Help with Health Care!
July 15, 2009 12:07 PM   Subscribe

How can I show support for the new health care reform bill?

My mom is a cancer survivor who is currently without health insurance, so the health care reform bill that just came out of the House (America's Affordable Health Choices Act) gives me a lot of hope. I've written to my representatives and senators, and am looking for other ways I can support this bill.

I'm considering sending an email to friends/posting on facebook a short note giving background about my mom and why I think this is a good bill, and asking them to write their reps if they feel the same. Is that something that would be worthwhile? Is there something else I should be doing?

My mom's health and lack of insurance has been a huge source of stress for my family, and while I probably shouldn't be looking at this bill as a lifesaver, I feel I need to do what I can to help it pass.
posted by odayoday to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Writing or calling is best. They have aides who tally the number of letters/calls they get about particular topics. Letters and calls get more points than emails.
posted by emilyd22222 at 12:17 PM on July 15, 2009

You can a write a letter to the editor for your local newspaper. Not knowing where you live, I can't say what the chances of it appearing are, but if it's well-written you've got a decent shot. I managed to get a letter published in my small-town paper as a high-school student, for example.

If your mother lives in another area, write a letter to her local paper as well. The more you can get average people to understand that "people like them" will be helped by healthcare reform, the better. In your letter, encourage them to write/email/call their Representatives and Senators, too.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 12:26 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

What are the highlights of the proposal (I can Google the Bill, but it's not going to make a whole lot of sense to me because I won't have much of an idea of how workable it is in the real world)? For instance, is it something insurance companies and the AMA are likely to support ('cos if so, I'd be lobbying them)?
posted by Lolie at 12:37 PM on July 15, 2009

I'm fairly sure both insurance companies and the AMA are unlikely to support the bill.

The most important aspects of it, to me, are the public option (the Health Insurance Exchange) which will offer coverage to those not currently insured at a rate determined by their income, the fact that people cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and that the plan to pay for the program is pretty reasonable considering how much of a difference it will make to people who are currently sick and unable to get health care.

Is it worthwhile to email, write AND call?
posted by odayoday at 1:08 PM on July 15, 2009

[few comments removed - this question is fairly specific, please treat it that way, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:24 PM on July 15, 2009

From Ms. Vegetable -

Is your mother in a cancer survivors group? That might be another good source of people to help.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:22 PM on July 15, 2009

She's not a member of any groups, unfortunately. I tried to talk her into it in the past, but she's fairly anti-social and did not want to get involved. That's a great idea, though, I'll contact the American Cancer Society to see if they have any advice. Thanks!
posted by odayoday at 4:33 PM on July 15, 2009

Get out on the intertubes and anti-astroturf. Or whatever that's called. Hit up the comments sections of the stories that get published and provide sane, reasoned data in opposition to the OMG socialism crazies.

And the other stuff. Write to all your reps. Maybe even all the reps from your state. Maybe write to all 100 Senators. Probably two or three different versions of a form letter would do the job. One to thank obvious supporters. One to appeal to obvious opponents. One to work the middle for people whose mind you don't know. If I was going to do such a thing, I would make it short and sweet, but also contain real, annotated, unassailable data.

Like (made up): The average insured american pays $6000 a year in health insurance premiums. Of that, the insurance companies spent $x per person in opposition to this bill. Hospitals spend $y billion a year on emergency care for uninsured patients. That is [more/less/zz%] of the yearly cost of this bill. Clearly, supporting this bill would mean both a reprieve for suffering Americans, and a relief to hospitals, doctors and patients who are already paying the bill for these uninsured citizens.
posted by gjc at 5:40 PM on July 15, 2009

Letters and calls get more points than emails.

This depends on who your reps and senators are. Some of mine when I lived in Michigan specifically said they preferred email to snail mail - due to the time it takes for snail mail to get to them.

I also agree with writing a letter to the editor. Make sure you put a "call to action" at the end of the letter to the editor - encouraging other people to contact their reps and senators to support this bill as well.
posted by at 5:47 PM on July 15, 2009

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