July 2017 Tiny Action: Email Congress on Healthcare!
Considering the urgency of contacting the Senate on their proposed "Trumpcare" legislation, we encourage you to contact your Senator *by email* or online contact form with your concerns about the BCRA going up for a vote in the coming weeks. Have you considered how this legislation may make you a "healthcare refugee" if pre-existing conditions make it difficult or impossible for you to return to the US? Here a sample email for you to use; please personalize it and include your family's and your own concerns to make it as compelling and accurate as possible.
Dear Senator [Senator's name],
I am your constituent from [city, state] (voting address: [street, include ZIP]), but I currently live in [country] [with my children, if applicable]. I am writing you today to urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that the health care bill currently before the Senate is defeated.
Even though I live overseas and have health insurance provided by my host country, I am deeply concerned by this bill. I am an overseas American, but I am also [affected by a specific pre-existing condition]. This bill -- by allowing changes to provisions protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, by drastically cutting back on Medicaid, and by allowing steep price increases for health insurance -- could have devastating effects on the ability of people with chronic illness or [aforementioned condition], like myself, to receive the quality, affordable health care we need to live our lives fully and productively.
I am very worried about the consequences this bill could have for those members of my family in the US who have chronic, pre-existing conditions, but I am also worried about its consequences for myself [and my children]. Will I be able to return to the US one day confident that I will be able to access the medical care I need? [Will my children [with their specific health concerns] be able to do so?] Or will [I/we] be condemned to live as [a] healthcare refugee[s], unable to return to [my/our] country without endangering [my/our] health?
Americans need better, more affordable healthcare, not the worse, more expensive, rationed care that this terrible bill would bring if it passes. For all Americans, wherever they are in the world, please vote against this bill and use whatever procedural tools are in your power to hinder its passage.
Call Storm Actions, July 2017
Call today about these important issues: TAXATION | HEALTHCARE | PARIS ACCORD
When calling Congress, make sure you:
1) Are respectful, regardless of how angry you may be stemming from an issue or recent congressional action;
2) Call all three of your specific representative and senators; do not call other members of Congress as calling them only ties up their phone lines and prevents them from hearing from their actual constituents (the exception is if a member of Congress or a congressional committee specifically ask for “the American public’s opinion”);
3) Immediately identify yourself as the congressperson’s constituent and be prepared to give your U.S.-based address;
4) Stick to a single issue;
5) Know any specifics beforehand in case their office asks you for further guidance (i.e. a bill number you’re referencing);
6) Calmly and rationally state your case in voicing your opinion;
7) Respectfully have a specific ask in mind of the legislator;
8) Ask the office where the legislator stands on your concern/issue – do not hang up the phone until you ask this important question.
Most staff will not know the legislator’s position on expat issues; this is normal. If you are comfortable in doing so, leave your phone number and request to receive a returned phone call with the congressperson’s response once he/she has taken a stance on your issue. If you know beforehand that your legislator has taken the opposite position of DA’s stance, be sure to inform the congressional office that your Election Day ballot will depend on the congressperson’s vote or position on your issue;
9) Thank the staffer for listening to your comment, and request that your message is passed along to the representative or senator.
10) Relay the congressional office’s response back to DA (if the issue is expat-related), and be sure to also share on social media if the lawmaker has taken the opposite stance of DA’s official position.
If the purpose of the phone call is simply to bombard Congress with constituent calls in voicing an opinion on a bill/issue, it is okay to call your elected official’s D.C. office, identify yourself as a constituent, state your opinion, state your specific request, and repeat this process with all of the legislator’s in-district/state offices.