By Samantha Waxman,
RG chapter leader and member of RG’s National Campaign Team
Yes, Congress is trying to snatch healthcare away from 21 million people — again. They almost succeeded this week but for the tenuous objections of a few moderate Republican senators. This was in large part because of so much amazing activism and work by a huge number of people. But we’re not out of the swamp yet.
I’m tired of Mitch McConnell’s political donors hijacking our country and piling on the tax cuts for wealthy people in such a blatant ploy to enrich themselves at the expense of so many people’s access to care.
When elected leaders try to change laws in a way that prioritizes the wealth-hoarding of the rich over the most basic human needs of the many, RGers have a critical role in disrupting that narrative. In this moment of crisis in our country, young people with wealth can stand with the people most harmed by the threat to their care and their lives: communities of color, poor folks, immigrants, and individuals with disabilities — our communities. We need to send a strong message, and we need to do it now because this horrible bill isn’t well and truly dead until it’s officially pulled from Congress.
Here’s what you can do:
1 — Call your senators. This is easy and takes about 5 minutes. The Capitol switchboard is at (202) 224-3121, and you can dial through to be connected to your senator. If they don’t pick up and the mailbox is full, look up your senators’ websites and try all of their district offices until you get through. If you have to call through to a few, that’s a good thing! It means lots of people are calling in also.
The health bill has particular tax cuts for trust funds, investment income, and people in the top 20% of earners so if any of those apply to you, be sure to mention that in your call.
Here’s a sample script: Good morning, my name is NAME and I’m calling from CITY/TOWN, STATE. I’m very concerned about 21 million Americans losing access to critical healthcare services under the current Senate proposal [Graham-Cassidy bill]. I understand that the bill includes huge tax cuts for trust funds/high income earners/wealthy people. I am an inheritor with access to a trust fund/high-income earner/investment holder/young person with access to wealth, and as a person affected by the tax cut, I want the Senator to know that I absolutely do not support it. I do not want a tax cut whose entire purpose is to steal healthcare away from people who are poor, people with disabilities, and others who need access to lifesaving care. Do not support this dangerous and destructive law. Share a personal story about healthcare and/or progressive taxation.
Then, keep calling! And ask family members, friends, and other people in your network to do the same. Once a day is the right amount.
2 — Senators are back in their districts, so show up at their offices or public events. Indivisible is a great resource for how to do this.
3 — Write letters to the editor to your local papers about the intersection of wealth and healthcare. There have been tons of articles analyzing how the “healthcare” bill is really a massive tax cut for the rich, but there’s ample space for personal narratives about this issue and they’re really important.
4 — Take part in local direct actions, and encourage your chapter members to show up as RGers. I’m humbled by these incredible and brave activists. We can all do more. As people with access to privilege in some capacity, we all need to ask ourselves what we’re really risking in this fight.
If you’d like support in writing a letter to the editor, mobilizing your chapter, or other actions,your chapter organizer is happy to help you think through options. You can also reach out to Kaitlin and the national campaign team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I’ll see you in the streets!
Yours in redistribution,