESULTS Raleigh volunteer and REAL Change Fellow LeAndre Blakeney in a September 13 letter to the editor in the Salisbury Post

Quick Action: Tell Congress to Protect Medicaid

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? We Need to Save Medicaid… Again!

Here we go again. It seems that some in Congress just refuse to learn. After defeats in recent months on health care – defeats caused by overwhelming opposition from advocates like you – Senators are making one last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and end Medicaid as we know it.

The latest iteration is the “Graham-Cassidy” health bill, introduced by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The bill “block grants” (lump sum payments to states) the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and premium subsidies and caps funding for traditional Medicaid, beginning in 2020. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that between 2020 and 2026 capping Medicaid would result in $175 billion in funding cuts and block granting the ACA provisions would result in $239 billion in funding cuts. In 2027, the ACA block grants would end (in essence, repealing the law) and the Medicaid caps would remain in place. Needless to say, these changes would impose needless suffering on millions of Americans who would with lose coverage or see services cut and out-of-pocket costs increase.

Fortunately, the reconciliation instructions for health care (the fact-track procedure Republicans are using to pass a bill without Democratic support) expire on September 30. This means, if we can stave off this latest repeal effort until the end of next week, we win.*

TAKE ACTION: Call both your senators TODAY toll free at (800) 826-3688 and tell them to oppose any health care bill that caps Medicaid funding and repeals the Affordable Care Act. When the receptionist answers, say this:

“I urge Senator ______________ to REJECT the Graham-Cassidy bill. This bill caps Medicaid, which could have a devastating impact on low-income children, seniors, people with disabilities, and others in our community. I’m counting on the senator to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and any legislation that ends Medicaid as we know it.”

*September 30 does not completely end the threat. House and Senate Republicans could 1) draft a bipartisan repeal bill to get the 60 votes they would need to overcome a Democratic filibuster or 2) pass another budget resolution with new reconciliation instructions. However, either scenario is unlikely to happen.

Got Ten Minutes? Urge Others to Make Calls Opposing Latest Medicaid Decimation Bill

As noted above, the Senate is making another run at repealing the ACA and ending Medicaid as we know it. Just like its predecessors, the Graham-Cassidy bill would cap Medicaid funding permanently, resulting in $175 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade. It would also end repeal the ACA in 2027, including the Medicaid expansion. Republicans leaders have until September 30 to pass this bill when their bypass of the Senate filibuster (i.e. reconciliation instructions) expires.

This again is all hands-on deck. We need as many people as possible calling their senators and telling them to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill. Who do you know in your community that you can ask to call?

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to reach out to 7 people you know (or more) and ask them to call their Senators to oppose the latest efforts to end Medicaid as we know it. Copy and paste the message below into an e-mail and Facebook post urging people to take action now.

Congress is at it again. The Senate is working on a new bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. This puts the health care and health of millions of Americans at grave risk. We cannot let this happen.

We were able to beat back repeal efforts in July – we need to do it again now. Will you please call your Senators TODAY at (800) 826-3688 and leave this message:

“I urge Senator ______________ to REJECT the Graham-Cassidy bill. This bill caps Medicaid, which could have a devastating impact on low-income children, seniors, people with disabilities, and others in our community. I’m counting on the senator to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and any legislation that ends Medicaid as we know it.”

Thank you for taking action. Please share this message with others you know and urge them to call. If we can maintain opposition until September 30, we might finally be in the clear.

While calls to all Senators are important, here is a list of people in key states where we need a flood of calls:

  • Susan Collins (ME)
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
  • Rand Paul (KY)
  • John McCain and Jeff Flake (AZ)
  • Rob Portman (OH)
  • Cory Gardner (CO)
  • Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst (IA)
  • Todd Young (IN)
  • Jerry Moran (KS)
  • Dean Heller (NV)
  • Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (TN)
  • John Hoeven (ND)
  • Mike Rounds (SD)
  • Mike Lee (UT)
  • Tom Tillis (NC)

If you know people in these states, please reach out to them to call TODAY.

Got Twenty Minutes? New Medicaid Threat a Good Opportunity to Engage Others (September Action)

The September Action encourages you to use the new Census data released last week to empower others to take action on poverty issues. However, the new Medicaid threat outlined above might be an even better hook to engage others (in the short term). People are familiar with this issue, they are used to taking action on it (or seeing others do it), and the threat is current and real.

Perhaps you know a group of people who would be willing not only to call on their own, but get together this week in person to write letters. Even a handful of people learning about the issue and taking action can make a difference, especially with the targeted senators listed above.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to brainstorm a way to engage others this week about protecting Medicaid. Remember to broaden your view of what this can look like:

  1. Size Doesn’t Matter. Engaging others in advocacy can involve many people with lots of planning ahead of time or having a few people over for wine, snacks, and letter-writing. Both are effective.
  2. Hitch onto Existing Events. If you cannot plan your own event, partner with events already going on. An easy one is your local faith community, where people are already gathering each week. Why not ask if you can set up a table to invite people to write letters before or after a service. It’s quick, easy, and it works.
  3. Look at the Long Game. Yes, this Medicaid threat has a short window (it’ll be done by September 30). But if you are looking to put on a more in-depth event, don’t push yourself to get it done by the end of this month. If doing an event in October seems more manageable, do it in October. Our issues will still be there.

The September Action has good ideas for doing a community conversation and we have Outreach Resources (PowerPoint Presentations, Action Sheets, etc.) to help you. If you need additional help, please contact Jos Linn for assistance ([email protected]).

Be Strategic in Your Media Work (September Action)

This month, we are using the new U.S. Census Poverty data to generate media about protecting anti-poverty programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and the  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. Remember, the data not only talks about the poverty rate, but also about the rate of uninsured people in America and how various anti-poverty programs are keeping millions above the poverty line.

As you write your letters, take note of where you live and who your members of Congress are. If you live in one of the target states for this new Medicaid threat (see list above), focus your letter on how the uninsured rate continues to decline so why would Congress want to undo this progress by gutting Medicaid and repealing the ACA. If you don’t live in one of those states, you could focus on protecting SNAP from budget cuts, or protecting the EITC and CTC in tax legislation. Whatever the issue, use the media to protect critical programs.

TAKE ACTION: Submit a letter to the editor to your local paper using the new Census data as a hook. The September Action has a template LTE you can use to get started (as well as a sample op-ed for those who want to try for a bigger media impact). Simply copy the LTE template into your own e-mail, edit it based on the most strategic issue for your members of Congress, and then submit it. If you’re not sure which issue you should focus on, contact Meredith Dodson and she will coach you on what issue to use.

Quick News

Join Prosperity Now Webinar Today and in October. Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) is hosting two important upcoming webinars. Today (September 19) at 2:00 pm ET, RESULTS’ own Meredith Dodson will join Prosperity Now to help facilitate “Tax Reform: Fighting for Equity in an Upside-Down Proposal”, which will overview how the tax code incentivizes wealth concentration over wealth creation and how you can help change it. Then on October 10 at 2:00 pm ET, Prosperity Now will host “Making the Connection: Bringing Tax Wonks and Grassroots Activists Together to End Inequality”, which will focus on how grassroots activists can work together to create a movement for a fair and just tax system. Register for both webinars at the Prosperity Now website.

Attend Community Mapping Webinar Next Week. Want to grow the movement to end poverty? Want to connect with others leaders and groups in your community? Attend our upcoming webinar Mapping Your Community for Outreach and Engagement on Wednesday, September 27 at 8:30 pm ET. Learn how to strategically engage others in this important work. To participate, login at: http://fuze.me/35674518 or dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 35674518.

Join Discussion about Race and Employment on September 28. Join the RESULTS Anti-Oppression Working group for our next webinar discussion on Thursday, September 28 at 8:30 pm ET. We’ll be looking at the role of racism and bias in employment practices, recently highlighted in a New York Times editorial. To join the webinar, go to: http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 34326078#.

Attend Town Halls This Week. The House is on recess all this week and the Senate will be on recess Thursday and Friday. Contact their offices and check out www.townhallproject.com to see if there are any events you can attend to ask a question. If you find one, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to help you get ready.

Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events. Also, find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: September 18-22, October 16-20; Senate: September 21-22, October 9-13.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, September 19 at 1:00pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

Using VolunteerMatch to Grow Your Group, Thursday, September 21 at 8:30 pm ET. Join at: http://fuze.me/35674518 or dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 35674518.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Wednesday, September 22 at 1:00pm ET. Register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

Mapping Your Community for Outreach and Engagement, Wednesday, September 27 at 8:30 pm ET. Join at: http://fuze.me/35674518 or dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 35674518.

RESULTS Anti-Oppression Group Discussion Webinar, Thursday, September 28 at 8:30 pm ET. To join, go to: http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 34326078#.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, October 10 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.

2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17, 2018, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Save the date and keep an eye out for more details!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Steven McGee at [email protected]. You can view the most recently published minutes from Board meetings on the RESULTS website, as well as download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.

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