We Killed Obamacare Repeal. What Can People With HIV Do Next?
August 10, 2017
We Killed Repeal. What's Next?
We did it! Through people power, we killed the efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act! At least for now, and just by one vote. We have lots of work ahead of us.
All members of Congress are home for the August recess. They'll be in district hosting town halls, public events, and meeting with their constituents. When they come back in September, they'll be voting on a number of pieces of legislation, as well as the federal budget. The Republican fight to dismantle the social safety net, including health care, funding for Medicaid and food stamps, is not over. Will you take the pledge to be active during #ResistanceRecess to #ProtectOurCare and the #HIVBudget?
What you can do:
While there are a great many issues that affect us collectively and individually, PWN-USA has identified four key areas with the potential to cause big impact to people living with HIV and our community: health care, budget, the domestic HIV program and the social safety net, which includes specific programs such as SNAP (food stamps), housing assistance, social security, Medicaid and Medicare, and others.
Ways to Take Action & Resources to Do It
Find Local Events
Many members of Congress use recess as an opportunity to connect with and hear from constituents at home. In fact, that's exactly what they are supposed to do. You can check these listings of events to see if there is something already planned in your area:
If Your Senator Is Holding a Town Hall or Making a Public Appearance at an Event, Plan to Show Up and "Bird-Dog" Them
What is bird-dogging? Basically, the goal of bird-dogging is to compel your elected officials (in this case, Senators), to answer questions publicly in front of their constituents, voters, and the media. Bird-dogging is fun and easy! Just show up at local events and make sure you are ready to ask them tough questions on the issues that matter most to you. Quick tips when bird-dogging:
Set Up a Meeting With Your Member of Congress's Office
Your Senators work for you. They are obligated to try and meet with constituents when requests are made. However, they are very busy (especially right now) and their calendars get full quickly. Since they will be home next week, this is the perfect time to reach out and set up a meeting.
A few quick tips -- here's a more comprehensive resource:
Preparing for the Meeting:
Note: Most meetings are only about 15 minutes long, whether you are meeting with the Member or their staff. This means your group has to be organized and prepared to get your points across.
Schedule a preparation meeting or phone call for your group to go over the talking points and who will share personal stories about how proposed legislation will affect them.
This article was provided by Positive Women's Network of the United States of America. Visit PWN-USA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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