Monday, February 21, 2011

What should you say?

I sent out an email blast on Saturday night (same as two posts below) urging you to contact your members of Congress about the budget debacle happening in Washington. Several of you have asked you what to say.

I deliberately don't tell you all what to say because I don't want you to feel I'm putting words in your mouths. But here's what I have to say:

Health reform has done great things for thousands of people already -- kids with pre-existing conditions have insurance, and are back on their parents' plans; about 12,500 people are in Pre-
Existing Condition Insurance Plans; people no longer have to worry about lifetime caps on benefits. We've been working so hard on implementation, commenting on new rules for insurance appeals that make them more consumer-friendly; setting up rate review so insurance companies can't just keep raising rates.

We cannot lose all of our accomplishments, all of our hard work. Defunding health reform sets us back to the status quo. Thousands and thousands of people will lose out -- and we will never see the full effects of the law that we fought so hard to pass.

So point number 1: Do not defund health reform.

Point number 2: Don't you dare refuse to compromise so that the government shuts down. This is not what the American people wanted when they voted for you. They did not want to put an end to people getting their tax returns on time, their Social Security checks on time, all the services of the federal government -- shut down is not what we want. We want government to work better; we don't want it to stop working entirely.

And point number 3: Yes, take a hard look at the budget. Cut what you can. But don't cut the safety net for the aged, disabled, and poor. Put people to work updating our infrastructure -- roads, bridges, railways -- and invest in the future with technology.

Point number 4: And don't eliminate family planning so that we have an increase in unplanned pregnancies -- especially if you're against abortion, don't eliminate funding for family planning.

That's what I have to say. You can find your House member here. Your Senators are here.

What do you have to say? Jennifer

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