Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Don't Take Away Our Health Care

Don't Take Away Our Health Care
words by C.A. Matthews
photos by Adrian Matthews 
(watch a short video of Bernie's remarks below or at: 

Senator Bernie Sanders made a surprise visit to Ohio's capital on Sunday morning to rally the troops in the ongoing battle to save the A.C.A. and shut down Trumpcare 2.0, a thinly disguised tax break bill for the billionaire class at the expense of ordinary Americans' health and well-being. Bernie's coming to Columbus was on very short notice (a Friday afternoon email), so the packed to overflowing house of 2000+ enthusiastic attendees at the downtown music performance venue was a pleasant surprise. No doubt about it--Ohioans are serious about saving their health care.

The rally was sponsored by MoveOn.org and other Ohio groups, and its aim was simple: Convince Republican Senator Rob Portman to vote against the Republican bill. The crowd was urged to continue to call, email and visit Portman's offices throughout the state and share their health care stories, explaining how important Obamacare is to them and their families. (Here is a website that will help you make the call to your senator and tells you what to say: https://www.aft.org/call-now)  Photos and memes on the big screens before the speakers took stage gave sobering statistics and a few encouraging ones as well: Only 17% of Americans (16% according to Bernie in the very latest poll) approve of the Republicans' attempts to repeal and replace the A.C.A.  However, 23 million Americans are at risk of losing their coverage, adding to the 28 million without health insurance in those states that never accepted the Medicaid extension. The time to block this mockery of a health care bill is now.

Opening rally speakers included Ohio MoveOn organizers, a community health care center doctor from Dayton, a local pastor who has witnessed the good Obamacare has done for his members and could continue to do for them, and a veteran speaking for Planned Parenthood and women's health services which are threatened by the new bill. ("Republicans say they'll give you a choice of private insurers, but not give a woman the right of choice over her own body.") No one held back on their condemnation of Trumpcare. The young, the old, the disabled, pregnant women and anyone with a pre-existing condition (as determined by a private health insurer) could see their access to health care vanish overnight if the senate bill is passed.

Bernie was in great form, looking energized and determined to take on opponents of the A.C.A. He gave a straightforward and impassioned plea to his fellow senator, asking Rob Portman to listen to the cries of his constituents who can't afford to lose their health care coverage. The Medicaid extension program has been essential in helping Ohio fight its opioid addiction crisis; the state is a leader in opioid/heroin overdoses and death. Over half of the births in Ohio are covered by Medicaid currently, and it has a high infant mortality rate. By cutting back the Medicaid program and allowing private health insurers to cancel policies for pregnant women and their babies, addiction and mental health services and other pre-existing conditions, Trumpcare would leave some of the most vulnerable Ohioans without essential services, adding to the state's rising toll of preventable deaths.

Bernie noted that two-thirds of all nursing home patients in America receive Medicaid as well as Medicare. Where would these older/disabled patients go if they lost these programs? He remarked how many hardworking Americans are already working two or more jobs (often without health care provided) and are stretched as it is to make ends meet. Could they afford to take care of aging or sick parents on top of taking care of their children's needs? What if they had to quit their jobs to take care of an ailing family member? How would they feed and shelter all family members and afford their health care needs? The implications of not providing these life-saving programs are dire. The AARP, the American Medical Association and many other organizations have decried Trumpcare for allowing private health insurance companies to gouge older Americans by raising their premium from two to five times what they pay now.

The crowd booed and shouted as Bernie listed all those who would be hurt and how thousands could die if the A.C.A. is repealed and replaced by the Republican senators' legislation. He noted that the bill was written in secret by a baker's dozen worth of white males and never put before a committee or debated on the floor of the Senate. "Obamacare is far from perfect," Bernie admitted, but it is a first step toward implementing a Medicare for All program so no American ever again has to go bankrupt because of medical bills or live with the anxiety of not having health care. He urged everyone to call Senator Portman and express their outrage at this "immoral piece of legislation."

Morality--and the lack of it in our current government--isn't something Bernie Sanders shies away from discussing. He faces the issues and speaks with complete candor. "Our country is facing a moral crisis," Bernie stated.  "A nation is judged on how compassionate it is and how it treats its most vulnerable citizens." How does the U.S. measure up to those standards?  Not well under Trumpcare. Lives are at stake. 

We are in need of moral leadership--not simply leadership by well-dressed politicians spouting platitudes while accepting bribes from Big Pharma. Five months after Donald Trump stepped into office, Senator Bernie Sanders continues to lead ordinary Americans toward a future worth believing in and fighting for. Bernie's moral compass leads us along a straight and true path to a better, healthier America for all of its people.

More on this story--
The AARP Just Responded to the Trumpcare Bill with a Massive Threat to Every Senator: https://www.liberalexaminer.com/2017/06/23/aarp-just-responded-trumpcare-bill-massive-threat-every-senator/ 

Shifting Dollars from Poor to Rich is Key Part of Senate Health Care Bill:

Medicare for All vs. All the Healthcare that Each Can Afford (The Sanders Institute):

Robert Reich -- "The Secret Health Care Bill": https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/06/26/secret-health-care-bill/

Lee Camp -- "Here's Why There's No Legitimate Healthcare Debate in this Country":  http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/lee-camp-heres-no-legitimate-healthcare-debate-country.html

Call your senator now and tell them, "Don't take away our health care!"  https://www.aft.org/call-now 

Sign up to sit in to #StopTrumpcare on July 6--nationwide!

This week's Chastise Rich Arrogant Pricks (C.R.A.P.) Award goes to the thirteen Republican senators listed above for trying to ram their secret "don't-care-much-about-ordinary-folks'- health-care" bill through Congress. Look at those dollar amounts, and you'll understand why they want us to pay higher insurance premiums and even more for drugs. Please chastise them on all social media platforms (you can right click on this meme and share it) and call/email/write them and tell them what you think about their efforts to deprive 23 million+ Americans health care.
Really American has a petition for you to sign to show these 13 senators how you feel...


From Brand New Congress:

Senate Republicans finally crawled out of hiding and revealed their version of Paul Ryan’s AHCA. While 13 Republican men decided the fate of your health behind closed doors, Senate Democrats rightly complained about the lack of transparency in this trainwreck. But they failed to put forward the most obvious solution: Medicare for All.

The House AHCA was bad enough. Now the Senate version guts Medicaid, leaving millions of children and older Americans exposed without insurance or affordable treatment. If Republicans in Congress get their way, 51 million Americans will be cut off from medical treatment so a handful of the wealthiest Americans can have a tax break.

 This is not about politics -- people’s lives are on the line.

Congress needs to hear us. We’re done with expensive premiums, costly co-pays and sky-high deductibles. And we are NOT going back to the days a faceless corporation can cut off your coverage for pre-existing conditions or because you got sick and hit a lifetime cap. We demand healthcare for every single American, as a right, not a privilege.


Yours for the revolution,

Cory Archibald
Communications Team Volunteer, Brand New Congress

From Climate Hawks:

A group working for Senate Democrats is running pro-coal television ads in West Virginia to prop up anti-climate Senator Joe Manchin. The ad even shows footage of Manchin cozying up to Donald Trump as he signed legislation killing the Stream Protection Rule.

The group behind the ad, Majority Forward, is the c4 arm of the Senate Majority SuperPAC. Run by operatives for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, they operate together as outside-spending allies of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Schumer has the power to stop this ad.

“When Washington proposed anti-coal regulations, Joe Manchin said no.” - Direct quote from an ad funded by Schumer’s Democratic donors

Joe Manchin next to Trump in Majority Forward ad.
Sign the petition »
Climate Hawks Vote is partnering with Friends of the Earth Action, CREDO, and other organizations on a petition to tell Senator Schumer we strongly oppose Democratic-funded ads attacking our climate. We'll be delivering all of the signatures to Senator Schumer. In order to resist Trump, we need to embrace a strong climate justice agenda, not cozy up to his agenda of climate denial and destruction.

This dirty ad shows how climate polluters still have power over the Democratic Party. J.B. Poersch, the Schumer operative in charge of Majority Action, is a partner at SKDKnickerbocker, a Democratic firm that lobbied for Keystone XL on behalf of TransCanada.

Coal mining is poisoning our water, and coal burning is poisoning our air, and coal money is poisoning our politics. Every Democratic senator should be working to move our country to 100% clean energy for 100% of our people.

Your fellow climate hawk,


PAC aligned with Schumer runs pro-Manchin TV ad, EE News https://www.eenews.net/eedaily/2017/06/13/stories/1060055936

Majority Forward Ad for Pro-Coal Joe Manchin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IcrDXWZDLU

SKDKnickerbocker Does PR For Keystone XL Pipeline, Tar Sands Rail Transport, DeSmogBlog https://www.desmogblog.com/2013/05/03/obama-anita-dunn-public-relations-keystone-xl-pipeline-tar-sands-rail-transport
 From Open Media:

The Internet is in great danger, but we still have time to save it.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Ajit Pai is trying to destroy Net Neutrality — the idea that all content be treated equally on the Internet,1 meaning innovative new startups can compete on a level playing field with giant corporations.

Big Telecom and special interest groups want to change all that. These powerful companies want to make it so their content is delivered to the user in a “fast lane,” and everything else — smaller blogs, content from independent competitors — is forced into a slow lane.2

The good news is that we can stop this, but we need your help. If you can take a few minutes to call Congress and the FCC now, we can convince them that the Internet is too important not to protect.

Click on this link, and type in your phone number and it will automatically connect you with your local Member of Congress. (Don’t worry, your phone number won’t be used for anything else.)
We know these tactics work because we’ve won this fight before — in 2015 millions of Americans told the FCC and Congress they wanted to protect Net Neutrality,3 and this public pressure forced them to do the right thing.

Call now, tell Congress: “I oppose the FCC’s efforts to roll back Title II net neutrality rules — and I urge you to oppose them as well.”
Thank you for taking a stand for an open web. 

—Katy, on behalf of OpenMedia

P.S. Another way to support an open web is to donate even $5 today. Help fuel our fight to stand up to Big Telecom’s attempt to control our digital freedoms. 

[1] The Internet is Under Attack: Now This News
[2] Breaking down the FCC’s proposal to destroy net neutrality: The Verge
[3] Well, Internet, we did it. We stopped the Internet slow lane: OpenMedia


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