The health reform bill is by no means perfect – but it is a lot better than what we have now. And when the conversation focuses on the actual, substantive things that are in the bill, the American people usually agree.
Therefore, we are putting our energy into getting the bill passed – it’s a place to start, and after decades since the last major reform, it is time to start.
We’ve been hearing reports that undecided Democrats are getting an enormous amount of pressure from Republicans and tea party folks and need to hear from people who support health care reform. If this concerns you, there are ways you can help. First, here is a list of Democrats who opposed the House bill the first time around, who haven’t yet said they’ll support this version (names in bold have said publicly that they’re undecided):
John Adler (NJ), Jason Altmire (PA), Brian Baird (Wash.), John Barrow (GA), Dan Boren (OK), Rick Boucher (VA), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Bobby Bright (AL), Ben Chandler (KY), Travis Childers (Mississippi), Artur Davis (Alabama), Lincoln Davis (TN), Chet Edwards (TX), Parker Griffith (Alabama), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Tim Holden (PA), Larry Kissell (NC), Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.), Frank Kratovil Jr. (MD), Jim Marshall (Georgia), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (NC), Michael McMahon (NY), Charlie Melancon (LA), Walt Minnick (ID), Scott Murphy (NY), Glenn Nye (VA), Collin C. Peterson (MN), Mike Ross (AR), Heath Shuler (NC), Ike Skelton (Missouri), John Tanner (TN), Gene Taylor (Mississippi), Harry Teague (NM)
We’re also going to add Bart Stupak (Mich.) and Republican Joseph Cao (LA)– both voted for the bill before, but have threatened to vote “No” this time because of abortion rules.
If you or someone you know lives in any of these districts, it would definitely be worth giving them a call. The number for the Congressional Switchboard is (202) 224-3121; they’ll be able to put you in touch with the office of your Representative.
If you get a busy signal, email your representative, or call the district offices – persist!
If you don’t live in one of these districts but still want to help, Organizing for America is organizing phonebanks across the country this weekend. Volunteers are calling supportive voters in key districts, asking them to call their Representatives and express their support for reform. You can find an event near you by entering your zip code on the OFA website here.
Like we said, the bill isn’t perfect, but we think it’s a good start and something that can be built on in the future. And so, we’ll probably be spending a good part of the next few days on the phone. Hope you’ll join us.