Week of May 15
Take Action! Tell Your Senators to #ProtectOurCare: No Backroom Deals to Take Away Our Health Care
ISSUE: Have you been hearing a lot about the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the Trump-Russia scandal lately? Republicans in the Senate hope you have. But while we are distracted by Russia and Comey, 13 white men (and no women) are working behind closed doors on the Senate Republicans’ answer to the ACA repeal bill passed earlier this month by the House. They are said to be bypassing the usual process of sending the bill through committees for review, amendments and approval, instead working in private with no input or feedback from Democrats and bringing the bill to the full Senate when they are confident they have enough votes to pass it. While the final bill will likely be quite different from the one that passed the House, the lack of transparency and refusal to seek any bipartisan support is extremely troubling and signals that the final product will still almost certainly still leave millions more Americans uninsured and decimate the quality of care for everyone else.
GET THE FACTS:
- Read about how the Senate might find the votes to pass its own version of the ACA repeal bill here.
- Read what’s on the mind of some women living with HIV here.
- Call both of your Senators today, and keep calling! See the sample script below.
- Don’t miss any opportunity to tell your members of Congress what you think of the AHCA, and what kind of health care system you support. The Payback Project is helping mobilize folks who are angry about the proposed changes to health care through in-person events and online targeting. Find in-person events in your area here, and share your health care story for their accountability wall here.
- Take the PWN-USA pledge to keep fighting for health care for all to stay apprised of what you can do in your area to #ProtectOurCare.
“Hello, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent of Senator _____ living in [city, zip code]. I am a person [living with/concerned about] HIV. I am calling to urge Sen. _____ to demand that Republicans working on the Senate version of the American Health Care Act go through the normal process of bipartisan committees. I also urge the Senator to vote no on any health care bill that would leave more people uninsured, cut Medicaid funding or eligibility, or leave open the possibility of people with preexisting conditions [like me/like my loved one(s)] finding coverage more expensive, lower quality or harder to get.”
Take Action! Tell the Department of Justice that Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Low-Level Drug Offenses Are Unacceptable
ISSUE: Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, bipartisan support led to the creation and enforcement of “mandatory minimum” sentences even for low-level drug offenses under the banner of “getting tough on crime.” The sentences, combined with racial profiling by law enforcement and over-policing of communities of color, have led to dramatic racial disparities in sentencing and have fueled mass incarceration, which has in turn decimated communities, contributing to poverty and disrupting the lives of children and families. And for all that, they have been shown ineffective in fighting drug addiction, violence and crime.
Yet now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, known for a history of racist comments, policy positions and enforcement tactics during his tenure as a Senator, U.S. attorney in Alabama and as the state’s attorney general, is reviving the failed and racist War on Drugs. He is promising to return the Department of Justice to enforcing mandatory minimum sentences against low-level drug offenders (which Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder moved the department away from) and advising prosecutors to seek maximum charges and sentences against suspects in all drug cases.
GET THE FACTS:
- Learn more about Sessions’ new policy for the Department of Justice here.
- Get some background information on crime and incarceration statistics before and after “war on drugs” policy changes here.
- Call the Department of Justice’s comment line at 202-353-1555. See sample script below.
- Sign the ACLU’s petition against the policy change here and share!
“Hello, my name is ____ and I am calling from [city, state, zip]. I do not support Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy of returning to maximum charges and mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses. These policies have been tried and have failed at reducing drug addiction and crime, but have had terrible, disproportionate impacts on communities of color and have increased disparities in the criminal justice system. There is wide consensus in the U.S. that we need to be reducing the numbers of people incarcerated, not increasing them. This policy must be reversed at once.”