Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sen. Flake claims that Graham-Cassidy is better than what we have now. Time to educate him.


The Graham-Cassidy billl may be going to a vote as early as Monday. Sen. Flake claims it is better than what we have now. Time to educate him. Between now and then we need to bombard Senator Flake with messages on twitter, facebook, his website. faxes, and his machine.

He claimed that Graham-Cassidy is better that what we have now.
It will reduce how much federal funding AZ gets.
End employer-provided health coverage for many Americans.
Eliminate subsidies that help middle- and low-income people purchase health plans.
Dramatically cut funding to support states’ Medicaid costs, an attack that could leave millions of people with disabilities and low-income families without health coverage.
Give states the power to remove more expensive health services like maternity care from the list of essential benefits that insurance providers are required to cover.


Allow insurance providers to charge more and reduce the quality of care for people with pre-existing conditions.
Increase health care premiums for seniors.


Tucson, AZ: 520-575-8633
F: 520-797-3232
Phoenix, AZ: 602-840-1891
F: 602-840-4092
Washington Office (202) 224-4521
F: 202-228-0515
https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-jeff
@JeffFlake

Phoenix Office
2200 East Camelback Road
Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Tucson Office
6840 North Oracle Road
Suite 150
Tucson, AZ 85704

Thursday, September 21, 2017

After voting to DRASTICALLY cut the EPA budget, Rep. McSally asks the EPA why they aren't doing their jobs

Naco, AZ resident Gerald Everwein shows Rep. McSally sewage from Mexico on his property

While visiting the border town of Naco, AZ,  Representative Martha McSally witnessed first hand the raw sewage flowing through the current border wall. After voting to approve funding for Trump's wall (that waives important environmental regulations designed to protect our water) and then voting to approve a 500 million dollar budget cut for the EPA, Rep. McSally (along with Senators McCain and Flake) had the gall to send the following letter to the EPA Acting Regional Administrator:

Dear Acting Regional Administrator Strauss,

We write to address reports that the cities of Naco, Arizona and Bisbee, Arizona have been subject to years of unmitigated raw sewage flowing from Naco, Sonora, Mexico, an issue that is yet to be resolved. This flow of sewage poses a health, safety, and economic risk to Arizona’s vulnerable border towns, and we are greatly concerned about the lack of response of the federal agencies tasked with the oversight of this issue.

We believe that this uncontrolled effluent is positioned to contaminate the agriculture, livestock, and drinking water supply of these communities. We seek more information about the situation in question and what the EPA has done to address the environmental impact of this spill. Please answer the following questions:

What responsibility does the EPA have in the monitoring and mitigation of such spills?

How long has the EPA been aware of the effluent spill in Naco, Arizona and Bisbee, Arizona?

What steps have been taken by the EPA to resolve this issue in the many years that the spill has breached Arizona’s borders?

What steps has the EPA been taken to assist the community in their rehabilitation of the impacted areas?

Has the EPA worked with other relevant agencies or conducted internal investigations to study the public health, safety, and economic implications of this spill?

Arizona’s border communities are uniquely situated to rely on organizations, like yours, to coordinate even their most essential functions, such as sanitation or flood mitigation. The economic impact of slow-moving bureaucracy can not only be damaging, but devastating, to our constituents. Between the flooded farms of Naco, Arizona and the broken pipeline in Nogales, Arizona, it is clear to us that coordination and communication between federal organizations and the communities they serve must be improved. We look forward to reviewing your answers and working towards a solution for all parties involved.

Sincerely,

John McCain
United States Senator

Jeff Flake
United States Senator

Martha McSally
United States Representative

I'm left speechless. No, I'm not. We need to send Rep. McSally, Sen. McCain and Sen. Flake a few letters of our own.

Who am I to speak out about Climate Change?

Speaking out at Rep. McSally's office 

Who am I to speak out about Climate Change? Science was never my best subject....so I had to work even harder to understand it. I spent the last three years doing research: reading peer reviewed articles on climate change from reputable journals like Science, looking up words I didn't know, watching documentaries, perusing NASA graphs and photographs, attending lectures with experts, environmentalists and scientists - people who know more than me. I asked questions until I understood. What I learned is that Climate Change is real. It is affected by human activity and is happening right NOW. There is a scientific consensus with 99% of scientists in agreement.


Why did I do all that? How could I not - with the possible survival of the human race at stake!? The least I could do was educate myself. But that is no longer enough. Our planet, OUR HOME, is being devastated by hurricanes, droughts and forest fires growing in frequency and severity due to Climate Change. It's time to step up. We are in an emergency situation. It's time to work together to combat Climate Change. We need to change our behavior (yes, make some lifestyle sacrifices) NOW before we make it worse. It's time to fight for a habitable planet: educate our neighbors and facebook friends, pressure our government officials to pass laws that protect the earth and to subsidize clean energy. Who am I to talk about Climate Change? A mother fighting tooth and nail to protect her home and family.

Just doing the best I can....


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rep. McSally sided with polluters in a vote that would gut the EPA and cripple its ability to keep Arizona's families safe and healthy.

Rep. McSally announced "Fire in the hole" before gleefully blasting away

Representative Martha McSally sided with polluters in a vote that would gut the Environmental Protection Agency and cripple its ability to keep American families safe and healthy.

Now, we have to show our members of Congress that we are paying attention and we will hold them accountable. Tell your representative you won't stand to see polluters placed before people.

Your health—and the health of American families and children—should never be up for debate.

You can send an email through Rep. McSally's website here. 

Or

Click HERE to send the following letter through EDF ACTION.


Dear Representative McSally,

I am deeply disappointed by your vote on HR 3354

Your vote on HR 3354 shows your willingness to side with polluters over the people that you represent. As a constituent of yours, I am deeply disappointed.

You voted for a bill that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of critical funding that keeps American people safe and healthy and that would make it easier for polluters to contaminate our air and water without penalty.

Your job in Congress is to do what is best for your constituents. Instead, you have taken actions that could potentially make them sicker and less well-off.

I hope you will remember this next time you choose to side with polluters over people.

Ask your Representative to DEFEND DREAMers!

Dreamers trying to connect to family through new mesh on border wall 
Trump rescinded the Obama-era DACA program which allowed 800,000 undocumented young people to stay and work in the country. By working with the government despite their undocumented status, these young people put themselves and their families on the line.

Hello, my name is _____ and I live in Tucson,
I am calling about Trump's decision to end the DACA program, upending the lives of 800,000 undocumented young people in this country. I stronly urge Representative Martha McSally to support the passage of the DREAM Act of 2017 to remedy this injustice.
Passing this bipartisan bill must be a priority for Rep. McSally in this legislative session, and I believe we have a moral imperative to take care of undocumented people in this country.
Thank you.

Who did you call?
 

Sign the petition: Medicare for All!


Health care should be a basic right for everyone in the United States. It's a national shame that so many Americans have to choose between lifesaving health care and going into debt or bankruptcy. Now that we've defended the Affordable Care Act from repeal, we need to improve on its limitations and make sure that no American is uninsured.

16 senators just introduced Medicare for All, single-payer health care legislation  U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Senator Tammy Baldwin Senator Richard Blumenthal Cory Booker U.S. Senator Al Franken U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand U.S. Senator Kamala Harris Senator Martin Heinrich Senator Mazie K. Hirono Senator Patrick Leahy Senator Edward J. Markey Senator Jeff Merkley Brian Schatz Senator Tom Udall U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Pleases, support these senators by signing this petition:

To be delivered to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate:

The American people are ready for Medicare for All, and it is time for Congress to act. We must ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care—and not at the mercy of private insurance companies that profit by denying care.

Sign the petition here

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What can a car driver do to help protect our planet? Tell the EPA to maintain strong fuel efficiency standards!

Americans love our cars
Americans love our cars. In fact, it's a huge part of our daily lives. 

But, according to Climate Reality, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. In fact, cars and trucks alone account for approximately one-fifth of all US carbon emissions, contributing around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for every gallon of gasoline used.

Here’s some good news: the current fuel efficiency standards enacted by the Obama Administration are expected to prevent about 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save more than 2 million barrels of oil a day and $1.7 trillion in fuel costs by 2025. But unless you speak up, those standards could be weakened.

ADD YOUR NAME

There’s only one group that benefits from lower fuel efficiency standards: the fossil fuel industry. The president made his fossil fuel ties clear when he stacked his cabinet with Big Oil insiders and climate deniers. But strong fuel efficiency standards will save American families money, reduce harmful air pollution, and prove that Americans are serious about taking climate action.

It’s up to you to stand up for the interests of our families and our planet – because if the president won’t lead on climate then the American people will. Join us in asking the EPA to maintain strong fuel efficiency standards and stand with American families, not fossil fuel insiders.

- Climate Reality

URGENT calls needed: Tell Sens. McCain and Flake to protect our care

Cruel and craven Republicans are trying to gut our health care again. Trumpcare is back, and we must act now to stop it. Call Sens. McCain and Flake and demand that they block the Graham-Cassidy bill now.
Click below for a sample script and the number to call:
Take action now ►
Graham-Cassidy would roll back Medicaid expansion, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and cut funding to Planned Parenthood.Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Trump Republicans have not given up their quest to gut our health care. Right-wing Republicans just introduced a so-called compromise bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, to win over the moderate wing of their party. But make no mistake, their latest proposal is just as cruel and heartless as the Trumpcare bills that came before it.

After three failed attempts to advance Trumpcare, Mitch McConnell is so desperate for a win on health care that he is now trying to ram through the Graham-Cassidy bill by Sept. 30 to avoid a democratic filibuster and the public scrutiny of the bill’s dangerous impact.2 Sens. McCain and Flake could cast the deciding vote that stops this dangerous bill. Can you call today to make sure they does the right thing?
Republicans are using the same old dirty tricks to advance this latest version of Trumpcare. Once again, they are pushing through a secretive bill to steal health care from millions of people that they drafted behind closed doors and with no time for public hearings, constituent input or amendments.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would:
  • End employer-provided health coverage for many Americans.
  • Eliminate subsidies that help middle- and low-income people purchase health plans.
  • Dramatically cut funding to support states’ Medicaid costs, an attack that could leave millions of people with disabilities and low-income families without health coverage.
  • Give states the power to remove more expensive health services like maternity care from the list of essential benefits that insurance providers are required to cover.
  • Allow insurance providers to charge more and reduce the quality of care for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Freeze Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Increase health care premiums for seniors.3,4,5,6
Senate Republicans claim they are just a few votes short of repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with Graham-Cassidy, which is why we must speak out now.7 Together, we have stopped Trumpcare three times before – we can stop it again.
Tell Sens. McCain and Flake: Do everything in your power to protect our health care. Block the dangerous Graham-Cassidy bill. Click on the link below for a script and the number to call.
- Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Click below for a sample script and the number to call:
Take action now ►
References:
  1. Sarah Kliff, “Cassidy-Graham: The last GOP health plan left standing, explained,” Vox, Sept. 13, 2017.
  2. Dylan Scott, “Senate Republicans claim they are a few votes away from repealing Obamacare,” Vox, Sept 15, 2017.
  3. Kim Soffen, “There’s one Obamacare repeal bill left standing. Here’s what’s in it.,” The Washington Post, Sept. 6, 2017.
  4. Scott, “Senate Republicans claim they are a few votes away from repealing Obamacare.”
  5. Kliff, “Cassidy-Graham: The last GOP health plan left standing, explained.”
  6. Jennifer Haberkorn, “Graham, Cassidy unveil last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill,” Politico, Sept. 13, 2017.
  7. Dan Mangan, “Senator says Obamacare repeal bill close to enough votes to pass, but there's reason to be skeptical,” CNBC, Sept. 15, 2017.

Fight ISDA - a NAFTA clause that allows corporations to sue governments that pass environmental or labor protection laws that hurt their profits

Ethyl's lawyers disputed the Canadian government's ban on the known neurotoxin MMA
The next round of NAFTA renegotiation talks are scheduled for October in Washington, D.C. and SumOfUs is showing up big time. With your help, we're demanding an end to the dangerous clause buried inside NAFTA that allows corporations to sue governments and be awarded unlimited sums in secretive tribunals of corporate lawyers.

That's right, because of some heavy corporate lobbying, the clause, known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), allows corporate executives to dispute a country’s laws, like important environmental and labor protection laws, if it is deemed these policies will negatively impact the corporation's profits.
Join the fight against NAFTA corporate power-grabbing, sign now!

In one ISDS jurisdiction, the Canadian government was forced to pay $13 million in damages and legal fees to a giant chemical manufacturing company known as Ethyl. In the lawsuit, Ethyl's lawyers disputed the Canadian government's ban on the known neurotoxin MMA, which is, by no coincidence, an Ethyl product. Ethyl lawyers bullied the government in the secretive ISDS tribunal to lift the ban on the company's product AND pay the corporation $13 million in damages and legal fees. This abuse of ISDS forced the Canadian government to prioritize corporate profits over public health and the environment.

This can't continue. Now more than ever it's important we stay vigilant to make sure that corporate interests don’t hijack these important renegotiations. Lobbyists and corporate executives are counting on the public to not pay attention so they can keep expanding their profit-centered ISDS clause and continue undermining important laws. Let’s show them that we're paying attention and we're not going anywhere.

- SumOfUs

NAFTA’s Legacy: Expanding Corporate Power to Attack Public Interests Laws, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, 1 February 2017
The Court That Rules The World, Buzzfeed, 28 August 2016
NAFTA's ISDS: Why Canada Is One of the Most Sued Countries in the World, CommonDreams, 23 October 2015.
Investor-State Attacks: Health, ISDS Corporate Attacks, September 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tell the Senate: Ban this extremely toxic brain-harming pesticide

The petition to the Senate reads:
"Chlorpyrifos, the toxic insecticide that damages the developing brains of children and infants, has been banned for home use since 2001, yet millions of pounds are still sprayed on crops, threatening farmworkers, rural children and our food supply. Pass the 'Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act' to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in food."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, climate-denier Scott Pruitt and his polluter-friendly Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused earlier this year to ban chlorpyrifos – the extremely toxic pesticide linked to a whole host of debilitating neurological disorders, long-term damage to children's brains and even cancer.
Chlorpyrifos is so dangerous that the EPA banned the toxin for home use nearly two decades ago, yet Big Ag still sprays nearly 10 million pounds of the chemical on crops across the country, which poses a major health risk to farmworkers — many of whom are immigrants — and children in rural communities.
Since the EPA would rather give handouts to the chemical industry than protect consumers, farmworkers and children, a group of Democratic senators have introduced the "Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act" to completely prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos in food. We must demand the Senate act immediately to pass this critical legislation.
Chlorpyrifos is the most widely used insecticide in the world and belongs to the same family as sarin nerve gas.1 People who have been exposed to the chemical have experienced permanent changes in brain structure, loss of IQ, increased likelihood of children developing ADHD or other developmental and behavioral disorders, reduced lung function, asthma, and cancer.2
In 2015, President Obama's EPA proposed banning chlorpyrifos for all agricultural use, but earlier this year, Donald Trump's anti-science, pro-industry EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, well-known for denying climate change, reversed that decision, claiming the science behind the chemical's toxic effects were inconclusive.3 Media reports at the time suggest Dow Chemical, the major manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, played a significant role influencing Pruitt's decision.4
Activism to force lawmakers to more strictly regulate chlorpyrifos is working – but we can't stop now. This summer, CREDO, along with our allies at the Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth and other organizations, delivered more than 167,000 petition signatures urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to ban this pesticide. In response, California regulators are drafting new rules for chlorpyrifos use.5
That's why we must now call on the Senate to pass this bill to protect the developing brains of small children, the health and safety of farmers and farmworkers, and our food supply from this dangerous and extremely toxic pesticide immediately.
- Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References
  1. Zoë Schlanger, "The US government is ignoring its own scientists’ warning that a Dow pesticide causes brain damage in children," Quartz, March 30, 2017.
  2. Pesticide Action Network, "Chlorpyrifos," accessed Aug. 29, 2017.
  3. Eric Lipton, "E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide," The New York Times, March 29, 2017.
  4. Lorraine Chow, "EPA Chief Met With Dow Chemical CEO Before Deciding Not to Ban Toxic Pesticide," EcoWatch, June 28, 2017.
  5. The Associated Press, "California tightens rules on popular pesticide for farmers," Aug. 18, 2017.

Tell the Senate: No Wall Street lawyer as Fed watchdog


Petition to the U.S. Senate:

"Oppose the nomination of Randal Quarles, a Wall Street lawyer who helped create too-big-to-fail banks, and any Federal Reserve nominee like Quarles who opposes common-sense rules protecting Americans from financial wrongdoing and the Federal Reserve’s responsibility to create full employment."

Add your name:



Randal Quarles has spent 30 years spinning in the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street. He helped create too-big-to-fail banks and personally profited from the bailouts, but now wants to slash banking rules.2,3 No wonder Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls Quarles “a dangerous choice” to be Federal Reserve vice chairman of supervision.4The Wall Street stooge in the White House has struck again by trying to fill the position of top watchdog overseeing big banks at the Federal Reserve with a lifelong Wall Street lawyer.1

A shocking number of Democrats sided with Senate Banking Committee Republicans to approve Quarles, including corporate Democrats like Sens. Mark Warner and Heidi Heitkamp but also Sen. Chris Van Hollen. We badly need to ratchet up the pressure before a full Senate vote to make it clear that Quarles is an unacceptable choice to be the Fed banking watchdog.

Tell the Senate: No Wall Street lawyer as Fed watchdog. Click here to sign the petition.

Sen. Warren said that Quarles is “straight off the Wall Street assembly line.”5 In the Quarles’ nomination hearing, she didn’t hold back:6

"You’ve got 15 years representing big banks at a New York law firm working on some of the mergers that created the too-big-to-fail banks that we have today… You have two stints at the Treasury Department, including shortly before the 2008 crisis where you insisted the banks were well capitalized enough to survive a housing downturn… and more than a decade in private equity and investment management where you’ve argued repeatedly for weaker rules for the biggest banks… That’s not a track record that should give Americans a whole lot of confidence in you."

On top of it all, our friends at the Fed Up coalition note that Quarles wants the Federal Reserve to set interest rates according to a technical rule that ignores the reality of the tough job market, instead of focusing on the Fed’s mandate to achieve full employment. A Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis study says that this rule would have cost as many as 2.5 million jobs.7

In short, Quarles helped banks get bigger while consistently opposing tough rules to rein them in – and wants interest-rate policy to help Wall Street instead of working Americans.

Tell the Senate: No Wall Street lawyer as Fed watchdog. Click here to sign the petition.

At one point, Quarles worked in private equity, and his firm’s investments in troubled banks earned hundreds of millions of dollars. If not for government bailouts, those profits in Quarles’ pockets would never have happened.8 He’s exactly the wrong choice to be in the incredibly powerful position of vice chair of supervision, overseeing all of the Federal Reserve’s regulation of big banks.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s term is also set to expire soon, and no one knows whom Trump might nominate or whom the senate would approve. Our opposition to Quarles will make it clear that people like this – who pad their bank accounts making banks bigger while putting the rest of us in danger – have no place in important Federal Reserve positions. A full Senate vote on Quarles’ confirmation could come any day now, so we need to speak out immediately.

Tell the Senate: No Wall Street lawyer as Fed watchdog. Click the link below to sign the petition:


- Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

References:
Daniel Marans, “How Trump’s Pick To Police Wall Street Endangers The Economy,” HuffPo, July 12, 2017.
Ibid.
Olivia Oran and Pete Schroeder, “Trump's Fed nominee has history of benefiting from bailouts,” Reuters, July 12, 2017.
Marans, “How Trump’s Pick To Police Wall Street Endangers The Economy.”
Oran and Schroeder, “Trump's Fed nominee has history of benefiting from bailouts.”
Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, “Elizabeth Warren unloads on Trump's pick to lead Fed bank regulation,” Business Insider, July 27, 2017.
Center for Popular Democracy and the Fed Up Coalition, “Letter of Opposition to Randal Quarles as Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision,” July 20, 2017.
Oran and Schroeder, “Trump's Fed nominee has history of benefiting from bailouts.

Stop Trump's revolving door. Sign the petition: Tell your senator to vote NO on Trump’s nominee for the DOJ Antitrust division.


Trump may have campaigned on “draining the swamp” but his political appointments have been more of the same D.C. “revolving door.”

This time Trump’s pick for top lawyer for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, is a corporate attorney turned lobbyist who’s made his career on advancing corporate mega-mergers.1

Sign the petition: Tell your senator to vote NO on Trump’s nominee for the DOJ Antitrust division.

Petition to the US Senate:

Trump’s pick to lead the DOJ’s Antitrust division is a career corporate merger lawyer who has lobbied in favor of corporate mergers that create de facto monopolies and squeeze consumers while fattening the pockets of corporate shareholders. Vote NO on Makan Delrahim’s nomination.

The DOJ’s Antitrust division is supposed to protect consumers like us from the monopolies created by mega-corporate mergers. Like the proposed AT&T Time Warner merger which would create a “too big too fail” media gatekeeper that could threaten consumer choice and the free flow of information on the internet.

Instead of looking out for consumers, Trump wants to install a lobbyist with decades of experience advocating for Wall Street mergers.

For instance, up until 2008, Delrahim represented telecom giant AT&T. As the top lawyer for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust division, he would now be responsible for overseeing a merger deal between AT&T (his former client) and Time Warner, a deal that would give one media company “control over the pipes and what flows through them.”2

Senator Elizabeth Warren called this “the latest edition of the fox guarding the henhouse.”3 And she’s exactly right. Mergers and monopolies are garnering more and more attention, especially from Democrats, for their role in furthering income inequality, driving down innovation, and setting up barriers for start ups to compete. That’s why the Democrat’s new platform, “A Better Deal,” explicitly calls for strong antitrust policies.

And if a corporate-friendly lawyer-turned-lobbyist turns into the head of the antitrust division, we’ll see even more mega-mergers like the AT&T Time Warner merger.

We need the DOJ to stand up and protect us from Wall Street’s abuses, not rubberstamp mergers so their old corporate buddies fatten their wallets while squeezing consumers.

Tell your senator: Vote NO on Delrahim nomination to lead the DOJ’s Antitrust division.

- Demand Action

Sources:
1. The Huffington Post, "Trump’s Antitrust Nominee, Rife With Conflicts, Puts Democrats To The Test," August 25, 2017.
2. Ibid
3. The New Republic, "Democrats Face an Important Anti-Monopoly Test," September 6, 201

Beyond calling our senators, what can we do to stop this cruel healthcare bill?


The Republicans want you to believe that their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead. They want to slip in below the radar and take one more run at repealing health care coverage for millions of Americans.

Here’s the reason they are moving now: Senate Republicans have until September 30th to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes.

And here’s the scary fact: They just might have the votes to do it.

The Cassidy-Graham bill that the Republicans pulled out of the trash is their worst “health care” bill yet.
  • It guts funding for Medicaid – so if you need a nursing home or your baby is born with complex medical needs, you’re on your own.

  • It rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions – so if you have a heart attack or get a cancer diagnosis, too bad.

  • And it completely eliminates help for families to buy health insurance – so if you can’t afford health insurance, good luck out there.
Make no mistake: This Cassidy-Graham “health care” bill is Trumpcare on steroids – and millions of Americans will lose their health care if the Republicans pass this piece of garbage in the next 11 days.

Remember everything you did to stop the Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act seven weeks ago? We need you to do it again.
  1. Share your story again about why the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid matters to you or someone you love. Email it to your friends and family. Post it on Facebook or Twitter. Take a photo or record a video on your phone.

  2. Our Senate Democrats are still united against this bill – but if you have family or friends who live in a state with a Republican senator, make sure they know what’s happening to health care this week. Call, text, email, message – check in and then spread the word.

  3. Join a group. If you belong to an organization that has been fighting to save the Affordable Care Act, keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t belong to a group, find one. Organizations will be holding events, making calls, sharing content, and keeping people informed about what’s going on. Two voices are more than twice as powerful as one. Ten voices are more than ten times as powerful. And thousands – even millions – of voices working together can stop this ugly bill. Don’t delete all those emails.

Call now: Health care repeal is back



Trumpcare is back. Also known as "Graham-Cassidy." Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson have introduced a new bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away health care from tens of millions of Americans. That's why every Republican senator needs to hear from constituents today—and every day—until this bill is defeated.

Will you call Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake now and tell them to protect our care? Tell them to vote no on Graham-Cassidy.
"
Here is where to call: 
  • Senator John McCain
    • Phoenix, AZ: 602-952-2410
    • Tucson, AZ: 520-670-6334
  • Senator Jeff Flake
Washington Offices
  • Sen. McCain - (202) 224-2235
  • Sen. Flake - (202) 224-4521
This repeal proposal is being called "the most radical one yet."1

The news media is not yet taking this effort seriously, with most calling it dead on arrival, but Sen. Cassidy is saying he is already close to securing 50 votes.2 Plus, Donald Trump has said that repealing the ACA is a priority, and that he's prepared to sign this bill into law. They're trying to sneak this bill through Congress before the end of the month, which is the deadline for repeal to require only 50 votes.3 These next 12 days are make-or-break for what could be the final Republican attempt to take away our health care.

We've defeated Trumpcare over and over, and now we need to do it one more time by raising a deafening roar against any plan that would take away health care, cut Medicaid, and drive up insurance premiums.

Will you call your senators right now and say, "Don't take away our health care. Say no to Graham-Cassidy or any version of Trumpcare."?

We have stopped this trainwreck before, and we need to spot it again. We know that grassroots pressure works. If this bill moves forward, we'll rally, make phone calls, and fight tooth and nail against it. Let's start by raising an outcry to let every Republican senator know that we're watching, and that we will hold them accountable.

-MoveOn 

Sources: 
1. "Republicans wind up one last Hail Mary to repeal Obamacare," Vox, September 12, 2017
https://act.moveon.org/go/14513?t=15&akid=189887%2E18315738%2E8rrtgX
2. "Bill Cassidy says Obamacare overhaul bill is close to 50 votes," Washington Examiner, September 15, 2017
http://act.moveon.org/go/14514?t=17&akid=189887%2E18315738%2E8rrtgX
3. "Trump says 'inaction is not an option' after GOP senators unveil last-gasp Obamacare repeal plan," CNBC, September 13, 2017
https://act.moveon.org/go/14515?t=19&akid=189887%2E18315738%2E8rrtgX

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sign if you agree: Hands off our public lands

The petition to the U.S. House reads:
"Oppose H.R. 2423, which would threaten Utah's Red Cliffs Conservation Area, and any other legislation that would allow development, mining, drilling or fracking in conservation areas, national parks or other public lands."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
The right-wing founder of the congressional anti-parks caucus, Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, has introduced dangerous legislation that would allow development of utilities and roads directly through the pristine Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, which would threaten the endangered Mojave Desert tortoise and literally pave the way for a future of unmitigated development and drilling in this protected region.Donald Trump's campaign to hand over national parks, monuments and other public lands to developers and the fossil fuel industry could get another boost very soon.
Rep. Stewart is moving quickly to pass this bill or quietly sneak it into a larger legislative package with little notice. We must act now to shine a light on this legislation and demand that Congress reject this attempt to seize federal land and threaten endangered species.
A long-time climate denier and former CEO of an energy sector firm, Rep. Stewart has spent his political career working to hand over federal lands to the oil and gas industry.1 During his 2012 run for Congress, he was called "Glenn Beck on steroids" and received significant funding from the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil while campaigning on the promise to allow drilling for fossil fuels on public lands, claiming "de-federalizing public lands is vital to a coherent energy strategy."2,3,4
In Congress, Stewart has been staunchly anti-government and anti-public lands, supporting legislation to block the creation of national monuments and sponsoring bills that chip away control of federal lands — in order to give more access to the fossil fuel industry. In 2014, Stewart even seemed to sympathize with anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy after his extremist militia pointed loaded rifles at federal government employees.5
If Congress passes his bill, the endangered desert tortoise will be under major threat, but Rep. Stewart doesn't seem to care much for endangered species, either. Since he was first elected, Rep. Stewart has waged a vocal campaign against endangered species, praised the de-listing of the grey wolf, introduced legislation to prevent the listing of the sage grouse, and even sponsored a bill to that would undermine the Endangered Species Act altogether.6
It's abundantly clear that Rep. Stewart's legislation is another attempt to strip away federal control of public lands and hand it over to the fossil fuel industry for unfettered development. We can't let that happen.
Tell Congress: Don't give away Utah's Red Cliffs Conservation Area. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References
  1. Jesse Coleman, "Congressman and climate science denier Chris Stewart faced with climate change facts," Greenpeace, April 5, 2013.
  2. Tim Murphy, "Utah Set to Send Glenn Beck-Approved End Times Novelist to Congress," Mother Jones, Sept. 25, 2012.
  3. On the Issues, "Chris Stewart on Energy & Oil," accessed Sept. 9, 2017.
  4. PolluterWatch, "Chris Stewart," accessed Sept. 9, 2017.
  5. Thomas Burr, "Utah's Stewart: BLM doesn't need a 'SWAT team'," The Salt Lake Tribune, April 30, 2014.
  6. Vote Smart, "Chris Stewart's Public Statements on Issue: Animals and Wildlife," accessed Sept. 9, 2017.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Show you care! Demand universal health care



Republican senators have proposed yet another behind-closed-doors attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s distressing that some Members of Congress are hell-bent on betraying their constituents just so their rich donors can get some tax breaks.

But I know that with your help, we will defeat it just like we defeated all other attempts.

Senator Bernie Sanders and 15 co-sponsors have introduced a sensible plan to provide the universal access to health care we desperately need. It’s past time for all elected officials to get on board.

Please urge your senators to join Sen. Bernie Sanders in sponsoring a universal health care plan today!

Nearly 30 million people currently lack health care coverage, primarily low-income communities of color. Sen. Sanders has rightly called the gaps in coverage a “national emergency” and a “moral outrage.”

Thanks to the massive public mobilization against Trumpcare, the Republican scheme to strip health care coverage from millions more has collapsed.

Now is the time to leverage our victory and fight for, and win, universal health care. We all have the right to health care, no matter how much money we have, no matter our employment status. It's time for single-payer Medicare-for-All.

Tell your senators to co-sponsor Medicare-for-All legislation now!

Here are the numbers to call:

Senator John McCain
Phoenix, AZ: 602-952-2410
Prescott, AZ: 928-445-0833
Tucson, AZ: 520-670-6334

Senator Jeff Flake
Phoenix, AZ: 602-840-1891
Tucson, AZ: 520-575-8633

-Jennifer Flynn
Director of Healthcare Justice, CPD Action

Friday, September 15, 2017

URGENT: Health care under attack again

Like a zombie, Trumpcare is back. This time it's as a plan called "Graham-Cassidy"--named for Republicans who have bucked Trump in the past. So it's designed to look "moderate."
But we're not fooled. This version will completely eliminate Medicaid expansion, leaving 11 million of the most vulnerable people--including children--without insurance. It will gut protections for anyone with pre-existing conditions, send out-of-pocket costs soaring for people on the individual market, and "defund" Planned Parenthood. Those who keep their insurance "policy" aren't safe either--this bill allows the return of annual or lifetime caps on coverage and allows insurers to charge outrageous amounts for policies that don't cover basic needs, like maternity care and hospitalization. Over the course of the next decade, an estimated 32 million people will lose their insurance.1 No wonder President Trump is so eager to sign it.2
Due to Senate rules, this bill must pass by September 30--so Republicans are trying to fast-track quickly, hoping we won't mobilize in time. We can't let that happen. According to Sen. Cassidy (R-LA), they are only one or two votes away.3 Tying up the phone lines with our calls of outrage can give Republicans pause--and Sens. Collins (R-ME) and Murkowski (R-AK) have expressed deep concern, so we have a chance to win them over and then only need one more "no" vote. This is an all hands on deck moment--can you make a phone call to Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake?
Here are the numbers to call:
  • Senator John McCain
    • Phoenix, AZ: 602-952-2410
    • Prescott, AZ: 928-445-0833
    • Tucson, AZ: 520-670-6334
  • Senator Jeff Flake
Speak in your own words, but here are some points to guide you:
  • My name is _______ and I'm from Tucson. I oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is important to me because (if you have a personal story, share it here!).
  • The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion has provided health insurance to millions of the neediest people in the United States. If you vote for Graham-Cassidy, it will result in especially vulnerable populations--like seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children--not getting the care they need.4
  • The Affordable Care Act protects guaranteed coverage for critical care such as comprehensive maternity care, domestic violence screenings, and prescription drug coverage. If you vote for Graham-Cassidy, which allows states to opt out of this required coverage, insurance companies looking to make a buck will stop offering policies covering these vital health care services, which tens of millions of women rely on.5
  • The Affordable Care Act provides important consumer affordability protections, like a ban on lifetime or annual "caps" on coverage. If you vote for Graham-Cassidy, it will literally throw families into bankruptcy.
-- the UltraViolet Action team

Sources:
3. Tweet by Sarah Kliff, Twitter, September 15, 2017
4. Medicaid’s Role for Women, Kaiser Family Foundation, June 22, 2017
5. Summary of the Affordable Care Act, Kaiser Family Foundation, April 25, 2013
Preventive care benefits for women, Healthcare.gov, accessed July 18, 2017
The Affordable Care Act’s Birth Control Benefit Is Working for Women, National Women's Law Center, December 16, 2016

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Healthcare? The GOP is back with another We Don't Care bill


The clock is running out on the GOP's attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, so of course they have another proposal in the queue to try to "save healthcare," Republican style.

Graham, Cassidy, Heller, and Johnson (sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?) have a grand new plan to shift control of healthcare to the states. Sounds great, right? After all, we've been told innumerable times that the states know best. And this plan promises a lot of the old Republican standards: Health Savings Accounts, rollbacks of employer mandates, and block grants.

As usual, this plan will hurt those who can least afford it: the working poor and the middle class will see their insurance coverage diminish, their premiums go up, and more money out of pocket for deductibles. Small businesses will also see less support for providing health coverage for their employees. And, if you're old or have a pre-existing condition, watch out: the bill doesn't remove the mandate to cover people with pre-existing conditions, but it does allow states to apply for waivers to the law that would allow insurers to charge exorbitant premiums to cover those patients. Also, it dismantles rules prohibiting insurance companies from selling worthless junk policies.

But, there are some who would benefit: medical device manufacturers will see a tax cut, large employers will no longer be required to provide coverage to their employees, and the states that refused to expand medicare coverage to spite President Obama will get a bonus for their loyalty to party, paid for by the states who tried to put their citizens ahead of politics.

Yep. This is exactly the kind of healthcare plan we can expect from today's Republican Party.  One of GOP's rallying calls is that this plan is the last chance to stop Bernie's Medicare for All act.

I personally believe that America should catch up with the rest of the civilized world and provide healthcare for all of us.  But even if you don't want your tax dollars to pay for other people's coverage, look at it this way - you will save money on your healthcare under Bernie's plan. The increase in taxes is MUCH less than the cost of coverage (not even factoring in the cost of the huge deductibles.)

With the GOP's plan block grants will diminish over time forcing states to charge more taxes if they want to keep or expand medicare. The states would have a choice on how they use that money, but only 20% is allowed for medicare. One problem with each state having separate healthcare plans is that we would lose our collective bargaining power so the cost of premiums would go up.

So if our healthcare ends up in the hands of the states, the big question is, "Will my state representatives take care of me and my family?"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT: DO NOT ALLOW ICE TO DESTROY RECORDS OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND DEATH OF PEOPLE IN CUSTODY


Our government is claiming records of sexual assault and death in custody aren’t significant enough to preserve records. We have two more days to submit public comments to oppose destroying this critical paperwork and evidence.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has given preliminary permission for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin routinely destroying records, including those related to sexual assault by staff, substandard medical care, excessive solitary confinement, threats and physical assault by custody staff, and even deaths while in custody.

We can’t let ICE escape accountability for abuse and civil rights violations. Submit a public comment to tell NARA to stop the record destruction.

In cases of both sexual assault and death, NARA argued that these records “do not document significant actions of Federal officials.”

You can see this for what it really is: a blatant attempt by ICE to erase its abuses and gain impunity, making it harder for us to hold the agency accountable in the future.

We have until Friday, September 15 to urge the National Archives and Records Administration to do the right thing: stop ICE from destroying a paper trail of evidence for a system rife with abuse.

The Trump administration has pledged to expand immigration detention to record-breaking levels and lock up more people than ever before in its crackdown on immigrants. Our ability to hold ICE agents accountable for abuse matters more than ever. We must protect these records.

Here’s your job for the next 48 hours: send your public comment to NARA today and demand they deny ICE’s request to destroy these records.

ICE agents have largely escaped accountability for sexual abuse thus far. According to a Freedom of Information Act Request, the Office of the Inspector General investigated only 2.4% of sexual assault complaints related to ICE agents from May 2014 through July 2016. Destroying these records would be a slap in the face to the survivors and their loved ones – a shameful lack of accountability for the violations committed.

Additionally, 170 people have died in immigration detention since 2003, including 10 deaths since October 2016 alone. If we allow ICE to destroy these records, they will be able to whitewash history and escape accountability.

We can’t allow this to happen. We must hold our agencies and officials accountable when they violate the rights of people in custody.

Submit your public comment to NARA today. We only have until September 15 to have our public comments considered, so it’s crucial for you to take action immediately.

- ACLU