Call of the Day: Demand Transparency From Your Senators

The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), aka TrumpCare, as it passed the House, doesn't pass Senator Cassidy's so-called “Jimmy Kimmel Test”: 23 million people would lose health insurance coverage, Medicaid would get cut by $800 billion, pre-existing conditions wouldn't be covered, insurance premiums go skyrocket, and all so the rich could get tax cuts.

The Senate is now developing its own take on the AHCA.  But we really don't know what's in the Senate version because this bill is being shaped behind closed doors, without hearings or Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores.  Will it be as bad as the House version?  Will it be even worse?  The American public deserves to know.

Today, we're going to do something a little different.  Usually we call our Senators' main office lines and talk to the staffers on the other end.  But today we're going to specifically call our Senators' points-of-contact for the health care debate (or as close as we can get, anyway).

Call the policy directors and let them know your concerns.  Then, send a follow-up email to remind them of what you talked about, too.  You can use the same script, if you want, or embellish as you like.  (If you have a personal story to share – do so!)

WHO TO CALL: 

Senator John Kennedy's office: Cassie Leonard, Legislative Assistant
Phone: 202-224-4623
Email: cassie_leonard@kennedy.senate.gov

Senator Bill Cassidy's office: Matt Gallivan, Senior Health Policy Adviser
Phone: 202-224-5824
Email: matthew_gallivan@cassidy.senate.gov

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample script- 

Hi, my name is [Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].  I don't need a response.

I'm calling to let the Senator know that I want the healthcare bill debated in public: meaning, with hearings, input from Senate Democrats, and with a CBO score.  It took a year to pass the ACA, so there is no need to rush this bill.  I'd rather you get it done right, than fast.

Also, I want the Senator to know I do not support repeal and replace UNLESS the replacement legislation provides equal or better access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare than the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Thank you for your time, and for your hard work answering the phones.

For more info on this bill, and other sample scripts, see the Indivisible pages we adapted this email from here, here and here

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.