There are many things you can do while you are at home in self-isolation. Here is a list of a few ideas, but we'd love to hear how you are using using physical distancing for social good. Have an idea? Please let us know and we will add it to this list!
1. Protect the voting process in the US. Sometimes overcrowded polling places aren’t by design but by too few volunteers. The November election is going to be particularly challenging for states to get vote-by-mail up and running and to make sure there is enough people-power to work at polling centers. Many people who traditionally help at polling locations are retirees and particularly at risk. Now is the time to encourage younger friends and family members at home to volunteer with their local election official. Find out more about this topic in the podcast Campaign HQ with David Plouffe episode “Will We Vote?” from March 26, 2020.
2. Get trained to phone-bank! We will be calling ALL of our members over the next months to remind them to register and request their ballot and to return it in October. Phone banking is fun and rewarding. You can do just a few calls or hundreds — you decide when you want to call and there is a script so you don’t have to know all the answers. This is proven to be the most effective way to get our members to vote. Join us at the Call Hub Party from 6:00-7:30pm on April 20 or watch the training video, sign on to call hub (the calling platform) and we’ll be in touch as soon as the call campaign begins in April. We need your help!
3. Spread the word. Ask organizations you belong to put our non-partisan voting registration site, VoteFromAbroad.org on their website or in their newsletter.
- Fraternities and sororities
- Business or professional clubs
- Churches, Social clubs or any large membership group
Make your request sound as altruistic and civic-minded as possible. You’ll never know until you ask. — Angela Fobbs, DA Germany, GBC Chair
4. Contact Your Network. Send an email or text message to all of the Americans you know overseas or at home.
Here's an example of a text I sent out to every American expat I knew who wasn’t already involved with Democrats Abroad (it worked! - I got a response from about 70% of them and those who responded checked their registration and requested their ballots). Of course, feel free to customize the message as needed and based on voter location.
Hey there! I hope your week is going well. At the beginning of 2020 I made a resolution to share voter registration info with all of my American expat friends 🇺🇸 If you haven’t yet checked your voter registration and requested your absentee ballot (something you should do every year), you can do both of those things at this website: www.votefromabroad.org
It’s really easy to use, and they have an online Help Desk if you have any questions. I’m also happy to answer any voter questions you might have. Contrary to many myths about overseas ballots, your vote can and often does make a difference! The website is non-partisan, but if you know anyone who is interested specifically in getting out the vote for Democrats in 2020, please feel free to send them my number. Thank you and happy voting! 🗳💙
A personal message like this from a friend will be more effective than a mass-distributed message from an organization. — Kelsey Mc Lendon, DA Germany, Stuttgart
5. Volunteer Remotely. Sign up to volunteer with various organizations in the U.S. Here are some ideas:
Fairfight - https://fairfight.com
Swing Left - https://swingleft.org
Supermajority - https://supermajority.com
Justice Democrats - https://www.justicedemocrats.com/volunteer
Sister District - https://sisterdistrict.com/volunteer-activities
Higher Heights - https://www.higherheightsforamerica.org
Vote Save America - https://www.votesaveamerica.com
Dem List - https://demlist.com
Ballotpedia - https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page
Greater than Fear Minnesota (excellent messaging inspiration): https://greaterthanfear.us
— Kelsey Mc Lendon, DA Germany, Stuttgart
Have an idea? Please let us know and we will add it to this list!
Ten years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the law is more popular than ever. It’s no wonder -- it helped tens of millions of Americans obtain quality, affordable health care coverage, made it illegal for insurers to deny coverage over a preexisting condition or charge women more for their health care than men, allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ plans, required coverage of preventative services and essential health benefits, and so much more.
Now -- in the midst of a global pandemic -- the ACA is one of our most critical tools to protect Americans from the consequences of the coronavirus. The protections afforded by the ACA help ensure Americans get the health care they need and aren’t bankrupted just because they caught coronavirus. The Trump administration has been forced to rely on several provisions of the ACA as part of the nation’s response to the virus.
And yet, Trump is still arguing in court to overturn the entire health care law, including its preexisting condition protections -- and doubled down at a coronavirus briefing just last night. At every opportunity, Trump has worked to weaken the ACA and put coverage for millions at risk. Despite promising to create better, more affordable health care, Trump and his repeated acts of sabotage have contributed to rising health care costs and a rise in the uninsured rate. Americans shouldn’t have to worry every day about whether the law will be overturned and they’ll lose the ACA’s protections, and whether they will be able to pay their bills because of rising health care costs that Trump failed to lower.
The ACA is more popular than ever.
A clear majority of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act. In February, the ACA hit its highest approval rating ever of 55%.
Now -- in the midst of a global pandemic -- the ACA is one of our most critical tools.
Comprehensive Coverage: The ACA established what are known as “essential health benefits,” such as prescription drugs and hospitalization. Coronavirus testing and treatment are essential health benefits and must be covered by all ACA-compliant plans.
Access To Critical Vaccinations Without Cost Sharing: Once a coronavirus vaccine is developed, the Affordable Care Act will almost certainly cover the coronavirus vaccine without cost-sharing, because it requires plans to cover all vaccinations recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Protections For As Many As 133 Million Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions: Under the ACA, anyone who contracts coronavirus will not be subject to future discrimination from insurance companies.
Coverage for 20+ Million People: Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. People with insurance are much more likely to see a doctor when they are sick and to get the treatment they need.
Increased CDC Funding: The Affordable Care Act established the CDC Prevention and Public Health Fund, which helps states prepare for disease outbreaks.
Medicaid Expansion: Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid to vulnerable populations. More than 17 million Americans now have coverage through Medicaid expansion. Importantly, Medicaid’s funding structure allows funds to increase in response to a public health emergency like coronavirus.
Key Support For Rural Hospitals. The ACA significantly reduced uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $12 billion, or roughly 30 percent. As hospitals prepare for an influx in coronavirus patients, it is critical that they are paid for the treatment they provide.
Even as he tries to destroy the law, Trump has been forced to rely on key provisions of the ACA to fight the spread of coronavirus:
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Essential Health Benefits: “President Trump and his deputies have urged health insurers to make testing for coronavirus free to patients, calling it an ‘essential benefit,’ despite years of pushing to loosen federal rules on what health insurance plans must cover.”
Medicaid Expansion: “And the administration is now moving to make it easier for poor Americans to get care through Medicaid, after championing multiple efforts over the last three years to slash the joint federal and state program and cut millions of people from its rolls.”
Nursing Home Inspections: “The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, pledged to intensify nursing home inspections, just months after moving to roll back government inspection standards the agency called “burdensome.”
And yet, Trump will stop at nothing to end the ACA.
Trump tried to repeal the ACA:
Throughout 2017, Trump and Republicans in Congress repeatedly tried to push dangerous repeal legislation through that would have kicked upwards of 20 million Americans off their health care, undermined the ACA’s protections for Americans with preexisting conditions, and gutted Medicaid.
Trump sabotaged the ACA:
Trump and Republican sabotage of the ACA has contributed to rising health care costs. Last year, premiums for silver benchmark marketplace plans were 16 percent higher than they would have been had Trump and Republicans not succeeded in undermining the law and stoking market uncertainty.
Trump supports a lawsuit to overturn the ACA:
Trump promised that whoever “wanted health care” would have it under his administration, but the Trump-backed lawsuit would cause 21 million Americans to lose their insurance.
Trump promised he would put a stop to rising health care costs and even reduce them -- but his lawsuit would raise out-of-pocket costs for premiums and prescription drugs.
Trump promised to support preexisting condition protections and said that costs for people with preexisting conditions would be “much lower” under his leadership -- but his lawsuit would end these vital protections.
Trump promised to protect Medicaid -- but his lawsuit would end access to Medicaid for millions of Americans enrolled through the ACA’s expansion program.
The politics of health care.
But all this has come at a political cost for Trump and Republicans. Their efforts to repeal the ACA and sabotage American health care, and Democrats’ efforts to protect the law, expand coverage and lower costs, have helped Democrats win races up and down the ballot in 2017, 2018 and 2019, including winning the House majority in the last midterm elections. And still today, health care is the number one issue on the minds of voters, and among voters who rate it their top issue, Democrats enjoy a significant advantage. With Trump bungling the response to the coronavirus pandemic, you can bet health care will again be the top issue on voters’ minds.
It’s quite a reversal of fortune in the 10 years since President Obama signed the ACA. In 2010 and again in 2014, the politics of health care benefitted Republicans with big wins in both those midterm elections. Of course, their success was built on lies like “death panels.” But ten years later, the truth has won out. And the truth is the Affordable Care Act has improved the health and financial security of millions of Americans. On this anniversary, that’s something to celebrate.
— DNC War Room
Join us for our first online Pub Quiz! Bring your own beer and enjoy democratic trivia accompanied by (some of) the presidential candidates' playlists from the comfort of your own home.Please send an e-mail to:to RSVP and we will send you an invitation link!Visit this event on Facebook.
— Laura Farmwald & Sophie Spiegelberger
DA Austria's Youth Caucus Co-Coordinators
Phone banking is the most effective way to reach our members and remind them to register, request, and vote their ballot. It is also easy and fun!
We want to call all our members in the next few months. Help us reach this goal by learning how to use the CallHub program. Join us for an online phone banking party and we will help you get set up and comfortable in no time!
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