Contact Your Federal and State Elected Officials
Call your U.S. Senators and Representative, and your State Senators and House Leadership.
Please add their contact information to your smart phone for easy anytime access. Find their numbers here. Or send a text to 520-200-2223 with your zip code (only) in the message, and you will get an instant reply with all your Federal and State representatives’ names and phone numbers, making it very easy to add them to your phone contact list.
- Please report your calls and any notable information you get to email@example.com by 9/8/17.
- Use personal stories to support your request.
1) Health Care: Congress will be going back into session in September and their major focus will be the federal budget deadline with a likely continued effort to weaken the Affordable Care Act via the budget process. We need to send a message to our U.S. Senators and Congressman that we are watching and oppose any weakening, dismantling, or cuts to our health care system.
SCRIPT: (for Senator Casey) My name is _____________and I am a constituent at (zip code). As a Partner of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, I am calling to thank you, Senator Casey, for standing strong to keep Affordable Health Care available for all. I hope you will take all opportunities to those across the aisle to create a plan for improving the ACA while keeping the essential health benefits and Medicaid program. As you know, affordable health care and access to reproductive care and family planning are essential for women who are struggling toward equality and economic security.
Health care is a human right. Access to care including family planning is key for a healthy workforce and economic security for women and their families. (Add personal stories if you have one.)
SCRIPT: (For Congressman Fitzpatrick) My name is ___________and I am a constituent of yours at (zip code). As a Partner of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, I am calling to thank you for working in a bipartisan manner to strengthen the ACA. Most of the efforts recommended by the “Problem Solvers” are changes we can support. One area that is not negotiable for us is any weakening of the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) in the ACA. This is particularly key since the Problem Solver’s plan includes crossing state lines for insurance policies. EHBs would avoid a race to the bottom and a worthless health policy when people unexpectedly need it the most. For example, some may not plan to get pregnant but unplanned pregnancies happen often and having maternity care as an EHB is critical.
BACKGROUND: Like the Republican repeal bills we defeated in July, the FY2018 budget includes very deep cuts in health care – including ACA, Medicaid, and Medicare – that will impact millions of Americans while including tax breaks for the wealthiest households and corporations, including health insurers and prescription drug companies. The House Budget Committee has already passed the FY2018 House Budget Resolution that does the following:
- The House Republican budget plan includes immediate adoption of the AHCA–ACA repeal bill that passed in the House in May. The AHCA would have take healthcare away from over 20 million people and made permanent cuts to Medicaid which provides healthcare to seniors, people with disabilities, and children. The “per capita caps” proposed for Medicaid would have cut jobs, shifted big burdens to state budgets, forced cuts in services and further destabilized healthcare.
- Overall Cut Medicaid and other health care programs by over $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
- The budget also proposes to cut $487 billion from Medicare and to privatize the program through vouchers.
- At the same time, the budget resolution includes proposals that would give huge tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations-and pays for those tax breaks through cuts to social safety net programs including healthcare, SNAP, Pell Grants and many others.
- Like the ACA repeal proposals we’ve seen this year, the fast-track “reconciliation” process to by-pass regular Congressional process and debate and pass legislative cuts and tax breaks quickly with just a simple majority.
In September, the Republican budget resolution will go to the floor for a vote in the House. There is not yet a Senate version of the budget, but we expect that the Senate will be working on a similar budget resolution during this month as well.
2) SNAP Funding (Federal Food Stamp Program funding in the Federal Budget)
- a 25% match requirement from States
- limit able-bodied to get SNAP benefits without dependent waivers
- eliminate a minimum benefit
- cap large household benefits
- terminating the SNAP- LEAP (low income home energy assistance)connection
- impose standardized utility allowances across states
SCRIPT: (for Senator Casey and Congressman Fitzpatrick) My name is _____________and I am a constituent at (zip code). As a Partner of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, I am calling to strongly urge you to support SNAP (Food Stamps) as an important part of the overall budget. As you know, the President’s proposed funding structure undermines the strong bipartisan support and federal commitment to ensuring that that low income individuals can afford an adequate diet wherever they live without placing enormous pressure on state budgets. Food Assistance is essential for women who are struggling toward equality and economic security.
SCRIPT: (for Senator Toomey) My name is _____________and I am a constituent at (zip code). As a Partner of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, I am calling you, Senator Toomey and asking you to stand up for low income families and their children. I insist that you support SNAP as an important part of the overall budget. As you know, the President’s proposed funding structure undermines the strong bipartisan support and federal commitment to ensuring that that low income individuals can afford an adequate diet wherever they live without placing enormous pressure on state budgets. Food Assistance is essential for women who are struggling toward equality and economic security. Helping those at risk is a value that makes America Strong. (Add personal stories if you have any.)
3) H.R.38 Federal Bill: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. WE OPPOSE THIS
This bill would force every state to allow unlicensed, unvetted people from out of state to carry concealed guns in public places. Pennsylvania would be forced to allow anyone who has a carry permit from another state to carry hidden, loaded guns in public. More alarming, the bill opens up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation. If a law enforcement officer mistakenly questions a person’s legal authority to carry a concealed firearm, they can be sued personally. Nearly every Law Enforcement organization in the country is opposed to this legislation, according to Charles H. Ramsey, former Police Commissioner of Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
This bill is in the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigation and has gained traction since the shooting at the Congressional baseball practice. After the shooting, there was talk of members of Congress being able to carry in guns in D.C. to protect themselves. This right has been seen by gun rights activists as an unfair advantage that other citizens do not have.
H.R. 38 just picked up it’s 200th supporter in the House of Representatives. The Gun lobby calls this a “milestone.” They are urging their members to call to pressure members of Congress . We need to counter those calls to get our Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick to oppose H.R. 38.
PA STATE FOCUS THIS WEEK:
1) Push to get the Nurse Practitioner Bill out of the Professional Licensure Committee in the House. SB 25
Rep. Turzi is stalling the Nurse Practitioner Bill in the House and we need our Representatives to push the House Professional Licensure Committee to bring it up for a vote and get it passed successfully out of committee. The majority of Representatives in the PA House support this bill.
Passed Senate April 26, 2017 39-10
It is in the Professional Licensure committee in the House. Margueritte Quinn and Tina Davis are members. Call Rep. Turzi (717) 772-9943 and your State Representative.
Background: This bill would modernize the Professional Nursing Law for Advanced Practice Nurses similarly to the law in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
– Currently, Nurse Practitioners are required to have ongoing collaboration agreements with two physicians and this physician oversight may not be available in rural and underserved communities. This disproportionately limits access to health care in rural areas, parts of some urban areas and for patients with Medicaid insurance.
– Nurse practitioners are known to be willing to practice in rural areas according to the PA Rural Health Association.
– The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) projects a primary care physician shortage of 20,400 by the year 2020. HHS predicts that certified nurse practitioners could help alleviate the primary care shortage in the future.
– This same legislation last year was supported and endorsed by the AARP, the National Governor’s Association, the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the National Academy of Medicine and the Federal Trade Commission.
We also support companion HB 100, Nurse Practitioner Rural Care Access, sponsors Rep.Topper, DiGirolamo, Farry and Davis
– This bill is not moving and has been in the Professional Licensure Committee since March 21, 2017 (Marguerite Quinn is on that Committee and has not been supportive of this legislation in the past before the amendment.)
SCRIPT: (Call your State Representative!) My name is ___________and I am your constituent. My zip code is _____. I am a member of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition (BCWAC). I am calling you to ask you get the Nurse Practitioner Bill Senate Bill 25, it is sitting in the House Professional Licensure Committee. The Coalition has advocated for years to give Nurse Practitioners the right to practice with the initial support and supervision of physicians and be able to provide the much needed medical support services needed in PA rural areas.
HB 59 would force nearly a million adults through government hoops to verify their employment or exemptions, taxing an already overburdened system and wasting critical resources that will do little to increase workforce participation. This is bad and unnecessary policy.
The census statistics show that nearly 3 in 4 people covered under the Medicaid Expansion already have at least one full-time worker in their household, and those who are not working report that this is due to a disability, treatment for a physical or behavioral health condition, caring for a sick family member, or because they are in school, looking for a job, or retired. Asking them to go through this red tape ignores their hard work and contributions to the Commonwealth and puts a strain on both Medicaid beneficiaries and county offices. Call your representative in the PA House, asking him/her to vote against HB 59. (We must keep up with this until we have a victory!!)
SCRIPT: I am ________. I am a constituent with my zip code ______. I am a Partner of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition (BCWAC). I am calling you to ask you to vote against the HB 59 Human Services Code which makes major changes of work requirement to Medicaid without public hearings and analysis by experts on the impact of these changes. Medicaid recipients who can are working and supporting others in their household who would also work if they did not have a disability, a physical or behavioral health condition, a responsibility caring for a sick family member, or because they are in school, looking for a job or retired. HB 59 would force nearly a million adults through government hoops to verify their employment or exemptions, taxing an already overburdened system and wasting critical resources that will do little to increase workforce participation. In addition, HB 59 opens the door for cuts on “nonessential” benefits such as dental, vision, and prescription coverage. Vote against HB59.
3) Protect the State Housing Fund. The Senate passed a budget bill this week and it goes to the PA House for a vote. We must advocate for PHARE funds, also known as the PA State Housing Fund. BCWAC worked for several years with the Housing Alliance of PA and our other partners focusing on housing to get these funds set aside. It should remain untouched to make affordable housing possible, leveraging millions from other sources, creating jobs and rebuilding our communities. Call your representative in the House to remind her/him that borrowing against this fund is not a credible solution for balancing the budget.
SCRIPT: (Call your State Representative!) My name is _________ and I am your constituent. My zip code is ______. I am a member of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition (BCWAC). I am calling you to ask you to guard against a House vote to borrow from PHARE, the PA State Housing Fund. The Coalition has advocated for years to get these monies set aside to make affordable housing possible in PA. This fund is critical for this difficult and important work. As the final voting for funds to balance the budget, please ensure that these resources remain dedicated towards providing housing opportunity.
Protect the State Housing Fund.