Improve Health Reform Provisions for Children
Dear Connecticut Partners,
This alert contains two action steps for reaching out to Senators Dodd and Lieberman on the Senate health reform proposals. Both senators play a critical role in the health reform debate, and we can't stress enough how important it is for you to reach out to them and encourage your networks to do this same. We ask that you take action today or early next week, calling Senator Dodd's office about affordability provisions and Senator Lieberman to encourage him to vote "yes" on all procedural votes.
Outreach to Senator Dodd
Community Catalyst sent out an alert earlier this week detailing a new affordability option being discussed in the Senate that would significantly hurt low-income individuals. Specifically, the option increases premiums from 2% to 3% of income for individuals starting at 100% FPL in order to decrease premiums for individuals over 200% FPL. This option will reduce premiums for individuals at 300-400% FPL from 12% to 10% of income.
While we are very supportive of decreasing premiums for people at 200% FPL and above, this should not be done at the expense of low-income people. This "3-10" alternative is not a viable option for improving affordability provisions in the bill. There are many other options for funding these affordability provisions for individuals with higher incomes.
Given Senator Dodd's key role in negotiating a final Senate bill, his past leadership on issues affecting low-income individuals, and his current leadership on affordability issues in general, we believe that he can lead the charge to help ensure that the "3-10" option is not included in the final Senate bill.
Please contact Senator Dodd's office directly (202-224-2823) and pass this alert on to at least 5 colleagues and friends and ask them to do the same.
When you contact Senator Dodd's office, we suggest the following talking points:
- I appreciate the Senator's continued efforts to provide affordable health coverage to all Americans, including low-income families, and hope that he will continue to fight to protect these individuals.
- I am deeply concerned about the current option to increase premiums for low-income people who can least afford to pay them.
- Providing adequate affordability protections for low-income families is an essential part of making health reform work successfully.
Outreach to Senator Lieberman
As you may have read, Senator Lieberman has indicated that he may join with Republicans to filibuster a vote on the Senate health reform bill. He was quoted as saying, "I will not support cloture on a bill I don't support." According to news reports, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to include a public option in the Senate bill is the primary cause of Senator Lieberman's concern.
This is highly problematic as the debate moves to the Senate floor because we need every Senator who caucuses with the Democrats to vote together on procedural issues. As a reminder, there are several key votes during the Senate debate where 60 votes are needed to get cloture and move the bill through the process. While we have heard that Senator Lieberman may vote yes on the first cloture vote - the motion to proceed - we need to make sure that he votes yes on all of the procedural votes in order to let this historic bill be debated and then put to a vote.
Please contact Senator Lieberman's office directly (202-224-4041) and pass this alert on to at least 5 colleagues and friends and ask them to do the same.
When you contact Senator Lieberman's office, we recommend the following message:
- This is an historic moment in our country's effort to secure affordable health care for every American.
- As an active and engaged constituent, I am asking the Senator, at the very least, to vote yes on procedural votes so that the entire Chamber can debate and vote on the bill.
- I personally believe there are many components to this bill that will help Connecticut - the Medicaid expansion will help us cover adults, the insurance reforms will protect consumers, and premium subsidies will help our lower and middle-income neighbors purchase coverage.
If you have questions, please contact Maia Fedyszyn at 617-275-2871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your quick action,