So I’d hoped the Republicans would grow up after being trounced in their first attempt at repealing/replacing Obamacare. I’d legitimately love it if Republicans said, “People are being bankrupted by out-of-control health costs, and health care is complicated – why don’t we take some time to get the law right and come up with something America doesn’t hate?”
Instead, natch, they’re trying to ram through a hasty bill that’s even worse than the last one. They may vote as early tomorrow.
Which is why you have to call your Representatives now. And here’s how you stop do that:
CALL, DO NOT EMAIL.
Politicians can ignore emails the way you do. They can’t ignore calls. Their staffers have to take the calls, which means their staff doesn’t get anything done while they’re handling calls, which means the Senator is far more likely to hear about how the office is slowing to a crawl because the ACA issue is jamming the lines.
Last time, my super-conservative rep changed his mind on the repeal/replace from “YEAH LET’S DO IT” to “Uh, maybe?” because the calls were literally running 20 to 1 in favor of keeping Obamacare around.
SAY YOU’RE A VOTER FROM YOUR TOWN.
Let them know you’re local. Don’t bother calling if you’re not a potential voter. You do not have to give your name, though you can if you want; they may ask you for your zip code. You may wish to force them to take your name to ensure they got your message.
HAVE A SCRIPT READY, IF YOU’RE SOCIALLY AWKWARD LIKE ME.
A good script is something like:
1) I’m disappointed that there’s a rush to shove through even worse health care legislation;
2) Please do not repeal the ACA without a strong replacement;
3) If you have a preexisting condition or the ACA has helped your life in some way, talk about that and make it personal how your life (or the life of someone you love) depends on this;
4) I will not vote for any Representative who helps repeal the ACA without a strong replacement, either in the primary or the general election.
You’re free to go on, if you like, but be polite. They kind of have to listen. In my experience, they’ll generally say they’ll pass the message onto the Representative, and hang up. But if you want to be that person who the office groans when they have to handle them – that polite-but-firm person who will be heard – then hey! You can contribute to the office gossip that people are really concerned about this ACA issue, which is good in politics.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, NOT YOUR SENATOR.
That means you have to make a maximum of one call, which will take ten minutes max. (Unless your Representative’s line is already clogged, in which case, keep calling.)
You can generally look up your senator by using Who Is My Representative, but if not you’ll find a phone number on their website. Calling the local number is generally viewed to be slightly better.
And here’s the trick: If you’re a conservative who’s opposed to mandating that insurers must be able to insure people with preexisting conditions (for some weird reason), flip the script and call as well. This is a republic, and you deserve to have your voice heard.
That said, there was a ridiculous idea last time that the ACA repeal only failed because it wasn’t conservative enough. That wasn’t true. The reason it failed was most because tacking to the right to appeal to the hard-core conservatives cost them more votes in the center, and trying to appeal to everyone made their base splinter.
So calling to register your complaint actually does work. We’re not guaranteed, of course; the Republicans are desperate, trying to shove through a law they wrote in less than a month that nobody’s even fully read (as opposed to the ACA, which was introduced in July 2009 and voted on in March 2010 after heavy debate). They may manage it.
But if they do manage to replace the ACA with something that literally punishes those with preexisting conditions (and that could easily be you, even if you’re healthy now!), let it not be because you didn’t try. Make the call today.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.